Find out how this free online tool can help you meet corporate water management goals and prepare your business for a water-scarce world

by Brianna Crandall — March 18, 2019 — Ecolab, a global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, has just launched the Ecolab Smart Water Navigator, a free online tool to help businesses throughout the world improve water management at their facilities in the face of growing global water scarcity.

According to UN projections, the world will experience a 40 percent water shortfall by 2030 unless action is taken to reduce global water use. Industry accounts for 20 percent of all freshwater use globally and more than 40 percent in developed countries, and use is trending upwards in developing nations as they industrialize.

According to Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr.:

Every business and every community needs water. There’s so much companies can do right now, with available technology, to help ensure that everyone will have the water they need in the future. That’s why we developed this tool — to help turn good intentions into action.

More and more companies have water reduction targets, but they often lack the tools and expertise to achieve them, points out Ecolab. The Smart Water Navigator, developed in collaboration with Trucost, part of S&P Global, and an advisory panel of major private sector companies, helps bridge this gap.

Based on a straightforward, 13-question assessment informed by leading water stewardship experts, the Smart Water Navigator shows companies how their individual facilities are performing compared to industry-leading water management practices. The tool places each facility on a Water Maturity Curve, and generates an industry- and location-specific guide with practical action steps to help a company build sustainable, “water-smart” practices and achieve the next level on the Water Maturity Curve.

Using a corporate dashboard, companies can sort their facilities by geography, water-stress level and water management performance, enabling them to prioritize specific sites for investment in water-saving solutions. A benchmarking function also allows companies to assess how they are scoring on the Water Maturity Curve compared to others in the same industry.

Water is local, and because every location and every watershed is different, corporate water use must be tackled at the individual facility level. But that’s where transformational action is lacking, said Emilio Tenuta, Ecolab vice president of Corporate Sustainability.

According to Tenuta:

Ambitious goals are set at the corporate level, but very often, facility managers don’t have the tools, resources and incentives to meet expectations. Since 2011, overall corporate water use has only fallen by 10 percent. The Smart Water Navigator will help companies achieve more substantial water savings.

The Smart Water Navigator can be used by companies in all sectors of the economy, whether they manage one facility or hundreds. The free tool is available online.

The tool builds on Ecolab’s deep expertise in water management and complements the Water Risk Monetizer, a tool Ecolab launched in 2014 to help companies understand the real value of water — which is often significantly higher than the water bill — to their business.

Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets through 49,000 associates, at nearly 3 million customer locations in more than 170 countries.

In 2017, Ecolab reportedly helped its customers save 171 billion gallons of water, equivalent to the annual drinking water needs of 590 million people. The company is set to publish its 2018 water savings numbers on World Water Day 2019, March 22.