Among the grand questions of our time, one of the most daunting is this: How can we meet our needs today while ensuring that future generations also can meet theirs?
Protecting earth’s finite natural resources calls for new ways of thinking and acting. Ecolab is committed to innovation that helps ensure clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments — all fundamental to life today and tomorrow. At more than one million customer locations worldwide, we provide expertise, products and services that help our customers use resources wisely — so they may thrive, and future generations will be able to thrive, too.
Allow us to travel with you for what might be a typical day — and we’ll show you how Ecolab makes an impact.
YOU WAKE UP AND TURN ON THE LAMP
It may be too early for you to think about the electricity that lights your room. But back at the power plant, our 3D TRASAR™ technology helps ensure reliable performance of equipment used to generate the electricity that powers your lamp. By automatically monitoring the quality of water the plant uses to cool its generating processes, this innovative technology detects when scale and corrosion threaten to impede cooling system performance and treats the cooling water so it can be reused, helping the plant reduce its fresh water use.
YOU STOP FOR BREAKFAST AT A NEARBY CAFÉ
You order coffee and a cup of fruit. As you wait, you see several employees washing their hands with Ecolab’s antibacterial soap. Our field representative was just here training them in proper hand-washing and why it’s an important defense against disease-causing germs that easily travel from hands to food — and into mouths. Around the world today, some 86 million pairs of hands will be washed with the help of Ecolab.
You also see someone at the sink washing the fruit. He’s using one of our antimicrobial fruit and vegetable washes. It provides a strong defense against the spread of Salmonella and other microbes that can make you wretchedly sick — and ruin a restaurant’s reputation. It’s just one way we help assure safe food.
Come to think of it, Ecolab may have helped remove dirt from the fruit back at the processing plant. Food processing typically uses large amounts of fresh water, so plant operators often turn to Ecolab to help them determine how to recycle and reuse it. Our experts work with customers to understand their processes, recommend water treatment solutions, and provide expertise to restore the water to a quality that allows reuse. As a result, the plant uses less water — and sends less waste down the drain. In addition, we provide products that help control pathogens in produce water washes. Water savings and microbe control: Together they add up to a big win for the processor, for the environment and for food safety.
As you leave the restaurant, be sure to notice the floor. Last night, the assistant manager cleaned it with Ecolab’s Wash n’ Walk™ No Rinse Floor Cleaner. You can see the clean floor. But what you can’t see is how Wash n’ Walk helped save energy (because it cleans with cold water instead of hot) and water (because no rinsing is needed).
YOU ARRIVE AT WORK
First on your schedule: a meeting. But before you go, you need some high-quality paper to print the document you plan to discuss. The paper you choose may have been made using proprietary Ecolab chemicals fed through our patented PARETO™ Mixing Technology. Not only do our chemicals and mixing technology help paper manufacturers produce a higher quality paper, they also help save water. Last year, the paper industry saved more than two billion gallons (7.5 billion liters) of water using our technology.
You’re back in your office now. The temperature feels comfortable, so you roll up your sleeves and get to work. You don’t give a thought to the building’s heating and cooling systems, but we do. Ecolab works with your building manager to keep indoor temperatures comfortable while also saving energy and water. We help by keeping the boiler and cooling tower, key components in temperature control, operating at peak performance by providing chemicals that help prevent the build up of scale and corrosion inside the tower. We also help save energy by thoroughly removing dust and dirt from the air conditioning system’s condensers and air coils with our Coil-Flo™ HVAC Cleaning technology. Once clean, the coils and condensers can more efficiently do their job — so less energy is needed to keep indoor temperatures comfortable.
YOU VISIT YOUR GRANDMOTHER AT THE HOSPITAL
The doctors told her to take it easy before her last marathon, but she didn’t listen. You stop to see how your grandmother is feeling after surgery to replace her knee. In her room and in the halls, you encounter Ecolab hand sanitizer and soap dispensers. Handwashing in hospitals is vitally important in preventing the spread of infection.
