Ecolab Timeline

Decade by decade: How a single idea – a product for cleaning hotel carpets quickly and efficiently – started the growth of a global company helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges: ensuring clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments.


M.J. Osborn, age 44, launches his new company with one product and one employee. The enterprise struggles at first, until he recognizes the need for an effective detergent for the electric dishmachines that are becoming popular in commercial kitchens. He develops Soilax™, a product that becomes the leading dishwashing detergent and puts his new company on sound financial footing.

A decade of dreams and determination.

1923  M.J. Osborn founds Economics Laboratory, Inc., (EL) in St. Paul, Minnesota, with one employee, Ida Koran, hired to manage the office. He has one product, a carpet cleaner called Absorbit™. He rents three rooms on the sixth floor of the Endicott Building, but later in the year moves to the building’s basement “suite” that includes a small back room for production. Absorbit’s limited market potential becomes quickly apparent, sending M.J. looking for alternatives. Ida Koran stays with the company for more than 40 years.

1924  M.J. Osborn incorporates the company and acquires a non-sudsing cleaning compound from a University of Minnesota chemistry student, Leonard H. Englund. He discovers it works better than ordinary soap in the mechanical dishwashers restaurants are beginning to use. He calls the product Soilax™ (soil + lax = soil loosen), and with its launch, sets the company on course to become a leader in warewashing. Soilax is one of the first colored detergents ever developed. In dry form, it is pink. When mixed with water in the proper proportion, the solution turns green. If too much Soilax is added, it turns yellow, a warning the solution is too strong.

1925  Company moves to 2540 University Avenue, St. Paul.

1926  EL receives its first patent for Floroscene, a concentration indicator for Soilax.

1927 EL moves production operations to Chicago’s Crooks Terminal Building.

1928  EL patents its first detergent dispensing system for commercial dishwashing machines. This sets the stage for what the company later markets as a “total systems” approach to cleaning and sanitation.

1928  E.B. Osborn, one of M.J.’s two sons, joins EL after graduating from Dartmouth College. His brother, S.A., had joined the year earlier.

1929  Wall Street crash begins the Great Depression.

The early 1930s, when the Great Depression causes widespread economic distress, challenge Economics Laboratory (EL). But after two years of losses, the business rebounds and grows. Soilax dishmachine detergent continues to be a strong seller in the hospitality business, but consumers also are finding it effective for general cleaning. M.J. Osborn’s son, E.B. Osborn, plays a key role in the business. He shares his father’s commitment to service – and focuses his attention on developing a well-trained “consultant” sales force.

Overcoming Depression challenges, then finding solid footing.

1931  Dr. John “Doc” Wilson becomes EL’s first scientist; launches research department.

1932  Product demonstrations become standard part of sales.

1933  Depression hits EL hard; it operates at a loss – and nearly goes under.

1933  Satin Wax™ for floors is introduced, as the company broadens its product portfolio.

1933  EL moves to the Globe Building in downtown St. Paul.

1934  Soilax floor and wall cleaner is marketed to consumers through paint and hardware stores.

1934  EL returns to profitability after two years in the red. Makes profit of $98.

1934  E.B. Osborn is named national sales manager, with a sales force of 34.

1935  E.B. Osborn turns EL sales people into dishwashing consultants. They sell products, but also repair and maintain customers’ dishwashers, train kitchen employees, analyze dish-handling procedures and recommend ways to minimize breakage. They are on call 24 hours a day.

1936  EL enters the consumer market with Soilax, packaged for home use and sold through wholesale and retail groceries. 

1936  Calgon Corporation develops a superior automatic dishwashing detergent called Calgonite™, which incorporates a water-conditioning chemical that significantly reduces filmy deposits left by other detergents. M.J. Osborn persuades Calgon to make EL the exclusive distributor of Calgonite. Calgonite soon outsells Soilax. 

1936  MikroKlene™ germicidal rinse for dishes and glassware is developed. It is one of the first germicidal detergents on the market. 

