Founded in the early 1920s, the Economics Laboratory, as it was then known, first went to market with a revolutionary product designed to quickly clean hotel room carpets. Before long, the company launched dishwasher soap and a range of other residential and industrial cleaning products. By the end of the 1940s, the Economics Laboratory was generating annual sales of over USD 5m.
Following a series of acquisitions, the company changed its name to Ecolab and secured listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Over the years that followed, the company’s portfolio of services continued to evolve. Today, it helps organisations to treat water for use in the food, healthcare and hospitality industries. It also offers food safety services and consulting to restaurants, hospitals, food retailers, and food and beverage manufacturing facilities.
The company’s service expansion is driven by a long history of innovation. Ecolab’s team of over 1,200 scientists, engineers and technical specialists create best-in-class solutions that are responsibly sourced and developed with close attention to human and environmental impact.
With expertise in core technologies, including antimicrobials, dispensing and monitoring, personal and environmental hygiene, polymers, surfactants, solid chemistry, water management and data analytics, it helps its clients improve operational efficiency, product quality and safety. To date, the company has registered more than 10,000 patents.
Today, Ecolab employs more than 47,000 associates over three million customer locations, including 26,000 sales-and-service team members and 1,100 scientists, engineers and technical specialists. This large and expert team generate considerable financial returns for the company, with annual revenues reaching almost USD 15bn.