Ecolab cleans up by cleaning up. The company offers cleaning,
sanitation, pest-elimination, and maintenance products and services
to energy, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, and other
customers. Its cleaning and sanitizing operations serve hotels,
schools, commercial and institutional laundries and quick-service
restaurants. Other units focus on products for textile care, water
care, health care, food and beverage processing, and pest control.
It also makes chemicals used in water treatment for industrial
processes, including in the paper and energy industries. The
company is expanding its services to the offshore and international
Ecolab operates in more than 170 countries. Its largest
international operations are in Europe, Asia/Pacific, Latin
America, and Canada. Smaller operations are in Africa and the
The US accounted for 52% of the company's total revenues in
2015; Europe, 18%; Asia-Pacific, 12%; Latin America, 8%: the Middle
East and Africa, 5%, and Canada 5%.
The company directly operates in 90 countries outside of the US
through wholly-owned subsidiaries or, in some cases, through a
joint venture with a local partner.
The company provides cleaning and sanitizing programs and
products, equipment repair, and pest elimination for markets such
as food service, food and beverage processing, chemical processing,
oil and gas production, healthcare, government and education, and
textile care. Ecolab's chemicals and services are used in
water treatment, pollution control, oil and gas, steelmaking,
papermaking, mining, and other industrial processes. It is
also one of the top suppliers of
chemical dishwashing products to institutions in the
Ecolab has four operating segments: Global Industrial (Global
Water, Global Food & Beverage, Global Paper, and Global Textile
Care operating units); Global Institutional (Global Institutional,
Global Specialty, and Global Healthcare operating units); Global
Energy (operating under the Nalco Champion name); and Other (Global
Pest Elimination and Equipment Care operating units).
The Global Industrial segment (35% of sales in 2015) provides
water treatment and cleaning and sanitizing services to large
industrial clients in the chemical, commercial laundry, food,
manufacturing, and paper industries. Global Institutional generated
32%; Global Energy, 27%; and Other, 6%.
Sales and Marketing
The company serves customers in a range of segments including
Buildings and Facilities, Chemical Processing, Education, Facility
Care, Food and Beverage Processing, Food Retail, Foodservice,
Government, Healthcare, Lodging, and Oil and Gas.
Selected Ecolab's products are sold to distributors, agents, or
licensees. Deliveries to customers are made from manufacturing
plants and a network of distribution centers and third-party
logistics service providers, using common carriers, Ecolab's own
delivery vehicles, and distributors' vehicles.
In 2015 the company's net revenues decreased by 5% due to lower
Global Energy segment sales (other segments increased during the
Fixed currency sales for Global Energy segment were negatively
impacted by volume reductions and lower pricing primarily
reflecting significant reductions in well stimulation business and
slightly lower sales in production business. These more than offset
growth in downstream business. Continued growth in international
regions was offset by soft North America results, reflecting the
reduction in North America drilling and well completion activity,
customer spending, and price reductions.
Ecolab's net income decreased by 17% due to lower net net
In 2015 cash from operating activities increased by 10% due to
Venezuela charges and changes in accounts receivable, inventories,
and accounts payable.
The company grows through acquisitions.The company's global
reach and expanded line of products and services will enable it to
provide total water processing management to food and beverage,
hospitality, and laundry customers worldwide. It continues to
target key acquisitions to complement its businesses and to focus
on key growth areas. In 2015 it made five acquisitions for
companies with combined revenues of $305 million.
Ecolab's strategy for growth also includes investing organically
in its businesses, including equipment used by customers to
dispense its cleaning and sanitizing products, as well as in
process control and monitoring equipment.
In addition, the company also aligned itself by divesting
non-core businesses. In 2015 it sold an immaterial business in
Europe that was part of the company's Global Energy segment and
sold a portion of its Ecovation business.
In 2014 Ecolab opened a new manufacturing plant on Jurong Island,
Singapore. The new 106,000-square-meter site will supply chemistry
products for oil and gas companies in the Eastern Hemisphere and
support continued growth for Nalco Champion.
That year the company introduced a new hand sanitizer dispenser
(Nexa) and launched the 3D TRASAR Solid Cooling Water Program,
which monitors building cooling water systems.
The company also invests in innovation. In 2013 Ecolab opened an
R&D facility in Russia and a training center in Eagan,
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2016 the company purchased certain assets of Keedak Limited,
an oilfield chemical distributor in Nigeria. It also made a binding
offer to acquire Laboratoires Anios from co-owners Bertrand and
Thierry Letartre and private investment company Ardian. Anios is a
European manufacturer and marketer of hygiene and disinfection
products for the healthcare, food service, and food and beverage
processing industries. Based in Lille, France, Anios has a presence
in more than 85 countries. Anios' innovative product line expands
the solutions Ecolab can offer while also providing a complementary
In 2015 the company acquired the US operations of Swisher
Hygiene, expanding its Institutional customer base and service
coverage. It also acquired the assets and operations of Ultra Fab
Industries, a privately held company based in Calgary, Canada, that
designs and manufactures customized solutions and specialized
chemical injection systems for the oil and gas industry. This $115
million acquisition broadened Nalco Champion's offerings and market
opportunity. Earlier that year, it acquired Jianghai Environmental
Protection Co. Ltd., ($190 million) which increased Ecolab's total
water business in China by 50%, significantly strengthening
long-term growth opportunities in the water-stressed country.