The Waters Difference: Sustainable Actions for a Sustainable Future

By April 22, 2022


I have a confession. I love the wonderful BBC “Planet” documentaries presented by Sir David Attenborough, but I always have pangs of fear and guilt when he tells the audience how we’re collectively poisoning the planet. Perhaps you’ve had similar feelings. Does it start to make you wonder – what difference can I make?

I live in Glasgow in the UK, where November is typically a cold and wet month, and it seemed an unlikely location for the United Nations to congregate in 2021 to discuss climate change. The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) came to town and there were some memorable and passionate speeches including one from Sir David himself. His main theme was of hope and not of fear. He implored the audience of world leaders that we have a duty to the coming generations to change our current course. He said that humans, as a species, are uniquely positioned to both understand and to find a solution to climate change. Here is the link for his speech.

sustainability at Waters corporation

Culture of Sustainability at Waters

Recently, a customer asked me how Waters can help them to meet their sustainability goals. Many of our manufacturing facilities source their electricity from renewable and/or low-carbon sources. Overall, more than half of Waters’ purchased energy in 2021 came from such sources. We are making steady progress towards our goal of reducing our Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 35% from 2016 levels by 2025. The Chemistry Manufacturing Operations in Wexford, Ireland – where our chromatography columns are packed – sources 100% of their electricity from renewable and low-carbon electricity. On the theme of columns, we have been working hard to introduce more recyclable and recycled materials into our consumables packaging. Did you know the plastic casing used to protect your newest Waters chromatography column is made from recycled ocean plastic? We are phasing in column packaging changes, starting with MaxPeak Premier and BioResolve columns. Our newest column product boxes are also 50% smaller than their predecessors, made from 100% recyclable materials, and include a QR code to key electronic documentation which allows us to reduce in-box paper.   

Of course, sustainability is not just about green energy and packaging. It is also a commitment to inspire and motivate the youngest amongst us, to nurture the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals who will follow in our footsteps. Read about how we are expanding STEM opportunities for students of color through Waters’ HBCU programs combining scholarships, mentoring and donation of instruments.  We can also help you try STEM activities from the comfort of your own home with our video series and do-it-yourself instructional guides. 

sustainability at waters

Did you know the plastic casing used to protect your newest Waters chromatography column is made from recycled ocean plastic?

Committed to Leaving the World Better Than We Found It

At Waters our position as a global manufacturer is to embrace a culture of sustainability in our people, manufacturing, workspaces, products, services, and packaging.

Jim Waters built this company with a spirit of innovation. Our approach is centered around collaborating with our customers to solve their toughest problems. It is the same spirit that our CEO Udit Batra evoked in the forward to our 2021 Sustainability Report where he used the phrase “leave the world in a better place than we found it.”  I believe Sir David Attenborough would appreciate that sentiment.

So, what difference can I make? I now make personal choices that are more informed and more sustainable. I also have a voice at Waters and one that allows me to be an advocate for more sustainable choices for our customers.

Find out more about sustainability at Waters

Additional Resources:

Quality Video

Blog: Validation of our Sustainability Efforts

Blog: Our Commitment to Sustainability and Enhancing Health and Human Well-Being

Blog: Integrating Sustainability into our Strategy, Operations and Products