1936  EL profits reach $760.

1936  EL scientists develop an improved dishmachine detergent, called Super Soilax™. EL ends Calgonite distribution. Calgon files a patent lawsuit related to Super Soilax, but EL wins. 

1937  EL sales force covers 35 U.S. cities.

1937  EL pays first dividend: $1 per share.

1939  Sales reach $500,000 per year.

1939  EL moves to the Guardian Building at 4th and Minnesota Streets in St. Paul, and adds a second manufacturing plant near Newark, New Jersey.

With World War II demanding people and resources, Economics Laboratory (EL) turns over one of its plants to war production and supplies a germicidal product for sanitizing soldiers’ mess kits to help prevent dysentery. On the home front, new products help expand the company’s growing consumer cleaning and sanitizing product line.

Helping save lives in wartime preserves the future for Economics Laboratory (EL). 

1942  Sales exceed $1 million.

1942  U.S. Army uses EL’s Lyndhurst, New Jersey, plant for war production. EL production moves to Brooklyn, New York.

1942  U.S. Army contracts with EL to produce MikroKlene™ germicidal rinse to combat dysentery. More than 30 million packages are delivered to Allied Forces during World War II for sterilizing troop mess kits. MikroKlene sales are credited with keeping the company going through four years of the war.

1942  E.B. Osborn is named vice president and general manager.

1944  New factory opens in Chicago.

1946  EL introduces its first electronic dispenser for commercial dishwashing machines.

1946  E.B. Osborn produces EL’s first sales film, “Dishwashing Dividends,” part of the company’s innovative approach to sales.

1948  EL introduces Glass Magic™ for use in mechanical, brush-type glass-washing machines.

1948  Future president Fred T. Lanners, Jr., joins EL as research chemist.

1948  EL invents rinse additive to speed dish drying.

1948  M.J. Osborn welcomes new employees with this message:

“What do we make? We all work together willingly to make nine of the world’s best cleaning products: SOILAX “A” and “B” for general cleaning; SUPER SOILAX and ELECTROSOL, for commercial and domestic dishwashing machines respectively; SOILAX “C,” also for mechanical dishwashing; TETROX for hand washing of glassware and dishes; PAN DANDY, a special de-greaser, wonderful for washing pots and pans; MIKRO-KLENE, a powder used in solution as a germicidal rinse for dishes and glassware; and GLASS MAGIC, a special product designed for use in mechanical brush-type glass-washing machines. Besides these, we produce special compounds for the U.S. Army and other government services… all of our products are aimed toward protecting the public health. And toward that end you are now working as one of us. This is a worthy – as well as profitable – enterprise. You can be proud to be associated with Economics Laboratory.” 

1949  EL introduces Electrasol™ dishwashing detergent for the consumer market; celebrates 25th anniversary.

For EL, the postwar period opens doors to exciting opportunities for growth in the U.S. – and for international expansion. Meanwhile new plants and new products provide additional capacity and new solutions to meet customer needs. In 1957, the Osborn family takes the company public with a 100,000-share offering of stock at $15 per share.

First steps toward globalization. 

1950  Company holds nearly 230 patents.

1951  M.J. Osborn is elected chairman of the board. E.B. Osborn is elected president.

1951  Dairy division is established.

1952  Dip-It™ stain remover is introduced.

1953  International operations begin: the Institutional division, serving the hospitality and lodging industry, begins selling in Canada and Hawaii.

1953  Finish™, a chlorinated dishwashing detergent, is introduced to the consumer market.

1953  EL opens its third plant, in Santa Clara, California. 

1954  EL introduces the first rinse injector system for automatic dishwashing as well as RinseDry™.

1954  EL sponsors TV’s “The Garry Moore Show.”

1954  EL’s sales, advertising and executive offices move to New York City.

1955  EL completes “Flying Saucers” and “Spotlight on Breakage,” films to aid the sales force.

1955  Strong business in Canada leads to formation of Canadian sales territory and a contract with a Canadian manufacturer to handle production. 

