Let's look at the future together, let's work together, let's listen to one another and spark creativity. The water needs all of you and we need water. Water is life.”
Indigenous Rights Activist, Canada
If climate is a shark, water is the teeth of the shark. Water is the first to come at the front of the challenge we are facing.”
Writer and Economist
WE ARE SUSTAINABLE
“The twin crises of climate and water require our urgent attention and immediate action.”
Chief People and Sustainability Officer
The impacts of climate change and the huge water challenges the world faces are already very clear to see in extreme weather events and with billions already lacking access to clean water and sanitation. We must act now to cut carbon and secure, protect and distribute water – and we are.
We’ve put sustainability at the heart of our Growth with Purpose strategy to tackle both the climate and water crises. And in 2022 we underlined our commitment to it by restating what drives us as a business with a bold but simple sentence:
“Our purpose is to bring solutions to the world’s water challenges and accelerate the transition to clean energy.”
Our accent is on acting now. We’re convinced that, if we dare to take bold action today, we can begin to have real impact on these twin challenges, delivering solutions both within the 2025 timeframe of our Growth with Purpose strategy and well into the future.
Our goal to cut carbon emissions by 75% per ton of production by 2025 will mostly be achieved by using renewable electricity. Making lighter, more durable and less carbon intensive products will also contribute. In 2022, our carbon intensity decreased by 12%.
By 2025 we aim to be totally powered by renewable electricity. In 2022 nearly a quarter (22%) of our operations had met that goal.
By 2025 we aim to use four times more recycled material in our products to reach a minimum of 50% of what is permitted under current standards. In 2022, we increased our use of externally sourced recyclate by 22% compared with 2021.
In every crisis, real opportunity
The links between climate and water aren’t always well understood, but the United Nations, as part of its 2018-2028 Decade of Water campaign, has made it crystal clear. It sees climate change as primarily a water crisis, felt in worsening floods, rising sea levels, shrinking ice caps, wildfires, and floods.
It also sees an immense opportunity for profound change in meeting these challenges. At a time when nearly 1 billion people already lack access to water, and some 2 billion have no sanitation in their homes, the UN makes it clear that managing water sustainably is and will continue to be a vital weapon in combatting the climate crisis.
This is our call to action.
We see the intimate connections between climate and preserving our most precious resource: water. With 75% of our products used to distribute, treat and store water, we are uniquely placed to understand the water challenges the world currently faces and the potential problems that lie ahead in decades to come.
We are determined to turn that insight into action quickly – and we’re already making progress.
Transitioning to renewables
We’re aiming to reduce our CO2 emissions by 75% per ton of production by 2025, primarily by transitioning to 100% renewable electricity across all our operations, worldwide.
By the end of 2022, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, the Netherlands and Switzerland had transitioned to renewable electricity, with Poland and Uruguay within touching distance, often powered by solar panels. In total 22% of our operations are already powered by renewables, putting us well on course to meet our 2025 target.
Boosting recycled content
We are by nature a circular economy business, creating long-lasting plastic products from resin, a by-product of petroleum. Beyond we are currently stepping up efforts to create further circular processes using more recycled plastic in our products as an important extra way to cut carbon. We already have products and solutions on the market in Australia, New Zealand and across Europe and the Americas.
Our target is to use four times more recyclate in our products by 2025 to reach a minimum of 50% of what is allowed under current standards. We work closely with regulators to explore if these standards can be made greener still, and our position as an industry leader gives us a real influence in this debate.
As use of fossil fuels declines, we are exploring alternative raw materials which we believe could have important long-term potential. For instance, our teams in France are exploring the use of bio-attributed PVC resin and initial results look promising with a complete range of sanitary products already available on the French market.
Creating new water management solutions
We’re speeding up the development of new fluid management solutions, empowering our businesses around the world and our three innovation hubs in Paris, Toronto and Bengaluru, to work with customers to develop innovative new products to improve access to water and sanitation.
At the same time, Aliaxis Next, established as a new division in 2022, is investing in and incubating disruptive start-ups and technologies to harness digital and data-driven water management solutions that will be the engines of our future growth.
We have acquired or partnered with 8 early-stage businesses (6 during 2022) working on the cutting edge of water tech to address sustainable water management, access to water, resilient infrastructure, and water for food. With nearly 4 billion people projected to be living in water stressed regions by 2030, this work is clearly critical.
Successfully tackling the world’s urgent challenges around water not only requires urgent action but also calls for collaboration between industry, customers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, civil society, and communities.
We are determined to act as a catalyst for change and have already begun to stimulate debate to raise awareness of water’s central role in tackling climate change.
Our Action for Water event, staged in Brussels in early January 2023, brought together a host of experts and entrepreneurs (including some from the start-ups in Aliaxis Next’s ecosystem), thought leaders and decision-makers – people who, like us, care deeply about finding answers and who dare to scan the horizon to find them. We fully intend to keep raising awareness on the world’s water challenges, urging business to mobilise to tackle them.
How we deliver
Discover how we are accelerating the pace of change
Securing renewable power sources
In several countries we are exploring new green energy investments, particularly in solar.Read more
Less is more – lightweight products from India
Our teams in India are making key products lighter and less carbon intensive.Read more
Closing the loop on plastic waste
Zero waste to landfill is a key environmental goal. In New Zealand, Marley’s €7 million investment with Waste Management New Zealand, aims to divert some 3,500 tons of plastic from landfill averting 3,000 tons emissions.
Canada boosts recycling
The Saint-Joseph plant, Quebec, is using 100% recycled PVC in the middle layer of its three-layer sewer, telecoms and gas pipes, grinding used plastic on site from sources such as old credit cards, used pipes and discarded house cladding.
Reducing the size of packaging and using recycled PE film has achieved a 27% cost saving by our team in Mannheim, Germany.
In Spain, CO2 emissions from producing Jimten’s 100% recycled ECO range of traps and waste outlets have been cut by 30%.
Harnessing the power of the Mediterranean
We’re working on an innovative heat, hot water and air-conditioning system powered by thermal energy recovered from the sea. The system, serving 29 buildings in the Larvotto residential area of Monaco, delivers 100% renewable energy with no impact on marine ecosystems.
Sharing sustainable solutions across the world
The water tanks we are making in India draw on a process first developed by our teams in Guatemala.Read more
Giving water the attention, it needs
We want to be a catalyst for action on water, building a coalition of like-minded people.Read more
Best Practice Awards
Out of 280 global submissions to the annual Best Practice Awards, safety attracted a record 70 submissions from across the group in 2022.
We simply want no one to get hurt at work. Over three years, we’ve improved our safety performance by 46%.Read more
Giving employees ownership on safety
Under a new ‘Safety Ambassadors’ scheme, eight volunteers at our Alicante plant, in Spain, are tasked each week with spotting near misses and boosting safety awareness. In one year, the programme has increased risk identification by 85%.
Demonstrating our collective commitment, all 175 managers meeting in Montréal in June 2022 wrote and shared their personal safety pledge.
In Peru, Aliaxis has joined with Women in Construction to mentor and empower women in our sector. In Costa Rica, our teams are mobilised to encourage high school students to pursue science-based careers. It will be extended to Colombia in 2023.
Cutting reportable incidents
We reduced our reportable incident rate 7.5 to 5.8 last year but aim to be below 3 by 2025.