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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

The Race We All Win

Entered in Call to Action


Xylem is a world-leading technology provider, solving the world’s toughest water and water infrastructure challenges

In the last two years, the company has reduced the CO2 footprint of its water customers by more than 1 million metric tons.

That reduction is only the beginning. Water and wastewater infrastructure is a major Greenhouse Gas (GHG) contributor - making up approximately 2% of global GHG emissions, on par with the shipping industry. With utility leaders focused on reliability, cost, and safety, how do you move decarbonisation from a “nice to do” to an imperative.

Through a fully integrated long-term thought leadership campaign, Xylem needed to engage with key decision-makers – C-suite executives within water utilities – to address a commercial imperative and sectoral need to accelerate the adoption of sustainable digital technologies.

We had three clear objectives:

•          Strengthen Xylem’s brand association with decarbonisation (elevating its ESG and sustainability credentials)

•          Create a sector-wide perception that net-zero commitments are an increasing trend and that achieving net zero is a beneficial, viable strategy

•          Establish Xylem as a leading voice on utility decarbonisation and the logical partner in a utility’s net-zero programme

Strategy and Execution


Lasering in on the target audience of the C-Suite level of water utilities, the strategy of the campaign was to address utilities where they are – noting the challenges and day-to-day reality of their business, one that is resource-constrained and focused on continuity of service.

The strategy focused on the priorities and pain points of the audience by honing in on two clear messaging angles: 1) Using existing technologies, a utility can make a significant impact on its GHG footprint, bringing myriad financial, operational and environmental benefits, and 2) Making a net-zero commitment – and fast progress – is easier than you think, and worth the work.

This underpinned the overall campaign architecture and all content delivered within the campaign. It also gave us a strong sense of our 3 content pillars / topics – business benefits, shared learnings, and practical steps.

Beyond numbers, the content (both the paper and all other materials developed) needed to showcase customer stories that illustrated a practical, action-orientated roadmap to net zero and that demonstrated measurable value to customers.

We developed a fully integrated thought leadership program from insight and strategy to creative ideation and concept – activating across owned content, earned media, paid social and reporting, and internal communications – brought these messages to life with data-backed points of view.


We launched in the run-up to COP27 to capitalise on the increased attention on both sustainability and the water sector. The campaign was anchored by a thought leadership paper.


Our focal paper mapped out practical steps towards a zero-carbon future – regardless of where the utility currently stood on its net-zero journey. We included tangible examples of utility experience and positive business impacts - financially, operationally and environmentally.

We devised an integrated storytelling programme for the campaign that was led by tangible proof points about the impact that technology is already having on water operators today.

Once launched the earned media, social, internal comms and partner amplification programme continued with momentum for the remainder of the quarter.

A press release drove traffic to the campaign webpage (which the team built all creative assets and drafted all copy for) and paper.

paid social (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) helped ensure the campaign found a wide audience, with key targets reached via social posts written for senior Xylem executives.


Other key results included:


Video for The Race We All Win

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Edelman, Xylem


Entry Credits