1956  Economics Laboratory (Canada) Ltd., is formed as a fully owned subsidiary.

1956  Soilax AB, a fully owned subsidiary, is formed in Stockholm, Sweden.

1957  Family-owned EL goes public with a 100,000-share offering at $15 a share. At the time, associates control at least 25 percent of company’s common stock. Earnings per share rise on average more than 15 percent annually for the next 20 years.

1957  New plant is completed in Chicago.

1957  Industrial division is established to market cleaning and sanitation products to customers in the industrial sector.

1957  Al Schuman, a future CEO, joins EL as a junior salesman in New York City.

1958  Consumer division introduces Liquid Soilax™.

1958  EL opens new plant in Dallas, Texas.

1958  Employee Stock Purchase Plan is adopted.

1958  EL expands into Mexico.

1959  EL plant opens in San Jose, California; Santa Clara plant is sold.

Sales rise quickly for Economics Laboratory (EL) in the U.S. and around the world – and with the company’s first significant acquisitions, it gains new capabilities and market opportunities. E.B. Osborn assumes leadership following his father’s death – and a new corporate headquarters building rises in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Acquiring new technologies, new markets and a new corporate headquarters.

1960  Founder M.J. Osborn dies at age 81.

1960  International division is created under the leadership of Fred T. Lanners, Jr., who would later become CEO.

1960  The company counts more than 700 patents held cumulatively over its history, a reflection of ongoing investment in innovation.

1961  EL acquires Beloit, Wisconsin-based Klenzade and its clean-in-place (CIP) technology. CIP eliminates dairy producers’ need to break down and hand wash their pipes and valves to clean them. Used with EL’s rinses and cleaning solutions, CIP allows dairy operators to clean miles of pipe with the push of a button.

1962  Plant and headquarters are built for International division in Toronto, Canada. International expansion continues in Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

1963  Construction begins on EL’s first European production plant, in Stockholm, Sweden.

1963  Sales exceed $50 million.

1964  EL acquires Magnus Chemical Company, Inc., a leader in aviation, marine, pulp and paper, petrochemical and industrial cleaning; provides entry to the industrial specialty market and leads to formation of an industrial division. 

1964  The Merritt J. Osborn Research & Development Center opens in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.

1964  Solid Jet-Dry™ is introduced: provides benefit of rinse additives to consumers whose automatic dishwashers do not have a built-in rinse injector. 

1965  Score™, a new liquid commercial cleaner combining chlorine and high-strength alkali and polyphosphates, is developed and launched as institutional customers indicate preference for liquid over powder detergents. 

1967  EL opens new plant in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

1967  First employee Ida Koran dies. In her will, she creates The Ida C. Koran Foundation to provide assistance to EL employees during times of financial hardship and to provide scholarships to their children.

1968  Corporate offices move into the Osborn Building, a new 22-story corporate headquarters in downtown St. Paul.

1969  Sales exceed $100 million. Construction begins on EL’s first European production plant, in Stockholm, Sweden.

As a wave of environmental activism sweeps the U.S., Economics Laboratory (EL) moves to develop more environmentally friendly formulations. Meanwhile, the company continues its expansion around the world. Over the decade, global sales quadruple. And the Osborn family era comes to a close with the death of E.B., who is succeeded as CEO by long-time employee Fred Lanners.

A changing of the guard – and bold expansion into international markets. 

1970  International sales exceed $30 million across 40 countries. EL establishes European satellite headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, to guide efforts in 15 countries. 

1970  Corporate and Public Affairs department is established in response to new laws on consumerism, pollution and human and civil rights.

1970  The rapid pace of innovation is reflected in the more than 2,200 patents held globally over the history of the company, up from just 700 10 years earlier. 

1971  EL reduces the use of phosphates in its detergents, a development that helps the company address environmental concerns and offer products to meet increasingly strict environmental regulations.

