Xylem announced that almost 80 percent of its 16,000 employees volunteered their time to help solve urgent water challenges in 2021. Xylem’s global team collectively donated 113,000 hours in their communities, across 55 countries.
The commitment of volunteer hours doubled from 2020 to 2021, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Xylem employees stepped up both in person, in their own communities, and virtually, finding new ways to make a difference. Initiatives included cleaning up waterways, supporting disaster response teams, and providing water education.
"Volunteering is one way we invest in our mission to solve the world’s biggest water challenges,” said Austin Alexander, Vice President of Sustainability and Social Impact at Xylem. “Our colleagues, customers and NGO partners showed real passion, last year – doubling the number of hours they volunteered, compared with 2020. It was particularly encouraging to see this uplift in the face of COVID-19. They found so many creative ways to help communities become more resilient – mentoring young people online, championing the efforts of our NGO partners, and supporting humanitarian relief efforts. It’s just so inspiring to see the impact they’ve had.”
Xylem’s volunteering initiatives are part of its corporate social responsibility program, Xylem Watermark. Xylem provides 10 hours of time off annually for employees to volunteer, with some of the volunteers’ efforts also contributing to Xylem’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, which include: providing access to clean water and sanitation for at least 20 million people living at the base of the global economic pyramid; providing water and WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) education for 15 million people; and giving 1% company profits to water-related causes and education around the world.
In 2021, Xylem Watermark volunteering included:
- Xylem China’s team supported communities in Henan and Shanxi Province affected by record-breaking floods, which affected millions of people and left many without access to safe or clean drinking water. The team set up a 24-hour contact center to support affected customers and assisted in the donation of pumps across the province to help discharge floodwater. In addition, Xylem’s China team donated food and water to the affected communities.
- Xylem employees joined relief efforts in western Germany last summer, when almost a quarter of people living on the River Ahr experienced severe flooding, and more than 3,000 homes and businesses were destroyed. Xylem employees took part in clean-up efforts, raised funds to support the evacuation of affected families, and distributed food and hygiene kits to emergency shelters.
- Over 800 Xylem employees, customers and community members participated in “Aquaton,” a month-long mileage challenge which raised funds for clean water access projects spanning seven countries in Latin America.
- A diverse team of colleagues from South Africa, Europe and North America donated their engineering skills to support the work of Engineers Without Borders, rehabilitating WASH facilities at rural health clinics in Malawi.