Gretchen McClain, President and Chief Executive Officer, Xylem
Like all companies, we at Xylem spend a lot of time and effort figuring out how to generate value. In the end, the way we define value is what defines us as a company.
Here at Xylem, we are determined to find the right balance between economic and social value. That means we build and sell products our customers need – products that efficiently move, treat and test water so that it can be safely returned to the environment for future use. Our portfolio of water technology, information and services makes us unique in the market, and fuels an attractive business model.
At the same time, we want to make the world a better place – through our commercial endeavors and through our citizenship efforts.
Simply put, our goal is to do well by doing good.
As one of the world's leading water technology companies, everything we do is about sustainability. Without a reliable, affordable, energy-efficient flow of water...
... businesses can't operate
... crops can’t grow
... communities can't thrive
... countries can't build strong economies, and
... our planet can't sustain life
That's not overstating the case. And that's why we take our commitment to sustainability so seriously.
For Xylem, sustainability is defined in two ways. First, we aim to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. We're balancing today's and tomorrow's needs in some important and innovative ways.
With our new “Essence of Life” initiative, we're developing water delivery systems for small rural farmers and people at the bottom of the global economic pyramid. This represents a new market for us today. As we improve these customers' access to water, their lives will improve, they will move up the economic ladder and hopefully need more sophisticated Xylem products in the future.
And with our Xylem Watermark corporate citizenship and social investment program, we're bringing sustainable water solutions to schools and communities around the world. We're meeting urgent, day-to-day needs for clean, safe water. In this way we are enhancing the ability of future generations to stay healthy and make their contribution to society.
The second definition of sustainability is generating value for Xylem shareowners by controlling risks and addressing environmental and socio-economic issues.
Global water shortages are a growing concern, so we offer water re-use solutions. Energy resources are becoming scarce, so we build our pumping solutions to be more energy-efficient and use renewable energy sources where feasible. Corporate reputation is a fragile thing, so we conduct regular ethics and compliance training and environment, safety & health audits at our sites.
In everything we do, we strive for strong results today and even better results tomorrow. That's how you run a successful business. It requires a long-term view with an understanding that the more we do for our world, the better we do for ourselves. We are proud of our results but we are on a journey that continues to challenge us to improve every day.