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A Message from Patrick Decker

“Water connects everyone. Whether you are a scientist or an artist, it will connect you. Whether you are rich or poor, old or young. Wherever you live, however you live, you care about water.”


These powerful words are from leading water entrepreneur, Luis Montestruque, who joined Xylem in 2018, and they reflect why our company is so passionate about helping the world solve its water challenges.

Water security is critical to life and to creating a more sustainable world. As a leading global water technology company, we believe that means we have a special responsibility, and opportunity, to help solve intensifying water challenges around the world.

Due to severe weather patterns from climate change, urbanization, pollution and other factors, global water threats like affordability, scarcity and resilience are escalating like never before, putting millions of lives at risk and holding back social and economic progress:

  • Three out of 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water.1
  • Six out of 10 people do not have access to safely managed sanitation services.2
  • Over the past 50 years, economic losses related to extreme hydro-meteorological events, such as floods, droughts and storms, have increased by nearly 50 times.3

Yet despite these urgent challenges, we at Xylem have never been more optimistic about the future of water. Bold digital technologies harnessing data and analytics are driving step change in water management, enabling utilities and other water operators to deliver dramatic water and energy efficiencies, while improving impact on local ecosystems and saving water systems – and the communities they serve – billions of dollars.

Luis and the company he created exemplify the historic transformation underway in the water sector and what it means for building a more sustainable earth. As a graduate student at Notre Dame, he teamed with his university mentors to apply sensing technologies originally designed for military use to solve environmental problems. Later, he formed a startup called EmNet and went on to revolutionize the way cities manage stormwater, leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to prevent billions of gallons of polluted water from entering local waterways, while creating cost-savings for municipalities and taxpayers. Learn how EmNet solutions worked for South Bend, Indiana

Through our leading-edge solutions and across our organization, Xylem is strongly focused on our commitment to sustainability and to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a framework of global commitments to create a fairer and more sustainable world by 2030.

To advance SDG 6 – “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”4 – we are providing technologies and solutions that help solve water issues for millions of people living in extreme poverty. We also create social value through our humanitarian efforts, by delivering clean water drinking systems, disaster response and WASH education to communities facing severe water challenges.

In addition, Xylem has a focused strategy to help combat the effects of climate change. We develop mitigation and adaptation solutions that are helping improve the efficiency of the water sector and increasing resilience to the water-related challenges associated with climate change. We have also set ambitious operational targets for our own organization related to climate change.

This report spotlights our efforts to advance sustainability in 2018 and introduces our new ambitious slate of 2025 goals and new framework to catalyze and measure our progress.

We are driving sustainability across three fronts:

First, we are serving our customers by leveraging industry-leading technologies and innovation to provide commercial solutions that allow water operators to optimize the way they manage water: creating major water, energy and cost savings, which in turn are making water more affordable and accessible to people around the world and making communities more resilient.

Second, we are building a sustainable company by harnessing our strong financial foundation, which allows us to create both economic and social value, and by operating with integrity, promoting diversity and inclusion, minimizing our environmental footprint, and partnering with suppliers and organizations that share our values.

Third, we are empowering communities by delivering social impact. We do this through humanitarian efforts that include providing disaster response and clean drinking water systems to communities in need, educating and raising awareness about water challenges, and inspiring the next generation of water stewards. By tapping into the passion of our 17,000+ employee and stakeholder volunteers, we are creating social impact for communities around the globe. Learn more about our Watermark programs.

As Luis said so powerfully, “Water connects everyone.” The world now has the opportunity of a lifetime to help transform this most precious resource for everyone – and we are working with our customers, partners and communities to seize it.

Let’s come together to solve water, and let’s create a more water-secure, sustainable and equitable world.


Patrick Decker
President and CEO
Xylem Inc.