The 2023 Rockwell Automation Fair featured the annual event’s first ESG Summit, with a keynote delivered to around 250 manufacturers in a ballroom at the Omni Plaza Hotel in Boston.

“We have to help the world change, specifically the manufacturing world. We [represent] 40% of the [world’s carbon] emissions. We have to help this change so that our children have a future in this world,” said Tom O’Reilly, Rockwell’s vice president for sustainability.

Matt Howard, vice president for water stewardship at The Water Council, said that data trend projections suggest a 40% gap in water availability by 2030. So from a business perspective, whether manufacturers use water in processes, as inputs to production or for cooling, they need to become more aware of how they’re using and impacting water resources and assessing their risk conditions.

“Water is not fungible. If I save 1,000 gallons of water at my manufacturing facility in Chicago, that’s great, but it has absolutely no bearing on the same type of facility in Phoenix. If you’re an organization or company and you’ve got multiple sites located all over the place, all over the U.S. or globally, each one essentially has a unique risk profile as it relates to water use,” Howard said.

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