Waters Corporation has released its 2020 Sustainability Report, highlighting achievements and progress of the company’s sustainable operations, projects and initiatives. Waters’ latest sustainability report covers activities from 2019 and key highlights from 2020. In addition, the report tracks the important progress of Waters’ 2025 sustainability goals set forth in late 2019.
“Our team is demonstrating that through our collective actions we can make meaningful impacts, even during the most challenging periods in our history,” said Dr. Udit Batra, Waters President and CEO. “From investing in STEM education, to reimagining recyclable product packaging, to our COVID-19 Innovation Response Team, Waters is working to make the world safer and healthier for generations to come. I am looking forward to further championing Waters’ sustainability efforts.”
Waters’ commitment to sustainability is derived from its focus on advancing scientific progress to enhance human health and well-being. Informed by the results of a comprehensive Materiality Assessment in 2018, Waters has since initiated multiple projects across five key areas where it can drive sustainability throughout its global operations. These formed Waters’ 2025 sustainability goals and its commitment to report annual progress against them.
Waters has continued advancing efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its operations by pursuing targeted pollution prevention, waste reduction and conservation of natural resources. Progress in and communication of these efforts has generated notice, with Waters being recently named to “America’s Most Responsible Companies” 2021 list as #3 in the Healthcare and Life Sciences category and #19 out of 400 companies overall.
Below is an update on the five areas of focus that support Waters’ 2025 sustainability goals and overall mission to Deliver Benefit:
1. Cultivating and Advancing Our Innovation Ecosystem:
- Over the past four years, Waters has increased its investment in R&D by 21%, yielding innovative new products designed to improve human health and well-being, such as the BioAccord™ LC-MS System, SELECT SERIES Cyclic™ IMS and Synapt™ XS.
- At the onset of the pandemic, Waters created the COVID-19 Innovation Response Team, reaching out to nearly 200 organizations to bring together researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds and perspectives from around the world to help accelerate the pace of innovation of new diagnostics, therapies and vaccines.
- Through its sustainable packaging efforts, Waters identified new ways to introduce more recyclable and recycled materials into our packaging designs. This effort has resulted in a 49% increase in recyclable materials used for packaging our performance maintenance kits, and an 11% decrease in the shipping weight of the packaging for two high-volume chromatography instruments.
2. Reducing Our Environmental Impact:
- To minimize the impact of our energy use, Waters purchases renewable energy at its manufacturing facility in Wexford, Ireland and purchases low-carbon energy at several other facilities. Renewable and/or low-carbon electricity accounted for approximately 27% of Waters’ total electricity usage in 2019.
3. Enhancing Our Sustainable Supply Chain:
- Through effective continuity planning, Waters maintained a steady supply of products to our customers throughout 2020. This allowed Waters to provide uninterrupted support to those developing important research, analysis and breakthroughs to combat COVID-19.
- Waters has committed to a supply chain sustainability program that will harmonize our supplier code of conduct with those of key customers, and which will introduce key performance indicators to drive improved supplier behavior over time.
4. Leading by Example in our Employee Development & Engagement:
- In 2019, Waters launched three new Employee Circles with a commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity in all forms can thrive. The Pride (LGBTQ+), Veterans and Multicultural Circles joined our existing Gender Diversity Network.
- With a priority emphasis on protecting our people during the COVID-19 pandemic, Waters utilized global pulse surveys to assess employee satisfaction and needs. Insights from respondents led to several key actions including implementation of new health and well-being benefits, increased communication and safety protocols.
5. Nurturing A Culture of Health, Safety and Well-being:
- In 2019 and 2020, Waters implemented Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) data management software to drive standardization of HSE data collection practices around the world.