A Message From Our Chairman

At Ecolab, sustainability is not simply the way we do business — it’s core to our purpose.

Protecting people and vital resources is core to our purpose at Ecolab. More than just our vision for the future, we deliver results today that make the world cleaner, safer and healthier.

As the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, we help our customers meet their sustainability goals at more than one million locations around the world.

In 2012, we strengthened our ability to serve our customers and society by completing our integration with Nalco, the leader in industrial water and energy solutions. Our combined team of more than 23,000 sales-and-service representatives delivers a broad range of solutions that help provide clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments on a global scale.

"Our combined team of more than 23,000 sales-and-service representatives delivers a broad range of solutions that help provide clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments on a global scale."

While we take the improved efficiency of our internal operations very seriously, we know our greatest impact is external. Our own environmental footprint is small in comparison to the exponential savings our solutions achieve for our customers. As an example, a 1 percent water savings for customers in just five of our North American business segments is 768 times more than a 1 percent water savings in our own North American operations.

As a result, our sustainability strategy remains squarely focused on the innovation, service and results we provide our customers. Our approach is called Total Impact, and it means that we take a holistic view of the environmental, economic and social impact of our offerings. We consider how each solution increases efficiency, minimizes use of natural resources and improves safety — from sourcing, to manufacturing, to use and through disposal.

"We consider how each solution increases efficiency, minimizes use of natural resources and improves safety — from sourcing, to manufacturing, to use and through disposal."

In 2012, we continued to offer our customers innovations that helped them do more with less, including:

• Launching Apex2™, our next generation warewashing program, which delivers superior cleaning results while reducing water and energy use for customers.

• Launching Aquanomic™, a laundry system that reduces water use by up to 40 percent and energy use by up to 50 percent.

• Introducing Nalco’s 3D TRASAR technology to many Ecolab customers, a technology that combines chemistry, remote services and monitoring and control to help customers improve efficiency while reducing water and energy use.

• Reducing packaging waste and transportation costs for customers in additional industries by replacing liquid chemistries with solids.

• Employing Ecolab’s peracetic acid chemistry in our Energy Services Division to remove iron and microorganisms from the water produced in shale gas recovery, allowing unconventional oil and gas producers to recycle process water and reduce overall water use.

Ecolab has a particularly vital role to play in addressing the world’s water scarcity challenges, as we support many of the most water-intensive industries on the planet. We were named the 2012 Water Technology Company of the Year by Global Water Intelligence, and continue to expand our portfolio of solutions that help customers improve water quality and reduce water use.

We also are working to establish new standards for comprehensive water resource management through our partnership with the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS).

Last year, we committed to road testing with our customers the new AWS International Water Stewardship Standard, which provides water management guidance to businesses within their operations and watersheds.

Although our primary focus is with our customers, we strive to walk our talk within our own facilities and operations. To that end, we have set new goals to reduce energy, emissions, water, waste and wastewater over the next five years. Our updated environmental goals build upon the success both legacy companies had achieved toward their previous goals.

We are equally committed to transparency in reporting our internal sustainability performance. Ecolab was included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the first time in 2012, and we were again recognized by the Carbon Disclosure

Project’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index and as one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute. You can find more information about our internal sustainability performance in the Appendix of this report.

"Our true impact can only be understood through the sustainable business value we deliver to our customers."

But Ecolab’s operational data doesn’t begin to tell the full story. Our true impact can only be understood through the sustainable business value we deliver to our customers, which is why you will see their stories highlighted in the pages that follow. I invite you to learn more about the impact we are having through our service to customers in communities around the world

Sincerely,

Douglas M. Baker, Jr.

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

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Listen as Ecolab Chairman and CEO Doug Baker explains the growing reality of water scarcity around the world, and the opportunities for business to conserve, reuse and recycle water.

Click here to view Baker's keynote address at the 2013 Corporate Eco Forum Annual Meeting. During his remarks, Baker offered his perspective on water and the steps companies can take now to reduce the impact of serious water-related risks in the future.

Click here to read Baker's remarks from his Executives' Club of Chicago keynote address in May of 2013 regarding water shortages, stewardship and strategies business and industry can employ to mitigate risk. 

Click here to view Baker's presentation "Our Water Future" from the Midwest U.S.-Japan Trade Conference.