3 Winners of World Water Day

General Electric Company, Intel Corporation, and Procter & Gamble Company are all making our world a wetter and better place.

Mar 22, 2014 at 2:30PM

Today is World Water Day and, unfortunately, it's increasingly clear that we're overconsuming, wasting, and polluting more than our fair share of this essential liquid. Luckily, there are companies out there fighting our addiction one drop at a time. Here's why General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), and Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) are all making our world a wetter and better place.

1. General Electric Company

 General Electric Company

Source: General Electric Company 

General Electric Company has the sixth most powerful brand in the world, but few folks consider this company a water warrior. This conglomerate makes everything from jet engines to Big Data prediction software, but its water win comes an unsuspecting area: natural gas fracking.

Here in the U.S., natural gas is booming. In the past 25 years, we've pushed production up a whopping 30%.

US Natural Gas Production Chart

US Natural Gas Production data by YCharts

But to get to most of that gas, energy companies are employing hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), a process that involves pumping massive amounts of water (and other stuff) into the ground to extract that golden gas. While estimates vary considerably, it can take anywhere from 1 million to 8 million gallons of water per fracking job. Either way, that's a heck of a lot of H2O.

General Electric Company announced last month that it's investing billions into figuring out a waterless way to frack. The company's partnering with Norway's Statoil to see whether CO2 can be used instead of H2O. The corporations want to make this an economically viable option for large-scale operations. If successful, General Electric Company eventually hopes to be able to also recapture that same carbon dioxide for reuse every single fracking time.

No matter which side of the fracking debate you're on, that's an unequivocal win for water.

2. Intel Corporation

Source: Intel Corporation; water conservation efforts.

You may not think it, but that Intel Corporation chip in your laptop or smartphone took boatloads of water to manufacture. Ultrapure water is a vital ingredient in Intel Corporation's model, allowing the company to clean off chemicals from chip surfaces after they've been polished to perfection.

Intel has been an early mover in water conservation. While a single plant in Chandler, Ariz., gobbles up 9 million gallons of water, the company has managed to drastically cut its consumption. Not only does Intel Corporation now use 1.25 gallons of regular water to create its ultrapure mix instead of 2, but it's also added in wastewater recycling. Whereas most chip manufacturers send their used water straight to the sewers, Intel Corporation repurifies for another round or, if there's excess, for the cleanest tap water around. I'll drink to that.

3. Procter & Gamble Company

Source: Procter & Gamble Company; celebrating the final sip for 1 billion liters of clean water. 

Worldwide, 780 million people don't have access to clean water. For the past 10 years, Procter & Gamble Company has been pumping out chlorinated water to people in over 75 countries. Working with non-profit organizations like World Vision, Procter & Gamble Company recently celebrated its 1 billionth liter of clean water distributed to folks worldwide.

When you consider that 1 million children under the age of five die every year from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, clean H2O is a serious issue -- and Procter & Gamble is taking it seriously. Not only does it continue to work with non-profits around the world, but it's also teamed up with research organizations to rigorously test the full impact of its efforts, ensuring continued efforts to hone its processes to efficiently and effectively increase clean water access in the years to come.

Support sustainability -- and make money
When you put your money in a savings account, banks can invest your finances anywhere -- and with anyone. By instead investing your money with specific companies you admire and respect, you can support sustainability worldwide.

Millions of Americans have waited on the sidelines since the market meltdown in 2008 and 2009, too scared to invest and put their money at further risk. Yet those who've stayed out of the market have missed out on huge gains and put their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you why investing is so important and what you need to do to get started. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

Justin Loiseau owns shares of General Electric. The Motley Fool recommends Intel and Procter & Gamble and owns shares of General Electric and Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers