A Message From Our Chairman
Every Friday I read a summary of the week’s news relating to water scarcity and its impact on people, industries and economies all over the world. In less than 20 years, the world will need about 40 percent more water than today’s accessible supply to maintain food production, generate electricity and provide clean drinking water. From California to Brazil to China, it’s very clear that water availability has become a major concern.
At the same time, I also see a growing resolve to transform the way business operates. Our customers are intensely focused on reducing their use of water and other precious natural resources, and all around the world, Ecolab associates are working hard to help them achieve their goals.
The need for action is urgent—and Ecolab has the knowledge and the capabilities to drive positive action. We are on the ground at more than one million customer locations globally, applying our innovative technology, our precise data capabilities and our unmatched service to help our customers do more with less.
Our 1,600 research, development and engineering associates are continuously developing new products and services to further our ability to help our customers, introducing more than 85 new innovative solutions in 2014, our largest pipeline ever. We assess every product we design against our sustainability criteria and we are focused on delivering solutions that use less water and less energy while generating less waste.
The breadth of our business uniquely positions us to help mitigate risks and reduce environmental impacts across the entire value chain, from the processing of raw materials and ingredients, to production and manufacturing, to the delivery of goods and services. From foundational elements to everyday products and experiences, we remain focused on providing and protecting what is vital: clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments.
In 2014, we strengthened our commitment to do more as a company to minimize our impact on the environment, setting aggressive new goals to reduce water, energy, effluent and waste across our global operations. Holding our company to higher standards, we deployed a global initiative to improve operational efficiency and performance so that we can make significant strides toward our sustainability goals in 2015.
Last year we also launched Solutions for Life, our global giving program. Solutions for Life enhances our mission to conserve water and improve hygiene around the world through collaborations with NGOs, global philanthropy and employee volunteerism. It’s another way we can leverage our resources and expertise to conserve water where we live and work.
Ultimately it is the ability of our associates to solve problems, their commitment to serving our customers and their belief in our purpose that makes Ecolab a powerful force for positive change. Our company was built on our dedication to finding the answers to complex problems. Today, we have even more important problems to solve for our customers. And our people are showing every day that they are up to the challenge. We are proud of the work we do to help ensure a future where businesses, the environment and society can thrive.
Douglas M. Baker, Jr.
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer