From our plants to our partnerships, we strive to do all we can to enhance our sustainability performance and results. This includes ambitious goals for reducing water and energy use.
In 2017, we helped our customers save more than 171 billion gallons of water. By 2030, we aim to conserve 300 billion gallons of water annually by reducing water consumption within our own and our customers' operations. This equals the annual drinking water needs of more than 1 billion people.
In our own operations in 2017, water withdrawal reduction was flat and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions was 4.3 percent, as compared to a 2015 baseline.* By 2020 we seek to reduce water withdrawal by 25 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent.
Also in 2017, we moved to our new Ecolab Global Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. Through capital upgrades, electricity use was reduced by nearly 40 percent, or almost 3 million kWh, as compared to the annualized use during the period from 2012-2016. In addition, recycling and upcycling during the renovation greatly minimized construction waste, leading to the diversion of more than 700 tons of material from landfills, equivalent to the yearly waste of 1,600 people.
But that is not all that we are doing. With an outcome-based approach to product design, we are moving beyond compliance. And through our partnerships and our support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we are working to ensure access to safe and clean water for everyone. It's all part of our effort to drive continuous improvement inside and out.
* Measured by intensity per million dollars in sales