1972  E.B. Osborn is elected chairman; Fred Lanners is named president.

1972  Company acquires Star Filter Company, leading maker of coffee pot filters for home use, and Raburn Products, maker of dishmachine racks and dishroom carts.

1973  E. B. Osborn is elected chairman and CEO; EL celebrates 50th anniversary.

1973  EL acquires Maritec Companies and forms the Magnus Maritec International, Inc., subsidiary, based in Palisades Park, New Jersey. Maritec specializes in cleaning chemicals for the international shipping trade. 

1974  EL acquires Fraser Laundry Systems of Memphis, Tennessee, an institutional laundry business. The purchase enables EL to meet the need for laundry services by hotels, restaurants and other institutional customers that are increasingly using no-iron, permanent press table linens, bed linens and uniforms. 

1974  EL completes plant in Joliet, Illinois – its largest to date.

1975  EL opens first satellite research center, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1975  EL ranks 500th on the annual list of Fortune 500 companies.

1977  International division establishes area headquarters in Latin America and Hawaii.

1978  E.B. Osborn ends tenure as CEO; dies months later at age 71. Fred Lanners is named CEO.

1979  Eco-Line™ is launched to target the food distribution market.

1979  Company surpasses $400 million in sales; conducts business in more than 50 countries.

Late 1970s 
The Ecolab service pin is introduced in the Institutional division. Worn by field sales and service representatives and other employees, it symbolizes the company’s commitment to professional customer service.

The 1980s are a difficult decade. An unfortunate acquisition and subsequent divestitures in the company’s Industrial business, and the sale of the company’s consumer division, change the company’s profile. As difficult as those actions are, Economics Laboratory (EL) is able to focus more tightly on its core businesses. Meanwhile, a name change (to Ecolab), a change in leadership, a listing on the New York Stock Exchange and groundbreaking innovation also lay the groundwork for future success. Finally, the purchase of ChemLawn, the largest lawn care services business in the U.S., is completed – and, with its purchase, hopes for the future run high.

Tough decisions change the company while laying the foundation for future success.

1980  EL acquires Apollo Technologies for $71.3 million and forms the industrial group. The purchase of Apollo, which manufactures chemicals and pollution-control equipment, aims to increase industrial market share and supplement the company’s Magnus industrial offerings. 

1980  The Economics Laboratory Foundation is formed. After many years of informal philanthropy reflecting the interests of the founding Osborn family, a more formal philanthropy program is established with an initial budget of $180,000. Grants primarily support education, youth development, civic and community causes and arts and culture and environmental organizations, with awards made primarily in the company’s headquarters community of St. Paul and neighboring Minneapolis. 

1980  The cumulative number of patents held globally over Ecolab history grows to more than 4,000.

1981  Solid Power™, a patented solid detergent capsule for institutional customers, is introduced. The groundbreaking product provides customers improved control, safety and cost savings. Within two years, Solid Power is the top-selling institutional warewashing detergent in the U.S.

1981  Philip T. Perkins is elected president and chief operating officer. He joined the company in 1968 as vice president of the Consumer division and was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the International division before becoming president.

1982  Fred Lanners retires as CEO.

1982  Richard C. Ashley is elected CEO. The first senior leader to be recruited from “outside” EL, he is tragically killed in a car accident soon after his appointment and before beginning to lead the company.

1983  Pierson “Sandy” Grieve, also an “outsider,” is elected chairman and CEO. Grieve’s prior experience at Questor, a consumer goods company, included acquisitions and corporate planning. He brings an aggressive management style to the job. A week after Sandy takes office, he halts Apollo operations. EL takes a loss of $42 million.

1983  The Consumer division introduces Scrub Free™, a heavy-duty bathroom cleaner that becomes the company’s most successful new product introduction ever.

1984  EL acquires pest elimination leader Lystads, Inc., of Grand Forks, North Dakota. This is the first of many regional pest service firms acquired to create a national Pest Elimination business.

