This Earth Day marks a pivotal chapter in the global effort to address the climate crisis. For the past two years, the world’s attention has been dominated by the pandemic, yet water levels continued to rise, and our planet continued to get warmer – putting more people and communities at risk.
As the world begins to emerge from the global health crisis, there is a powerful opportunity to intensify the focus on how the global community can drive progress. Now is the time to act boldly, innovate broadly and implement action equitably, so we can preserve our planet and build a more sustainable future for all.
At Xylem, we are committed to playing our part. In our work to solve water, we are collaborating with customers and partners to transform communities around the world – through innovative solutions that address water challenges more effectively and efficiently while reducing carbon emissions, and through creative partnerships that build much needed awareness around critical water issues. We have developed an ecosystem of employees, suppliers, customers and NGO partners who share in our vision of creating a more sustainable world.
Below are some of the ways we are partnering to drive real and meaningful change in our journey to help solve the world’s water challenges.
Helping communities use water more sustainably is central to our business and our mission to help our customers and their communities address their water and infrastructure problems. Advanced digital solutions can help water systems solve water more effectively and efficiently, delivering powerful water, energy and cost efficiencies. For example, smart sensors and leak detection tools can prevent water losses at scale, particularly when coupled with data and analytics. Read how one utility in Big Sky, Montana, used real-time data to detect leaks faster here.
Digital technologies also recently helped one utility in Cincinnati, Ohio, reduce sewer overflow volumes by 247 million gallons per year. Using a combination of sensors, weather data and insights from our team of hydroinformatics engineers, the real-time decision support system prevented the discharge of combined sewage into the Ohio River. This delivered transformative environmental benefits to the community. Read how the "smart sewer" technology helped the City become more sustainable here.
A green future is a prosperous future. As part of our commitment to advancing sustainability, we are adopting innovative green finance practices, which place sustainability further at the core of how our company creates economic and social value. In our most recent green finance development, we were the anchor client for an innovative product from Goldman Sachs that links interest rates to our sustainability performance. Read more about our green finance evolution here.
Global water utilities account for approx. 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) – the equivalent of the world’s shipping industry. As a company dedicated to solving the world’s most complex water challenges through product development and innovation, we have a role to play in leading the water industry’s Race to Zero. Our recent paper outlines some of the ways utilities can get started on their race to zero and the high-efficiency technologies that can accelerate their path to a zero-carbon future. Read more about our approach to reducing carbon emissions here.
Micropollutants in water supply sources are a growing problem for water utilities. The Dutch water utility, Dunea, wanted to reduce micropollutants in its water, while also keeping bromate levels below recommended World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Xylem and the utility developed a world-first advanced oxidation process (AOP) system for water containing bromide, capable of reducing contaminants by up to 90%. Read how the innovative solution delivers fresh drinking water to more than 1.3 million people in the Netherlands here.
When the Orly drinking water treatment plant in Paris, France, needed to modernize its existing treatment systems to guarantee the supply of quality drinking water, they turned to Xylem to identify a sustainable remedy. Through a custom solution that included treatment and analysis technologies, the plant upgraded its existing pumping station to strengthen its treatment capabilities and reduce energy consumption. Read how the advanced solution helped Eau de Paris become more sustainable and water safe here.
Much of our work to solve water also revolves around creating economic and social value through our humanitarian work with Xylem Watermark. As part of our 2025 Sustainability Goals, we aim to provide access to clean water and sanitation solutions for people living in underserved communities, and collaborating with our NGO partner, Mercy Corps is central to this mission. Through this partnership, we’re actively solving water for crisis-affected communities around the world. Read more about the collective impact we’ve made here.
Our partnerships also extend beyond solving today’s water challenges. To drive real and lasting change, we need to look to the future and to those who will lead it. That’s why we’ve partnered with Manchester City Football Club for four years running. By tapping into their global fan base, we can ignite the passion and creativity of our youth and help develop the next generation of water innovators. Learn more about how we are helping young people bring bold and bright ideas to life in a collective mission to solve water here.