Developing sustainably and measuring progress

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As part of a global environmental and life services company, we recognize that our actions in water, environmental services and waste management have impacts that extend far beyond our daily routine.  Our expertise in optimizing increasingly scarce natural resources faces demands for innovation as populations grow, ecosystems become ever more fragile and society expects and offers more input into resource management decisions.

Our employee motto is “Making the planet sustainable is the best job on earth,” and while we carry that with pride, it also comes with a high level of social and environmental responsibility.

United Water recently released our annual Sustainable Development Report, which is designed to provide the many communities we serve with information regarding our progress toward social, environmental, and other non-financial goals. We are committed to transparency – and to providing information both on our progress and on areas where additional improvement is needed.

We continue to innovatively reduce environmental impact, with results that include a 28.5% increase in energy efficiency since 2009. In the same time frame, we realized a 16.5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a 12.4% decline in non-revenue water, or water lost within the distribution system. We’ve also shown progress in other non-financial areas, such as a 40% decline in 2013 alone of workplace accidents that resulted in time out of work.

As a major actor of sustainable development in local economies, we must set an example by making a positive impact through our own operations. And we must lead by partnering with municipalities across the country; and encourage them to do the same.

We continue to use non-financial methods to monitor our own progress in efficiency, profitability and environmental impact, all the while engaging our employees, customers and stakeholders. The report focuses on the monitoring of priority areas, including aging water infrastructure, energy efficiency, environmental impact and corporate responsibility. The report founds these claims in evidence based off our field operations, as it matches each priority area with our best implementation of it in the field.

We’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far.  And moving forward, we believe that these initiatives will help us to better serve our clients and customers, many of whom are seeking to optimize increasingly scarce water and resources.

The report is available here:

http://www.unitedwater.com/eBooks/2013%20Sustainable%20Devlopment%20Report/index.html

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