1986  Economics Laboratory, Inc., changes its name to Ecolab.

1986  The first “Ecolab” pin for all employees is introduced. It is presented at employees’ five-year service anniversaries and above. 

1986  Ecolab is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, a move that enhances the company’s standing in the investment community and builds investor interest.

1986  Institutional division headquarters, located in New York City for more than three decades, relocate to St. Paul, a move designed to consolidate Ecolab’s corporate offices under one roof and build a more cohesive organization. 

1986  Ecolab acquires Airkem Professional Products and forms new Janitorial division.

1986  Magnus industrial operations are sold.

1987  Ecolab sells its Consumer division, which markets household products including dishwasher detergents Electrasol™ and Finish™, Jet Dry™ and Lime Away™.

1987  Ecolab acquires ChemLawn Corporation, the largest U.S. lawn care services company, for $376 million. With a nationally known brand and 1.5 million residential customers, ChemLawn is seen as a ready-made residential services business to complement the company’s institutional business. 

1987  Company forms a Textile Care division to serve commercial laundry customers that process at least one million pounds of linen a year.

1987  A Pest Elimination division is established; contributes $30 million in sales in 1987.

1988  The Institutional group is reorganized as the Ecolab Services group, headed by Allan L. Schuman, future CEO. 

1989  Ecolab ranks 71st on Fortune magazine’s “100 largest diversified service companies.”

1989  Sales exceed $1.3 billion. 

1989  Douglas M. Baker, Jr., future chairman and CEO, joins Ecolab as a senior marketing manager in the Institutional Division.

The 1990s see formation of a joint venture to accelerate growth in Europe, a change in senior leadership as Al Schuman assumes CEO duties from Sandy Grieve, and numerous acquisitions. A strategy, referred to as “Circle the Customer – Circle the Globe,” defines Ecolab’s intent to surround customers with an array of solutions for a wide range of cleaning and sanitation needs – and to serve them wherever they operate. Hopes for the 1987 acquisition of ChemLawn fade quickly, leading to its sale in 1992.

An innovative approach to growth in Europe and acquisitions all around.

1990  Innovation continues to be a priority. Over its history, Ecolab has held more than 6,300 patents cumulatively, up from nearly 4,100 in 1980.

1991  Ecolab forms strategic alliance with Henkel KGaA, a major chemical company based in Germany, to better position both companies for a newly united European market. The Henkel-Ecolab joint venture, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, has sales of more than $750 million.

1992  ChemLawn is sold for $107 million to Service Master L.P. Ecolab takes a $275 million loss. The sale enables the company to focus on its commercial cleaning and sanitizing businesses. 

1992  Al Schuman is elected president and chief operating officer.

1992  Ecolab defines its business strategy as “Circle the Customer – Circle the Globe.” The strategy aims to surround customers with a growing array of cleaning and sanitizing products to address a wide range of needs and to serve them in markets around the world. The strategy provides a roadmap for business investment and growth.

1994  The company begins presenting the Ecolab Pin to each new employee hired, a symbol of membership on the team. 

1994  Ecolab acquires Kay Chemical, a leading cleaning products supplier to the quick-service restaurant market, one in which Ecolab has long sought a position. 

1995  CEO Sandy Grieve retires. Al Schuman is elected president and chief executive officer. Mike Shannon, who serves as Ecolab’s chief financial officer, is elected chairman of the board.

1995  A Water Care Services division is formed following several acquisitions to provide water treatment programs to institutional and industrial customers.

1995  Klenzade is renamed the Ecolab Food & Beverage division.

1996  Acquisition of the Monarch division of H.B. Fuller Company increases size of Food & Beverage division. 

1997  GeoSystem™ 9000, the third-generation of institutional solid detergents, is introduced.

1997  Ecolab acquires the Chemidyne marketing division of Chemidyne Corporation to further build its Food & Beverage division.

