Sustaining the supply and quality of the world’s water is one of the most critical global issues facing us today. Water can be the difference between sickness and
health, the driver of economic development, and a powerful force when it comes to global security; yet, more than 883 million people live without access to
safe drinking water, and 2.5 billion live without basic sanitation.
Launched in 2008 with an initial three-year, $4 million commitment, ITT Watermark addressed this crisis by collaborating with leading nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to implement high-impact, sustainable water solutions in areas of great need.
In its first 3 years, ITT Watermark brought lifesaving water to more than 500,000 people in Asia, South America, and around the world. In September 2010, ITT committed $10.5 million to reach one million more people through ITT Watermark by 2013.
Focus on China
In China, more than 300 million people—one quarter of the total population—lack access to safe drinking water. Here, ITT Watermark focuses on three key initiatives:
- Providing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education to schools
In China, many children suffer from developmental issues and chronic stomach ailments as a result of contaminated water supplies. Recognizing this, ITT partnered with China Women’s Development Foundation (CWDF) to implement a proven best practice of providing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education in schools. Since 2009, CWDF and 100 local ITT employees have planned, designed, and installed solar-powered safe water pumps, hand washing stations, and latrines for more than 8,000 students and teachers at fifteen schools in the Hebei, Jiangsu, and Yunnan provinces. ITT employee volunteers enhanced these efforts by teaching the students in these schools about hygiene education. Additionally, ITT employees supported the initiative by conducting local fundraising efforts.
- Proactively securing safe water supplies for people in times of emergency
Building on lessons learned during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, during which ITT deployed financial contributions, water treatment systems, and engineers with UNICEF, ITT Watermark has worked to increase the emergency-response capacity throughout China. Together with Mercy Corps, an international NGO, ITT hosted a disaster risk-reduction training course for NGO staff and ITT employees in 2009, providing education on topics including disaster risk-reduction basics, vulnerability and capacities assessments, and community emergency planning.
- Supporting innovation and action around the preservation of local water resources
Water pollution and insufficient conservation in recent decades have intensified China's water-access issues and have left 90 percent of Chinese cities with heavily polluted water supplies. To address local water needs, ITT and China’s State Environment Protection Administration sponsor the national Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition, which encourages local Chinese students to develop water projects and advance water innovation at a local, country and international level.
ITT China employees also take action through local service projects, such as garbage-collection efforts at Dameisha Beach in Shenzhen and tree-planting days in both Shenzhen and Shanghai.
In total, ITT Watermark has improved the lives of more than 200,000 people in China and 500,000 people around the world and continues to create an enduring and positive impact in the communities it serves.
Beyond Water: Minimizing Environmental Impact Worldwide
In addition to its commitment to corporate social responsibility programs such as Watermark, ITT Corporation recently announced that it has made significant steps to minimize its global environmental footprint. By reducing its consumption of natural resources and generation of waste and emissions, ITT is advancing its long-held commitment to sustainability. The company is constantly striving to safeguard the planet's climate, communities, and resources, and has been recognized externally for its significant progress. Over the past five years alone, ITT's global operations have:
- Cut back overall energy consumption intensity by 31 percent.
- Decreased intensity of electricity consumption by 33 percent.
- Reduced generation of hazardous waste by 46 percent.
- Eased water use by more than 27 percent for production processes and employees.
- Lowered the concentration of greenhouse gas intensity by 51 percent, including a 46 percent drop from 2007 to 2009.
"The recent metrics demonstrate that at ITT, sustainable behavior is a key part of our organizational fabric," said Steve Loranger, ITT's chairman, president, and chief executive officer. "We recognize the impact our company and our products have on the environment, and we are committed to using technologies to reduce our ecological footprint and protect our planet."
ITT Corporation is a high-technology engineering and manufacturing company operating on all seven continents in three vital markets: water and fluids management, global defense and security, and motion and flow control. With a heritage of innovation, ITT partners with its customers to deliver extraordinary solutions that create more livable environments, provide protection and safety, and connect our world. Headquartered in White Plains, New York, the company reported 2010 revenue of $11 billion.