2017 Sustainability Report

From left, Ryan Thorpe and Rachel Chang, two students from New York, hold the 2017 Stockholm Junior Water Prize award presented by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Photo courtesy of Jonas Borg, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

Sustainability Approach

Stakeholder Engagement

Xylem’s tagline is an inclusive invitation: Let’s Solve Water. Addressing the many water challenges our planet faces is a huge and vital undertaking that calls for collaboration and teamwork to leverage the technology-enabled solutions that are available today and will be developed tomorrow.

As the title of this report emphasizes, we believe this work represents the opportunity of a lifetime to have a positive, lasting impact on the global and local communities in which we operate. We utilize a variety of resources and tactics to foster two-way communications with our many stakeholders.

At Xylem, we identify a key stakeholder group as one that is critical to our business and strategy and a core partner in our growth and sustainability efforts. We work to engage our key stakeholder groups regularly, as well as considering broader society by including stakeholders such as certification and regulatory agencies, sustainability and financial rating agencies, and associations and non-governmental organizations. We reach out to and engage our stakeholders in many ways, with a focus on our key stakeholders.

For Xylem employees who work around the globe, we regularly distribute communications and conduct town halls and webcasts on our business strategy and results, as well as many different issues and topics of interest. These are translated into multiple languages to help foster a “one company” culture.

For customers and end users, we publish news about our products and services through a variety of media channels, original research, white papers and case studies, a customer-focused digital magazine, Making Waves, and a quarterly magazine, Mission: Water, which features stories about scientists, environmentalists and the various challenges they work to solve. We also conduct voice-of-customer interviews and customer satisfaction surveys to learn more about their needs and their perceptions of our company and our products. In 2016, we rolled out the Net Promoter Score (NPS) tool as an additional means of measuring customer satisfaction, and we continue to employ that today.

We also collaborate with other business and industry leaders through a variety of forums. Xylem is a member of several water-industry and sustainability-related organizations, and we participate in and sponsor leading industry events.


Throughout 2017, we engaged in a variety of forums, conferences, programs and projects with our stakeholders to advance our shared mission of water sustainability. Here is a sampling of engagement activities in 2017:

At the Global Water Summit 2017, Xylem CEO Patrick Decker participated in the CEO Forum to discuss issues facing the global water sector, including the impact of globalization and the digital revolution, and share perspectives on the role of advanced technologies in advancing the water sector’s migration to smart infrastructure.

At the Global Water Summit 2017, Mike Otten, director of Xylem’s Systems Intelligence Center of Excellence participated in the digital strategy panel discussion. Topics included the internet of thing (IoT), scalability and security of digital platforms, and the role of water digitization in smart cities.

Xylem sponsored SMART CITIES NYC ’17, the first conference and expo that curated the intersection of technology and urban life. Xylem President and CEO Patrick Decker participated in a panel discussion entitled, Does Bigger Data Mean Better Living?, during which speakers discussed the role of big data governance processes in relation to quality of life, economic development and the city ecosystem.

Xylem participated in the American Water Works Association’s annual ACE conference as well as the Water Environment Federation’s annual WEFTEC conference. At WEFTEC, Xylem convened a Smart Water Leaders Luncheon for customers and industry stakeholders to discuss the role smart water will play in smart cities of the future.

Working with the Smart Cities Council, Xylem’s Sensus business provided substantial in-kind donations for the five winning cities of the White House-sponsored Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge Grant. The company donated a fully equipped FlexNet® communications network to each of the cities and conducted customized readiness workshops in each city.

At World Water Week 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden, Xylem co-convened a forum entitled: “Data Drought: An Assessment of Global Hydrological Monitoring Systems” along with Duke University, the Aspen Institute and the University of Oxford.

The multistakeholder discussion assessed the severe decline in critical global water monitoring infrastructure, explored the challenges and solutions to upscaling this infrastructure as well as the implications of nonaction, and defined the next steps for collaboration. The session was led by Albert Cho, who at the time was vice president of strategy and business development for Xylem, and today serves as vice president and general manager of Xylem’s Advanced Infrastructure Analytics business.

Xylem co-convened a second workshop at this event entitled: “Powering the Wastewater Renaissance: Emissions Reduction in Wastewater Management” with the European Water Association and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. This session was co-led by Randolf Webb, manager, strategy and vertical marketing for Xylem’s Europe Commercial Team, and Aleksandra Lazic, senior process engineer and team leader for Xylem’s treatment business.

At World Water Week 2017, Albert Cho also participated in the “21st Century Technology: Bridging the Gap to Wastewater Reuse” workshop. The panel discussed the economic and environmental benefits of water reuse and how readily-available technologies can drive effective, financially successful reuse programs.

Xylem once again served as a founding sponsor of the Stockholm Water Prize, which was awarded to Professor Stephen McCaffrey from the University of the Pacific in California, USA.

For the 21st consecutive year, Xylem served as the Founding Sponsor of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize international competition. It also sponsors the country-level competition in the U.S., Sweden and China.

Xylem’s Sensus business hosted its annual Sensus ReachSM Conference, which convenes thought leaders and industry experts to share best practices, learn from peers and determine how they can leverage technology to transform their infrastructure.