1997  Ecolab acquires Melbourne, Australia-based Gibson Chemical Industries Ltd., supplier of cleaning and sanitizing products to the Australian and New Zealand institutional, healthcare and industrial markets. The acquisition provides a base for growth in the Asia-Pacific market.

1997  Ecolab acquires the specialty chemical business of Grace-Lee Products, Inc., a step toward building its presence as a provider of cleaning chemicals to the commercial car washing market. 

1998  Ecolab celebrates 75 years in business.

1998  Ecolab acquires Danbury, Connecticut-based GCS Service, Inc., gaining entry into the commercial kitchen equipment repair business. The idea is to make the new division a national service company for commercial foodservice customers. 

1999  Sales exceed $2 billion. 

1999  Ecolab acquires Blue Coral Systems, a subsidiary of the Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, further building market share in the commercial car wash segment.

With two economic recessions – the “dot-com” recession of 2001 and the Great Recession of 2008–2009 – as well as a major terrorist attack in the U.S. that reverberated across the world economy, the new century begins with challenges beyond the company’s control. Despite the turmoil, company sales nearly triple. The increase is aided by Ecolab’s buy-out of Henkel’s half of the Ecolab-Henkel joint venture in Europe. Company leadership also changes: CEO Al Schuman retires, and the board elects Douglas M. Baker, Jr., to lead the company.

Weathering economic recessions – and emerging as a stronger, more cohesive company.

2000  Ecolab's cumulative patent count is more than 12,000, nearly double the number in 1990. Of those, 95 are active; the others have expired, been sold, closed or abandoned.

2001  Ecolab purchases the remaining 50 percent share of Henkel-Ecolab, officially creating “one Ecolab” in Europe and throughout the world.

2002  Ecolab launches EcoSure™ food safety management, providing audits of food safety procedures in foodservice and hospitality facilities across the U.S.

2004  Al Schuman retires as CEO; Douglas M. Baker, Jr., who joined Ecolab in 1989, is elected to fill the role. 

2004  A Healthcare business unit is created to enable greater focus on this important growth market. 

2005  Ecolab opens a new Global Research, Development & Engineering Center in Eagan, Minnesota. 

2006  Al Schuman resigns as chairman of the board and is named chairman emeritus, an honorary position. Doug Baker is elected chairman and continues as CEO.

2006  Ecolab wins the Black Pearl Award for Corporate Excellence in Food Safety and Quality, presented by the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP). 

2007  Ecolab acquires Microtek Medical Holdings, Inc., expanding its infection prevention expertise and offerings to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

2007  Ecolab is included in Ethispheres’ first World’s Most Ethical Companies list, which recognizes companies who exemplify transparency, integrity, ethics and compliance in their business practices. Ecolab has been on the list every year since. 

2008  Ecolab launches Apex™, a new warewashing platform that adds dishmachine performance metrics to its advanced product and dispensing technology. The performance metrics provide insights that help customers make adjustments and achieve the best cleaning results at the lowest total cost and environmental impact.

2009  Sales grow to $5.9 billion.

Acquisitions transform the size and scope of Ecolab and position it as the world’s leading provider of water management solutions serving a broad range of industries, including the global energy business. These acquisitions, combined with organic growth of existing businesses, transform the company into a major player in addressing growing global demands for clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments.

Bold acquisitions enable big growth and greater impact on clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments, the company’s four areas of strategic focus.

2010  Ecolab launches DryExx™, a dry lubricant for glass packaging conveyors in the beverage, brewery and food processing industries. The product reduces water use on conveyor lines by as much as 97 percent, while also reducing the risk of employee slips and falls. 

2010  Ongoing investment in innovation is reflected in the more than 17,600 patents the company has held across its history. Of those, more than 3,000 are active; the others have expired or been sold, closed or abandoned.

2011  Ecolab acquires Naperville, Illinois-based Nalco for $8 billion – its largest acquisition ever. The merger instantly transforms Ecolab into the global leader in water management in the industrial, institutional and energy sectors and positions it to serve more customers more with a more comprehensive portfolio of products. The acquisition includes an important innovation called 3D TRASAR Technology, which uses 24/7 automated sensing and monitoring to detect and automatically correct water quality problems in cooling towers and boilers. 

