Investment: In December 2018, the Ecolab Foundation made a $5 million gift to the University of Minnesota in support of environmental sustainability research and education.
Impact: To position the University and State of Minnesota as leaders in environmental sustainability, the gift has accelerated research into practices that ensure safe water, renewable energy, healthy landscapes, and sustainable food.
The gift has created:
- An endowed chair held by Jessica Hellmann, Ecolab Chair in Environmental Leadership and director of the University’s Institute on the Environment
- Scholarships for undergraduates studying science, engineering, and sustainability
- Experiential learning opportunities for students with global and local partners focused on energy, water quality and supply, sustainable development, and public health
- A new conference series that brings together world-class experts from many sectors to explore strategies for addressing some of the globe's most vexing sustainability challenges
Developing future leaders: Ecolab encourages employees to mentor U of M students, helping them gain valuable leadership skills in environmental sustainability. During the Ecolab Scholars program kickoff in November 2019, students met members of Ecolab’s senior leadership team to learn about the company’s businesses and approach to sustainability.
What Ecolab and U of M leaders are saying:
“Our gift is designed to support sustainability thought leadership for years to come. Ecolab operates at the nexus of business and sustainability, and this investment from the Ecolab Foundation will encourage collaboration between the University and the business community to ensure a secure, sustainable future for everyone.”
—Ecolab President and Chief Executive Officer Christophe Beck
“Public-private partnerships are essential to making real progress on sustainability and addressing the impacts of climate change. The global economic impact of climate change and other stressors make this work truly imperative, for Minnesota and around the globe.”
—Jessica Hellmann, director of the Institute on the Environment and the first Ecolab Chair for Environmental Leadership.