“Amid the challenges of COVID-19 in 2020, we came together across our organization and with our stakeholders in significant new ways — to create environmental, economic and social value, and advance a more sustainable and equitable world.”
Despite the many complexities of the global COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a year of progress for sustainability at Xylem. After launching our expanded sustainability strategy in 2019, we shifted our focus to the next phase of our sustainability journey: operationalizing sustainability across our business. With sustainability at our center, we pulled together across our organization and with our partners around the globe to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, as we continued to deliver on our sustainability commitment and took meaningful actions to increase our sustainability impact:
- We took steps to care for our colleagues, expanding safety and health protocols, extending healthcare and medical benefits, putting in place premium pay for all colleagues classified as essential workers, and expanding paid leave for those directly affected by COVID-19.
- We assisted communities through Xylem Watermark, our corporate social responsibility program, by supporting our non-profit partners in frontline COVID-19 response, producing and donating personal protective equipment (PPE) and providing WASH education (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene).
- We continued to advance our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, sharpening our focus on diversity recruiting, building our culture of inclusion, and increasing data transparency.
- We put sustainability again at the core of the company’s financing approach, launching our $1 billion green bond offering, the first of its kind for a U.S. industrial company.
- We reduced company water use intensity by nearly 10 percent versus 2019.
- We reduced total company net greenhouse gas emissions intensity by over 7 percent versus 2019.
- We committed to a sustainable fleet strategy to transition the global vehicle fleet to electric and hybrid.
- We launched a U.S. supplier diversity program.
- We increased transparency in our supply chain by engaging major suppliers to report into EcoVadis and CDP.
- We established the role of Chief Sustainability Officer, and augmented sustainability-linked compensation for an expanding group of colleagues.
As a global leader in water technology and smart infrastructure, we solve challenges across the water and wastewater cycles. It is a powerful vantage point that enables us a unique opportunity to bring stakeholders together to innovate and find new ways to benefit the environment, and provide humanitarian support to help communities facing the toughest water and economic challenges. The pandemic made the economic and social value of access to clean water, effective water networks and other critical infrastructure more apparent than ever. They are a potent driver of economic recovery, and a pre-requisite for human health and prosperity, and for a healthy environment. This gives Xylem and our stakeholders a unique opportunity to collaborate to create a more sustainable future for all.
Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Sustainability Officer