A Mission to Solve Water

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Xylem brings sanitation and clean water to the world’s most marginalized communities

Seas and oceans cover three-quarters of the earth’s surface, yet drinkable water is in dangerously short supply for tens of millions of the planet’s inhabitants. By 2025, according to Xylem Inc., nearly two billion people will be living in countries or regions with serious water scarcity.

Headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, Xylem is a leading global water technology provider with operations in more than 150 countries. “The world is facing unprecedented water challenges brought on by climate change, population growth, urbanization and shrinking fresh water supplies,” notes the company’s website. Worldwide, 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness; 90% of all natural disasters are water-related.

Since its founding just over a decade ago, Xylem has worked with businesses and nonprofits toward a deceptively simple mission: to solve water. Through both its businesses and volunteer activities, Xylem conducts a wide range of programs designed to provide sanitation education and ensure safe water resources around the world, especially in the poorest and most marginalized communities.

Xylem Watermark, the company’s corporate social responsibility platform, collaborates with nonprofit partners to deliver water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) education and improve WASH infrastructure in health facilities at the community level. To date, Xylem Watermark has educated over 4 million people about WASH and the value of clean water, as well as provided water and sanitation solutions to nearly 5 million people. From Carpenter Group’s standpoint, few companies have merged their brand values, business goals and corporate citizenship values more seamlessly—or directed them more effectively toward the common good.

In the Dominican Republic, the water supply at four clinics in a poor coastal community hit hard by COVID-19 faced multiple water challenges, including dangerously high levels of chemical pollutants from nearby refineries, and microbiological contamination due to lack of sewers. Xylem joined forces with the global humanitarian organization Americares to overhaul the clinics’ WASH infrastructure. The collaboration with Xylem, says Americares WASH Technical Advisor Matteo Cinquemani, “has changed the lives of everyone, from health center workers to patients and their relatives.”

In Liberia, the absence of a functioning incinerator at Liberia Government Hospital led to the burning of biological waste in an open pit, producing toxic smoke and ashes that polluted the air and contaminated the water table. Xylem supported the building of a new incinerator and waste-holding building, which now help ensure safe sanitation and waste management operations at the hospital and a more hygienic environment for patients and health workers.

And in the Philippines, Americares and Xylem have supported numerous local health centers to overhaul and improve their sanitation systems, including transitioning from soak-away pits to more hygienic septic systems. As a result, patients and healthcare workers are now able to access adequate sanitation facilities without concern for their health and safety.

“Access to clean water and sanitation is a foundational building block to healthy lives, communities and economies,” says Austin Alexander, Vice President, Sustainability and Social Impact at Xylem. “As we’ve seen time and again, solving water can change lives.”

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About Brand Acts of Kindness® 

Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.

The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

About Carpenter Group

Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 30+ years.

Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.