2011  Ecolab strengthens its global healthcare offerings through acquisitions, including O.R. Solutions, Inc., a leading U.S. developer of surgical fluid warming and cooling systems and consumable custom sterile drapes, and Esoform, the largest independent Italian healthcare manufacturer. 

2011  Forbes magazine names Ecolab one of the world’s most innovative companies.

2012  Tom Handley, a nine-year Ecolab veteran, is elected president and chief operating officer.

2012  A new manufacturing plant and distribution center opens in Taicang, China, the company’s largest facility in the Asia-Pacific region. The plant is designed for environmental sustainability, reducing energy and water consumption while minimizing waste production. 

2012  Major research, development and engineering centers around the world are consolidated to foster collaboration and leverage the company’s scientific and technical expertise.

2012  Ecolab is named to the 2012 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) North America index, a highly regarded assessment of companies’ sustainability results. 

2012  A new Ecolab pin is launched, blending design elements of both Ecolab and Nalco to represent a unified, focused and engaged organization. 

2013  Ecolab purchases privately held Champion Technologies for $2.2 billion. The addition of the Houston-based global energy specialty products and services company strengthens the company’s position in the fast-growing upstream energy services market. 

2013  Ecolab sells its Vehicle Care business to Zep Inc. for $120 million. 

2013  A Nalco Champion business unit is established to focus on the global energy market. 

2014  European Innovation Center opens in Monheim, Germany.

2014  New manufacturing plant opens on Jurong Island, Singapore, to serve Nalco Champion’s energy customers in Asia Pacific.

2014  Ecolab, working with TruCost, launches the Water Risk Monetizer. It provides an online, no-cost financial modeling tool enabling businesses to assess and monetize the risk of water scarcity to their operations.

2014  Solid chemistry is used with 3D TRASAR™ Technology for the first time. Compared with traditional liquid chemicals, “solids” offer safety and sustainability benefits, especially for hotel and other institutional customers who manage water treatment in their cooling towers. 3D TRASAR Technology, which automatically detects, determines and dispenses chemistry to maintain good water quality, was developed by Nalco for use in cooling towers prior to the 2011 Ecolab-Nalco merger.

2014  3D TRASAR™ for CIP, an innovation for dairies, breweries and soft food manufacturers who use clean-in-place (CIP) procedures to clean their pipes and tanks, is introduced. Building on technologies used in earlier 3D TRASAR Technology applications, it uses advanced sensors to monitor chemistry in CIP systems and provide visibility into cleaning, sanitizing and operational issues.

2014  Nalco Champion launches the RenewIQ™ line of oil field water reuse solutions to help energy companies reduce freshwater consumption and handling costs. 

2015  Ecolab purchases a 17-story headquarters building in St Paul and begins moving corporate associates to the new building. 

2015  Ecolab acquires the U.S. operations of Swisher Hygiene, expanding the Institutional division’s customer base and service coverage in the U.S.

2015  Ecolab acquires Ultra Fab Industries, providing customized solutions and specialized chemical injection systems for the oil and gas industry. 

2015  Ecolab is named to the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) North America index. It was also named to the list in 2012. 

2015  Ecolab introduces the next generation of 3D TRASAR™ Technology for Cooling Water. It enables customers to manage complex cooling systems more efficiently. 

2015  Ecolab introduces the Syncra™ Hand Hygiene System, providing touch-free water and soap delivery at restaurant handwashing stations. It aims to help improve handwashing compliance and food safety. 

2015  Ecolab launches Restora™, a laundry formulation that removes medical adhesives, such as those on heart monitoring pads. It enables healthcare laundries to reduce the need for linen replacement due to adhesive stains. 

