2016 Sustainability Report

2016 Sustainability Report

Operational Impact




by 2019

Managing water consumption is a top priority for Xylem. In addition to our large-scale manufacturing processes, rather routine tasks that occur at hundreds of locations around the world also require the use of water. These activities include the use of water tanks to test products after repair and at high-pressure washing stations where we clean products coming back from customer sites. The scale and variety of these activities means that the solutions for reducing our usage are not one-size-fits-all. For example, at some facilities we have begun to collect rainwater for use in test tanks and use recycled water for landscaping and sanitation.

We have a number of tools at our disposal to help us further limit our water consumption:

Water Usage

Total Water Withdrawal

2015 2016
Total Water Withdrawal 424.1 368.8

Water Intensity
(megaliters/annual revenues in millions USD)

2015 2016
Water Intensity 0.1069 0.0959
Percentage Decrease Relative to 2014 Baseline +1.17% 9.2%

Water Reuse

Total Volume of Water
Recycled and Reused

2015 2016
20.4* 19.2

*Value restated due to correction of reporting error in 2015 (+118%).

Percentage of Water Recycled and Reused
(total water recycled and reused / total water withdrawal)

2015 2016
4.80% 5.21%

†Values in this table have been restated. See Reporting Practices and EH&S Overview for additional information.

Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater Treated and Released

2015 2016
56.3 53.4

†Values in this table have been restated. See Reporting Practices and EH&S Overview for additional information.

  • The Eco-Efficiency Easy Tool, now being used at all of our facilities to identify areas for improvement.
  • The Global Water Tool, developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, to determine which Xylem sites are located in water-stressed or water-scarce areas; this tool is being used at all sites with more than three employees.
  • Tools to help decrease water use across our supply chain, including a water footprint calculation tool and a pilot sustainability audit program for suppliers in water-stressed basins.

Our Emmaboda, Sweden, factory has taken a leading role in water-reduction efforts. The plant is planning to decrease water consumption by using heat pumps instead of water to cool one of its processes. This project alone will drive a reduction of 20 percent of the water savings we plan to achieve by 2019.

2016 Water Performance
Our water-reduction initiatives resulted in a 10.3 percent decrease in water intensity from 2015 to 2016. This is a 9.2 percent decrease from our 2014 baseline. Additional 2016 water-reduction projects include the installation of a dry cooling system at our Montecchio, Italy, plant; eliminating water leakage at our Slaton, Texas, plant; and the sale and closure of two manufacturing facilities. We continue to work toward our goal to achieve a 25-percent reduction in water intensity by 2019. An ongoing challenge is to identify tangible water-reduction initiatives that can be deployed across our many facilities where water use varies greatly.

Xylem also recognizes the risk caused by neglecting wastewater management. All Xylem sites meet or exceed national, local and our own requirements for the return of clean and safe wastewater back into public water streams. To help meet these standards, a number of our manufacturing sites have installed onsite wastewater treatment systems. In 2016, we treated and released 53.4 megaliters back into the environment.