2017 Sustainability Report

Sustainability Approach

Sustainability Strategy

Our strategy to address economic, social and environmental issues starts at the top with our Board of Directors and is implemented throughout the company with all employees helping to advance our sustainability practices and impact.

The Xylem Board of Directors has primary responsibility for overall risk and strategy oversight for the company, which includes areas that impact Xylem’s sustainability efforts. The Board has delegated responsibility for direct oversight of the company’s sustainability program to the Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee, except for our offerings-related strategies, which are reviewed by the Finance, Innovation & Technology Committee. The Nominating and Governance Committee regularly receives updates on sustainability from management and provides updates to the full Board of Directors.

Our senior leadership team members, under the direction of our President and CEO Patrick Decker, lead businesses, sales teams and functional areas with the intent of building an enduring and successful company. Increasingly, these areas are better integrating sustainability into their strategies to accelerate innovation, sell our products and services, and grow our business, while at the same time contributing to the local and global communities in which we operate. Ultimately, our growth strategies are designed to position Xylem as a leader in the global water technology space.

The Xylem Sustainability Steering Committee comprises representatives from multiple geographies, businesses and functions within Xylem who meet quarterly to guide and drive our sustainability efforts and monitor progress against our sustainability goals.

Our leaders, frontline managers and employees are accountable for safe, ethical, environmentally responsible and forward-looking actions that support our sustainability goals. To support them in this mission, Xylem provides training in the areas of environment and safety, Code of Conduct, continuous improvement — which includes Lean and Six Sigma curriculum — and career and leadership development.

Xylem’s Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) team includes more than 250 full- and part-time employees working at the site level to enact sustainability practices and provide employee training — primarily in the areas of environmental protection and workplace safety. In the past year, Xylem also added roles in supply chain and product development with a specific focus on driving sustainable practices.


Climate change both positively and negatively impacts portions of our business in several ways.

According to research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change will intensify risks associated with water availability and quality. Moreover, the transport, treatment and use of both clean water and wastewater are significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Xylem’s Climate Change Policy outlines our commitment to developing mitigation and adaptation solutions to the water-related challenges associated with climate change through our products, operations, corporate citizenship and social investment, and stakeholder engagement.

Furthermore, in June 2017 following the announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, Xylem issued a statement reiterating our commitment to doing our part, as a citizen of the global community, to advance the vital work of addressing the realities of climate change.

Xylem helps mitigate the effects of climate change by providing products that aid customers in reducing their own environmental footprint by reducing their energy and other resource consumption needs. Our company also helps customers to adapt to the effects of climate change, strengthening their communities’ resilience, particularly with regard to the increasing number of extreme weather events, such as flooding events and drought conditions.

“These challenges are too complex for any one entity to solve. We firmly believe that there is a role for governments at all levels, private industry, academia and individual innovators to play in creating the practical solutions and innovative technologies that will be needed to help communities across the globe both mitigate the impacts of climate change and adapt to its resulting effects, such as prolonged drought and increased flooding.“

– Xylem President & CEO Patrick Decker

For example, Xylem’s analytics products can help communities prevent or minimize the destruction of infrastructure when extreme weather events occur. The portfolio, which includes intelligent sensors, platforms and systems that measure water quality, level and flow, provides real-time information that can act as an early warning system to enable communities to prepare for emergent problems. In addition, our Godwin dewatering pumps are used to help remove and/or redirect unwanted water caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods.

Similarly, drought conditions drive higher demand for pumps used in agricultural and turf irrigation applications, such as those provided by our Goulds Water Technology and Lowara brands. We also provide treatment solutions to enable communities to recycle wastewater for direct and indirect potable water use. This includes the world’s first large-scale ultraviolet/chlorine process to treat wastewater to drinking water standards at the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant in Los Angeles. Water reuse is a proven solution that can help meet growing water demand, while safeguarding existing water supplies.

Ultimately, our sustainability strategies are designed to position Xylem as a leader in the global water technology space.