While our business results were for the record books in 2018, our efforts to make a sustainable difference in the world also created results to remember.
Business was booming in 2018, which translated directly into a large measure of pumps being pushed from our plants all over the world to our many customers. Making water flow to where it is supposed to be in the most energy-efficient way possible. While this meant more production, we still managed to reduce our water use and CO2-emission by 1.6 and 10.3 per cent, respectively, compared to last year. Our ambition is to halve our water consumption by 2025 and to never emit more CO₂ than we did in 2008, despite growth. For CO2, the emissions are the lowest ever, 31 percent below the 2008-baseline. In addition, our energy-efficient circulators sold in the EU during 2005-2018 have now saved an estimated 7.9 billion kilowatt-hours.
During 2018, we launched several new initiatives to reduce water and energy consumption further, including opening of a closed-loop processing plant capable of treating and recirculating water from our production, which is expected to allow a massive 5,000 m3 saving. To stay on track with our aims of reducing energy consumption, we are continuing to implement energy improvements in our factories, for example by employing our own green technologies to save energy. To advance our life-cycle thinking in the product development process, we have fully integrated an eco-design toolbox. This is an approach to designing products with consideration for the environmental impact of it during its entire life cycle. It is now integrated to all our technology development process.
The good business
We have dedicated ourselves to solving some of the global challenges described by the UN via the Sustainable Development Goals. Not least with a focus on ensuring water for people around the world. Highlights in this area can be found in our partnership with the international NGO World Vision. Together, we have managed to bring water to 958,000 people in 2018 – and have reached a total of more than 1.6 million since we commenced our partnership in 2014. Together with Danish Refugee Council, we have delivered around 3.8 million litres of safe water at the Bidibidi camp, Uganda.
We also focus on identifying and realising new business opportunities in countries like Ghana, where we work to enable the local population to build sustainable business around, for example, water.
In addition to this, our employee programme, Water2Life, continues to create results in Honduras, where our employees, our partners and our company have collaborated and collected a total of USD 120,000 of donations into water systems for a local hospital and a school in the city of San Isidro.
Supporting diversity and human rights
We are maintaining our efforts to nurture a more diverse workforce in our company. This includes ensuring more women in leadership positions, where we have reached 21 per cent female leaders in 2018 and are thereby on track to achieve our goal of 25 per cent by 2020, as well as continuing work to secure a strong, international group of people in key positions.
Under the banner of our human rights due diligence programme, we continue to strengthen our work with human rights in the supply chain as well as in our own sites. We build our work on the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and have conducted in-depth assessments in India as well as Serbia and conducted 91 tier 1 suppliers audits. This is also the year we finalised our global in-depth anti-corruption assessment and launched our compliance framework.