As a leading global water technology company, Xylem is dedicated to solving the world’s most challenging water issues. As a part of this mission, Xylem Watermark, the company’s corporate citizenship platform, was founded ten years ago. The program is an integral part of realizing Xylem’s vision: a world where water issues are no longer a barrier to human health, prosperity and sustainable development.
The mission of Xylem Watermark is to provide and protect safe water resources for communities around the world and educate people about water issues. This is accomplished in two main ways: We work with nonprofit partners on sustainable development projects that provide and protect safe water resources for communities around the world, and we engage our employees to volunteer their time and money to support water solutions in their own communities.
In 2018, more than 7,500 of Xylem’s employee base volunteered in 39 countries, participated in over 730 events, working with local nonprofit organizations committed to water-related issues in their communities. Employees logged more than 53,600 volunteer hours in 2018, participating in activities aimed at providing and protecting safe water resources in communities and educating people about water issues. Activities included cleaning and restoring local waterways, teaching children water monitoring and planting vegetation to protect shorelines from erosion and salinization.
As part of a three year service-focused initiative completed in 2018, the company reported that 45% of Xylem employees volunteered in 2018. According to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s (CECP) 2018 Giving in Numbers report, which gathers insights and data from over 300 companies, the minimum participation rate to be considered in the top quartile of companies was 42%, placing Xylem alongside best-in-class company’s committed to volunteer service.
In 2018, Watermark partnered with six global nonprofits: Planet Water Foundation, EarthEcho International, MercyCorps, Water for People, Fundación Avina and Chinese Women’s Development Foundation. With each partner, we are implementing unique and impactful water- and sanitation-related programs that are made possible through Xylem Watermark monetary contributions and volunteers. Xylem provides funding, expertise, in-kind equipment donations and employee volunteers who help our partners implement their programs, and we perform continuous evaluation of partners’ progress and impact. Xylem and our partners achieved important milestones in 2018, continuing to increase our impact around the world.
Providing clean water and WASH education to schools and communities in India and Peru.
Building innovative water towers to provide clean water and WASH education to schools and communities in South East Asia.
Protecting clean water through disaster risk reduction and responding to water-related emergencies around the world.
Building water cisterns to provide clean water and WASH education to schools and communities in Latin America.
Providing schools throughout China with improved sanitation and clean water sources.
As a founding sponsor of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Xylem continues year after year to drive innovation through youth education in the water technology space. SJWP gathers young talent from all over the world, encouraging their passion for water and sustainability issues. Overall, the competition draws more than 10,000 entries from over 30 countries.
All of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize finalists bring enormous energy and focus to this event along with their innovative ideas. Their passion to solve water issues that may be close to home or across the globe is powerful and deeply inspiring. Each year, we are awed by their impressive work, which pushes the boundaries of what’s possible and makes us so proud to support this unique competition and this new generation of water innovators and champions.
As part of Xylem’s efforts to raise public awareness of water challenges and engage youth, we launched an agreement in 2018 with Premiere League champions, the Manchester City Football Club and New York City Football Club partnerships. The goal of this initiative is to harness the power of football to engage youngsters in the value of water and water conservation. Teaming with our partner Premier League football team Manchester City’s foundation, Cityzens Giving, football fans, volunteers and the community, Xylem conducted a WASH education program with youth football clinics and installed a clean drinking water tower build in Bangalore, India, after more than 450,000 fans voted for the project. There are further plans to extend this program across the globe. Xylem employees have also partnered with New York City Football Club employees and fans to conduct a water education session, together with a football clinic, in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Harlem.
Xylem is honored to have participated in the Cityzens Giving campaign, which is creating social impact by bringing together the power of football with the power of social good to tackle critical challenges and help youth around the globe. As part of our mission to solve water, our company is deeply committed to creating economic and social value. Over the past three years, Xylem colleagues showed a strong and united effort to make water safer, more accessible and more affordable for people and communities around the world. Now we will be building on this foundation with ambitious plans for our Watermark program in 2019.
As Chair of Xylem Watermark, I am proud to say that we helped millions of people throughout the world in the last 10 years of the program.
Xylem Watermark allows our employees and stakeholders to give back to our communities in many different ways, including skills-based volunteerism, education programs and donating employees’ time to water-related projects.
As an industry-leading water technology and solutions provider, we believe we have an incredible opportunity to create social impact by solving critical water challenges around the world and by volunteering to give back to our community. Our colleagues are also deeply committed to sustainability and social responsibility. We are passionate about delivering clean water and sanitation solutions for communities, and raising awareness and educating people about water issues.
In 2018, Watermark volunteer projects included building water towers around the world for communities that lack access to clean drinking water, providing solar-powered household filtration systems, testing water quality at locations across the globe, educating thousands of students about water hygiene, cleaning up community lakes and countless other activities, with more than 730 programs or events throughout the year.
A sincere thank you to all of our volunteers, and to the Watermark Ambassadors and Champions at each Xylem location who lead these efforts and activities.
Joe Vesey is Xylem’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. He is also the Chair of Watermark and serves on the Board of Directors for the Water Reuse Association.