Operations

operations-hero-2021.jpg

In order to serve our customers and provide a sustainable future, we must first strengthen our own resiliency. Recent years have been challenging like no others before for Xylem and all companies around the world, where the importance of a strong foundation combined with the ability to be agile and responsive to changing customer needs, proved critical.

Xylem’s 2025 Sustainability Goals for Operations and Safety

  • 100 percent Renewable Energy at major facilities*
  • 100 percent Process Water recycling at major facilities*
  • Achieve zero waste to landfill from processes at major facilities*
  • Reduce injury frequency rate** to an incident rate of 0.5 or below
  • Develop 1.5°C science-based targets for GHG reduction (Scope 1, 2, 3)

We have been consistently planning and investing in our facilities to further reduce overall energy and water consumption, as well as in reducing the waste we generate and dispose in landfills in order to reach our goals. We are making significant progress, from identifying our highest-emitting activities to engaging employees across our company to adopt a more energy-water-waste efficient mindset. Consistent lowering in the volume of water we use in our operations and growing its recycle and reuse, reduced amount of energy usage, relevant increase in the renewable electricity we procure or generate for our operations or reduction in the amount of waste makes evident our effort and commitment to our 2025 goals.

In addition to responsible water use practices in our facilities, our commitment to watershed stewardship is reflected in our operations in water-stressed areas. Several activities in our operations on those areas have been implemented to reduce our water usage, for example, in our Santiago, Chile location the site have been investing in water efficient devices like toilets, faucets or showers while others like our Chihuahua, México factory has been treating and reusing the water being used in our processes of sanitizing or testing products. During 2022, the site recycled and reused approximately 113,000 Gallons.

In 2022 we achieved a 4.5 percent reduction in our Injury Frequency Rates and 8.4 percent on our Injury Severity Rate. Also 80 percent of Xylem sites worldwide achieved zero injuries and/or illnesses. This is an achievement we are proud of as it is a clear marker of successful collaboration with team members to reduce risk and promote a positive safety culture. By tracking leading safety indicators, we hold sites accountable in order to continue to help drive down incident frequency and severity.

Learn more about our progress in our 2022 Sustainability report 

*Major facilities defined on page 25  **Injury frequency rate defined on page 34.

Jay-Harf-Portrait.jpg"Our passion for the safety of our colleagues and treating the earth as if we want to stay are pillars of who we are, what we do and how we do it.

These global values are our license to operate so that we may solve water for our customers."


Jay Harf
Vice President
Environment, Health & Safety

Progress Towards Our Goals

Renewable energy:

During 2022 77% of our major facilities reached our 2025 Renewable Energy Goal.

Comparing vs 2019, in 2022 we procured 46%+ more energy from renewable sources to be used in our operations. We also generated 29% more solar energy in house. During 2022 we operated solar generation systems in Argentina, China, Germany, Sweden, UAE and United States. 

Water Recycling and usage: 

During 2022 54% of our major facilities reached our 2025 Process Water Recycling Goal.

Comparing vs 2019, in 2022 reduction of 26%+ on water usage and 4x increase in recycle and reuse were achieved. Water efficiency activities were implemented across the company in sites such as Texarkana USA, Shenyang China, and Emmaboda Sweden. The type of projects varied and most were focused on treating and reusing testing, washing or painting processes water.   

Waste to landfill:

During 2022 54% of our major facilities reached our 2025 Waste to Landfill Goal.

Comparing vs 2019, in 2022 a reduction of 36%+ on waste sent to landfill was achieved.

The foundry sand recycling project in Slaton USA drove the improvement.

Shenyang Plant Achieved Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electricity during 2022

Shenyang Plant Achieved Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electricity during 2022

Nicknamed China’s “green factory" in 2019, the Shenyang plant has taken a monumental step toward improved sustainability by harnessing wind energy to reduce its GHG emissions. This allowed Shenyang to reduce its emissions by 2247 tons of GHG (CO2e). To achieve Xylem’s 2025 goals while also working closely with local authorities and regional partners, the majority of electricity consumption at the plant in 2022 originated from clean and renewable sources.

Strong winds in the north of China make wind power a reliable and sustainable option in the area. At the same time, due to the short hours of daylight and cold weather, solar power is not as well suited to local conditions. 

Facility in Water-Stressed Chihuahua, Mexico, Implements Responsible Water Use Practices

Facility in Water-Stressed Chihuahua, Mexico, Implements Responsible Water Use Practices

Some of our facilities treat non-potable water without the use of chemicals to independently verify drinking water standards through continuous remote monitoring, allowing us to adjust treatment as necessary. For example, our facility in Chihuahua, Mexico, is located in a region of high-risk to water-stresses. This facility uses Xylem products to enhance the quality of reused water in a pump washing water recirculation loop. In 2022, it was estimated that 113,000 gallons were reused on such processes.

Zero process waste to landfill for some sites in China, India, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, UAE, United States, and United Kingdom

Zero process waste to landfill for some sites in China, India, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, UAE, United States, and United Kingdom

To minimize the amount of waste being sent to landfills and incinerators, we work with our waste contractors to direct materials to be recycled and reused to the extent feasible. We also implement internal activities such as Point Kaizens and other continuous improvement initiatives to eliminate or reduce waste from our operations. Since 2014, we have improved waste reduction reporting by our facilities, internal waste reduction efforts and cooperation with our outside partners. 

12 of our sites — Auburn, USA; Calamba, Phillipines, Chihuahua, Mexico,  Dubai, UAE; Emmaboda, Sweden; Herford, Germany; Montecchio, Italy; Nanjing, China; Quenington, UK; Shenyang, China; Texarkana, USA, Vadodara, India — have already achieved our 2025 Goal of zero process waste to landfill, mainly due to a large scale recycle/reuse program implemented on site supported by the locally available infrastructure.

Sustainable packaging in USA, Mexico, Sweden, and Italy

Sustainable packaging in USA, Mexico, Sweden, and Italy

We estimate that more than 75 percent of the packaging material used at Xylem is recyclable, reusable or compostable. Five major facilities (Auburn, New York, USA; Chihuahua, Mexico; Emmaboda, Sweden; Montecchio, Italy; and Morton Grove, Illinois, USA) accounting for approximately 50 percent of the total packaging material cost, were selected to pilot a robust sustainable packaging plan to be replicated across the organization. To promote sustainability in our product packaging, we also launched an enterprise-wide Sustainability Packaging Task Force to guide our global strategy. 

Key components of the strategy include:

  • Packaging material content. Utilizing certified renewable content (chain of custody certification) for our product packaging. This provides confirmation that Xylem’s packaging materials come from environmentally and socially responsible sources.
  • Packaging filler. Using recyclable material for packaging filler, eliminating the use of foam and reducing the use of plastics.
  • Digitalize product instruction manuals. Delivering available technical information to our customers through a QR code, reducing waste and applying available technology to access to that information.
  • Sustainable ink. Using inks free of substances of high concern, heavy metals or other undesirable components is a visible way to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable packaging for our customers.