The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6 is ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’. There is good reason those issues are linked under SDG 6. We cannot have sanitation and hygiene without clean water. This year, World Water Day comes at a unique time when fears over COVID-19 and a global pandemic preoccupying all of us. World Water Day is a time to reflect on the issue of water availability, recognize the inequities of water access around the world, and refresh our efforts to save water and make it available to all communities. This year it’s particularly important to consider how important clean water is for infectious disease control.
Poor sanitation and limited access to clean water result in the deaths of nearly 1,000 children every day[i]. Most of those deaths are due to diarrheal disease from contaminated water. Absence of clean water complicates public health problems by limiting the ability to clean and disinfect surfaces and preventing good hand hygiene.
Cleaning and disinfection products are water-based and require water for rinsing. We cannot fight infectious diseases like COVID-19 without access to clean water. Hygiene, sanitation, and healthy environments require clean water and this year’s World Water Day is another opportunity to realize that critical link.
Preventable deaths that shine a bright light on the global problem of access to clean water. Women and children suffer insidious impacts when water is not available in the home. In 80% of these situations, women or children are responsible for leaving the home to collect water, taking away from time parenting and denying educational opportunities. For more facts that stress the need to act, see the World Water Day poster.
The UN Sustainable Development water goal aims to ensure safe water for all by 2030. And as a global supplier of water saving technologies, water conservation services, and water-based products that often require water during use, Diversey strives to provide universal solutions that can benefit everyone.
Everyone is aware of droughts, water rationing, draining groundwater supplies, and poor access to clean water in some parts of the world. However, it’s difficult to fully comprehend the social and health impacts of unreliable access to safe water.
The need for action on water security has led Diversey to make water stewardship a central component of our new sustainability goals and our “Facilitators for Life” program, which we launched last year. Our targets include reducing water use in our operations, quantifying water savings for our customers, and identifying water savings opportunities in our innovations. All of these are important, but the biggest benefit that Diversey can provide comes from our water savings products and solutions.
Throughout the course of Diversey’s almost 100 years of providing cleaning and hygiene technologies, we have demonstrated that conserving water is good for business. Diversey’s customers in hospitality, healthcare, food service, building services, retail, and food & beverage rely on cleaning product technologies, equipment innovations, and services that help save billions of gallons of water.
Chemical technologies can reduce water consumption by making cleaning more efficient and reducing rinse water. For instance, our Clax Advanced low-temperature laundry program has been shown to reduce water consumption by up to 35% in hotels. Water can essentially be eliminated in everything from urinals to conveyor belt systems with the right chemical innovations. Diversey has also integrated water savings technologies in equipment like TASKI’s IntelliFlow, which reduces water up to 76% in floor cleaning when compared to conventional autoscrubbers. In breweries, Diversey’s clean-in-place technologies can reduce water consumption 30-40%. Even after using the best chemistry and efficient equipment, Diversey can still find customers water savings through Knowledge-Based Services, where programs like AquaCheck save an additional 30%.
World Water Day is a call for organizations to find solutions, collaborate, and solve this pervasive problem. Today, Diversey reaffirms our commitment to responsible use, customer partnerships, and water saving innovations.
Learn more about Diversey’s commitments to social and environmental stewardship at https://www.diversey.com/sustainability
Daniel A. Daggett, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Sustainability & CSR