2015  Nalco Champion opens new headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas.

2015  Fortune magazine names Ecolab to its list of companies that are “changing the world,” a nod to organizations that are “doing well by doing good,” and to its list of “fastest-growing companies to watch.”

2016  Ecolab acquires UltraClenz, a developer of electronic hand hygiene compliance monitoring systems and dispensers.

2016  Ecolab introduces Synergex™ Sanitizer and Disinfectant, an addition to the company’s antimicrobial solutions for dairy, food and beverage and brewery customers.

2016  Ecolab makes a minority equity investment in Aquatech International, a global leader in solutions that improve water quality and reduce net water usage. 

2016  Ecolab is named to the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) North America index. It is the second consecutive year the company has been named to the index and its third listing since 2012. 

2017  Ecolab acquires the Georgia-Pacific Paper chemicals business, adding capabilities to help improve machine efficiency, water and energy savings, product quality and profitability for pulp and paper customers.

2017  Ecolab acquires Laboratoires Anios, a leading European manufacturer of hygiene and disinfection products for the healthcare, food service and food and beverage processing industries.

2017  Ecolab acquires Arpal Group, a Selkirk, Scotland-based company that provides cleaning and sanitizing products and services in the U.K. and Middle East.

2017  Ecolab acquires Abednego Environmental Services, adding offerings that help automotive customers recycle water, reduce energy use and reduce waste. 

2017  Ecolab is named to the Water A List by CDP, the nonprofit global environmental disclosure platform. It is one of 73 A List global companies recognized for efforts to manage water more sustainably. 

2017  For the third consecutive year, Ecolab is named to the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) North America index. 

2017  Ecolab is recognized by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, as one of the most community-minded companies in the U.S. 

2017  Ecolab sells its Equipment Care business to Audax Private Equity, a Boston, Mass.-based private equity firm. 

2018  Ecolab is recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. Ecolab is one of 12 companies named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies every year since the list’s inception in 2007.

2018 Ecolab receives World Environment Center’s 2018 Gold Medal Award for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. The WEC selected Ecolab to receive the award for its initiatives to promote global water conservation, its sustainability commitments and partnerships, and its integration of sustainability within innovation processes.

2018 Ecolab is named to Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies. This is the fifth time Ecolab has been named to the World’s Most Innovative Companies list since its inception in 2011.

2018 Ecolab signs The Human Rights Campaign’s Business Statement on Transgender Equality, which calls for respect and transparency in policy-making, and for full equality under the law.

2019 Ecolab joins the U.N. Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C, and commits to reducing its carbon emissions by half by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050. 

2019 Ecolab acquires Lobster Ink, a leading provider of end-to-end online customer training solutions. It provides Ecolab with an ability to meet the unique training needs of hospitality and foodservice companies in 130 countries globally.

2019 Ecolab acquires Bioquell PLC, a leading provider of hydrogen peroxide vapor bio-decontamination systems and services for the life sciences and healthcare industries. 

2019 Ecolab acquires Chemstar Corporation, a U.S.-based supplier of food safety and cleaning and sanitizing solutions focused on the grocery and food retail markets.

2020 Ecolab announces its membership in the new Water Resilience Coalition, an industry-driven initiative of the United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate. The Coalition aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world’s freshwater resources through collective action in water-stressed basins and ambitious, quantifiable commitments.

2020 Ecolab is named to Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list for the 14th consecutive year. Ecolab is one of only seven companies to receive Ethisphere recognition every year since the list began in 2007.

2020 Ecolab is named to the Water Security and Climate A lists by CDP, the nonprofit global environmental disclosure platform. This double A listing recognizes Ecolab’s environmental leadership, transparency and action.

2020  Ecolab separates its upstream energy business, which is renamed ChampionX. ChampionX combines with Apergy, creating a scaled, global leader in production-optimization solutions.

2020 Ecolab launches its next generation of sustainability goals. The 2030 Impact Goals aim to create a positive impact in the world in partnership with customers and by advancing sustainability in Ecolab’s own operations.