A Message From Our Chief Sustainability Officer

Ken Lepage river clean up

Watts Journey to Sustainability

Sustainability has been our “true north” since the founding of Watts in 1874. That year, we introduced a pressure regulator for steam boilers, a breakthrough in safety technology that has protected workplaces and homes for nearly 150 years. Today, that same spirit of innovation and stewardship continues to inspire the more than 4,500 employees of Watts around the globe.


In recent years, under the leadership of our board and management teams, we have been intentional in defining how we advance sustainability across the entire business. Today we are guided by a comprehensive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy that formalizes our commitment to socially responsible business practices.


This annual publication is the seventh of its kind, and each year we strive to make progress in sharpening our approach and achieving greater transparency. This sustainability report describes the actions we have taken to operationalize our ESG policy and embed its principles in our culture. It provides rich data and insights into how we measure impact against performance targets and aligns with standards set forth by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Finally, it reaffirms our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and CEO Water Mandate, through which we have pledged to develop an annual “Communication on Progress” on implementation of its elements.


In the pages ahead, you will see that the four pillars of our sustainability strategy, Footprint, Handprint, Social Responsibility and Governance, provide an engaging and accessible framework for sharing progress. 


  • Our Footprint defines the impact of our operations both globally and in the local communities where we operate. In 2022, we reached a significant milestone in achieving verification by The Water Council’s WAVE Water Stewardship program. WAVE exclusively grants this verification to companies that both meet its rigorous standards of assessing enterprise-wide water-related risk and take action to mitigate their water-related impact on the environment. 


  • Our Handprint is the impact our products deliver through water and energy conservation, cost savings, and safety enhancements to our customers. In just one product category, pressure reducing valves, we estimate our customers avoid wasting more than 19 billion gallons of water globally per year.


  • Social Responsibility is our commitment to making people and communities safe, healthy, and strong. It includes efforts in occupational health and safety, workforce development, and community engagement. In addition to volunteer contributions and corporate grants, we took several actions driven by insights captured in our global engagement survey. One highlight in 2022 was the launch of global, multi-year leadership and inclusivity training for all employees.


  • Corporate Governance is our approach to operating responsibly and striving to adhere to the highest ethical standards. It’s how we earn trust with our stakeholders and ensure we conduct ourselves in accordance with our mission, vision, and values. In 2022, we completed a global survey of our compliance program with our approximately 2,400 computer-connected employees and are proud to report that our employees overwhelmingly responded that they believe the company and its management abide by our Code of Conduct and Values. In 2022, we also grew the total number of suppliers participating in sustainability audits by 14% over 2021, and suppliers representing more than 94% of our 2022 global annual spend certified their conformance to our Supplier ESG Standards.


While this report is an important milestone in capturing progress to-date in implementing our ESG strategy, it is also an opportunity to look ahead. We look forward to extending our innovative “Smart and Connected” enabled technology to even more of our product lines to focus on our customers sustainability needs. We plan to take what we have learned through our WAVE Stewardship Verification and further expand that work to reduce water consumption across our operations, and advance global water stewardship across the communities and watersheds we operate in. Finally, we will continue to grow the progress we have made in building the diverse and talented workforce we need for the future. 


I am extremely proud of our progress and continuing evolution as a global leader in sustainability. This success is powered by our extraordinary employees, customers, investors, communities, and partners. We are grateful for the full range of stakeholders that join us every day in our journey toward a safer and more sustainable future.  




Kenneth R. Lepage

General Counsel and Chief Sustainability Officer


“We have taken significant steps to ensure sustainability is ingrained in our culture, business practices, operations, and the way we engage with our communities.”

Kenneth R. Lepage
General Counsel and Chief Sustainability Officer