Cleaner. Safer. Healthier.

Wednesday 26 October 2011, by Frankie Quan, Max Braun, Ryan Jiang, Zoe Xu

0 inspired

a)The main facts about the activities of the company.

Making the world a cleaner, safer, healthier place is our business. We are committed to providing our customers with the most effective and efficient cleaning, food safety and infection control programs available.?

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing.

The company names three elements of their action: Generating economic value for shareholders and customers, promoting the well-being of the natural environment and the providing of social benefits for the community.

Relating to the first the company accepts the need for innovations, modern technologies, profit for the shareholders and value to the customer and fits the requirements of the marketplace.

A big issue is related to the second point: The company takes the role of an environmental stewardship and pays much attention to sustainability in concerns of energy, water, CO2 and waste to understand itself as part of the environment, dealing respectful with the resources and try to minimize the use of resources while making their products more effective.

Human rights as well as diversity and business fairness are the main values in the part of benefits for the community. Due to many acquisitions in the industry the company also has to deal with the integration of the new employees and the general security and training of employees. Additionally ethical souring as well as the safety of the products should fit into a way of keeping the business profitable.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

We believe in the ethics of the company because of internal documents and external sources as well as we think that the vision of the company is realizable while making profit and keeping close relations to all the stakeholders of the business. First of all, the company addresses many ethical issues, not only by their strong corporate values and vision, but also by several projects on sustainability and social responsibility as well as various corporate documents on ethical issues as the annual sustainability reports, rules of conduct, documents on ethical sourcing, social responsibility and so on.

Apart from that there are many goals mentioned in the reports the company already realizes as the reduced global water consumption by 4.4 percent, global disposed waste by 18 percent and global effluent water by 2.4 percent per metric ton of shipped product. In the U.S., we reduced carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) emissions by 9.13 percent per dollar sales from 2009, resulting in a 15.4 percent total reduction from our 2006 baseline. In terms of social responsibility Ecolab increased our ethical sourcing spend by 20 percent, improved worker safety and contributed more than $5.4 million through our Foundation to local communities.

As last point we believe that Ecolab is really ethical because of positive news regarding their ethical behavior, many awards they were recognized for being ethical which show that ethical behavior in sustainability as well as social responsibility go hand in hand with business success.

d) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

Expanding in new, developing markets faces the problem of lower purchasing power connected with production costs of the developed world. A solution would be to produce and serve locally and improve the living and working conditions locally. Another solution could be the adjustment of the products to local needs as well as new ways of financing the products by micro loans.

As a expression in Buddhism says: ?To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And a Heaven in a Wild Flower?, the respect of the creation is a high value in philosophies and religions all over the world. The company faces the question, that their products destroy, harm and change the creation, even they are only microorganisms, one of the basis for the ecological system. It may provoke resistances in microorganism as well as residuals in organisms. The big challenge is to find a middle-way in producing and usage of cleaning and disinfection products and respecting the creation and even germs.

Due to the increasing problem of mutated microorganisms such as MRSA, the right use of hygienic products has rising importance not only for ensuring a high standard of hygiene but avoiding the microorganisms of getting resistant. Therefore strong ties to customers are necessary to teach the right use of products instead of a simple encouraging of more disinfection products.

Strong ties to suppliers should ensure the sustainable use of resources and diminished pollution. General thinking about the relation to the environment and the relation of mankind to creation by workshops and forums can lead to an more moral handling of this ethical issue.


Location: Minnesota (United States of America)

Sector: Accommodation and food service activities

Official website:

Key figures:

.5 billion in global sales
7 million in operating income in 2010

Nbr. visits: 629