In the operating room, the medical equipment was surrounded by a new type of plastic drapes that help prevent cross-contamination. Called Genesys™ Surgical Drapes, they were developed by Ecolab with a special sustainability focus: reducing the large amount of non‑biodegradable plastics that hospitals send to landfills. The new drapes are plastic, but they contain an organic additive. Once disposed of in an organically active landfill, the additive attracts moisture and microbes to speed breakdown of the plastic.
Ecolab also helped ensure that the medical instruments used during your grandmother’s surgery were properly cleaned — and resources conserved. Our OptiPro™ Solid Enzymatic System not only provided effective sterilization, it was safer for hospital employees to use than liquid antiseptics and helped reduce water use and waste. Our solid cleaning solutions are smaller in size and weigh less than containers of liquids, making their transport less costly — both in dollars spent and greenhouse gas emitted.
YOU PUT FUEL IN THE CAR — AND GRAB A SODA AND SANDWICH FOR THE ROAD
You’re leaving town tonight for an early meeting tomorrow with your customer, so you stop to fuel up the car. Long before the gasoline arrives at the pump, Ecolab has been at work. Our chemistry, application solutions and know-how helped oil producers optimize their water use as they brought the crude oil from deep reservoirs to the surface. We also provided to the refineries that processed the crude into gasoline, helping them keep supplies flowing while reducing water use. Inside the station, you pick up a soda. It was bottled in a plant that has cut water use on its conveyor lines by up to 97 percent by using Ecolab’s DryExx™ Conveyor Lubricant. With less water used on conveyor lines, the plant’s floors remain drier, helping workers avoid slips and falls. You also buy a sandwich. Much earlier in the day, our pest elimination expert was on site, training staff members in how to control flies, rodents and other pests — and the germs they carry. Because the station’s food is well protected, there are no pesky flies.
YOU ARRIVE AT THE HOTEL AND HAVE DINNER IN THE HOTEL RESTAURANT
The restaurant manager is eager to serve you a lovely meal. But she knows it won’t be lovely if your dishes, glasses or utensils are not spotless. She relies on her Ecolab representative for products and services that help ensure sparkling dishware. You can’t see it from your table, but the restaurant uses Ecolab’s latest warewashing innovation: Apex2, a machine that helps assure clean dishes and glasses in one pass through, reducing the need for re-wash and the extra water and energy it requires. Apex2 uses solid detergent that is 99.5 percent phosphate and phosphorus free. In addition, Apex2 provides real-time information about water and energy use, enabling the kitchen staff to make adjustments for even greater resource savings.
YOU TURN IN FOR THE NIGHT
As you settle into your hotel room, the towels and sheets are clean, white and soft. The hotel laundered them with Ecolab’s Aquanomic™ Laundry Program — an innovation that provides excellent results while using approximately 40 percent less water and energy than refineries that processed the crude into gasoline, helping them keep supplies flowing while reducing water use.
Inside the station, you pick up a soda. It was bottled in a plant that has cut water use on its conveyor lines by up to 97 percent by using Ecolab’s DryExx™ Conveyor Lubricant. With less water used on conveyor lines, the plant’s floors remain drier, helping workers avoid slips and falls.
You also buy a sandwich. Much earlier in the day, our pest elimination expert was on site, training staff members in how to control flies, rodents and other pests — and the germs they carry. Because the traditional laundry detergents. How? By cleaning with low-temperature water and requiring fewer wash cycles. Plus, Aquanomic goes easy on linens so they don’t need to be replaced as often, saving the hotel money and protecting resources.
As you close your eyes, you rest easy knowing that Ecolab associates are hard at work making tomorrow’s world cleaner, safer and healthier — sustainably.
For more information about Ecolab’s commitment to sustainability, view our 2013 Corporate Sustainability Report at www.Ecolab.com/Sustainability.
This story is featured in Impact, Ecolab's global associate magazine. Download the PDF version of Impact here.
Alejandro González d’Hyver de las Deses
Communications Manager, Latin America
Phone: +52 (55) 5001 2935 or by email
Communications Manager, Brasil
Phone: +55 11 2134 2649 or by email
Communications Director, Latin America
Phone: +1 954 436 2668 or by email