Ecolab & Project WET Launch Water Conservation Program - Analyst Blog

Ecolab Inc.ECL , a global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, recently launched its Clean and Conserve Education Program in partnership with the Project WET Foundation.

The Ecolab Clean and Conserve Education Program is designed to educate students about the importance of water conservation and hygiene in order to promote a more sustainable use of water. With a focus on education as a solution for global water challenges, Ecolab targets to reach two million people in the U.S., Mexico, China and Germany by the end of 2017 through this program.

As part of the program launch, kick-off events were held in several Ecolab communities throughout the world, including Shanghai, China; Alajuela, Costa Rica; Monterrey and Lerma, Mexico; Manila, Philippines; Sugar Land, TX; and St. Paul, MN. Additional events are scheduled in South Africa, Turkey and the UAE.

The program curriculum, which is designed to help children aged four and above learn about water conservation and healthy hygiene practices, is available in English through the Project WET Foundation website. Notably, the curriculum will be made available in Mandarin and Spanish later this year with a German version to follow in the first quarter of 2016.

We note that Ecolab is making significant efforts to conserve water and improve hygiene around the world through partnerships with leading NGOs, global philanthropy and employee volunteerism. Ecolab's partnership with the Project WET Foundation - a non-profit water resources education organization - is part of its Solutions for Life program which aims to advance the company's objective.

In Dec 2014, the Ecolab Foundation committed $1.5 million to the Project WET Foundation to develop a hands-on student curriculum on water conservation and the role that water plays in maintaining good health through proper hygiene. The program's initial focus is on four markets: St. Paul, MN; Shanghai, China; Mexico City, Mexico; and Monheim, Germany; but the Clean and Conserve curriculum is available to educators throughout the world.

We believe that such initiatives taken by Ecolab will go a long way in improving the company's international presence and help win business contracts with key global customers.

In particular, emerging markets like China and South Africa hold promising growth opportunities which will help offset difficult conditions in Ecolab's North America and European markets, where lower volumes, as well as customer capacity reduction and plant closures have impacted sales.

However, even as Ecolab penetrates the international market, we feel that macroeconomic problems and fluctuations in currency exchange rates will adversely impact the company's international sales. Notably, management expects foreign currency to impact 2015 sales by around 5%-6% and be unfavorable to earnings per share by roughly 26 cents.

Stocks to Consider

Currently, Ecolab carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the chemical-specialty industry include KMG Chemicals KMG , OM Group OMG and BioAmber BIOA . Both KMG Chemicals and OM Group sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while BioAmber carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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