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Note 18: Water


Fresh water availability

Sustainable water supply is essential to life – and to the sustainability of our business. We rely on water for raw materials production, product formulation and manufacturing, power generation, cooling, cleaning, transporting and for effective use of some products.

Our ambition is to have sustainable fresh water management in place at all our manufacturing sites in 2015.

Around 88 percent of our fresh water intake is from surface water and 87 percent of our intake is used for cooling. In addition to the intake of fresh water, the emission of contaminated water from our sites to surface waters may negatively impact fresh water resources and eco-systems. We continue to reduce the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of our effluent to surface water.

More details on the sources and use of fresh water can be found on our website.

Sustainable fresh water management
in % manufacturing sites

Sustainable fresh water management in % manufacturing sites (bar chart)

Sustainable fresh water management is defined as a low risk score in all categories in the AkzoNobel sustainable fresh water assessment tool: water sources, supply reliability, efficiency, quality of discharges, compliance and social competitive factors.

Water emissions

  • 83 percent of sites have sustainable fresh water management in place (2011: 74 percent), as measured by the AkzoNobel fresh water management risk assessment tool
  • Fresh water use per ton of production has come down to 15.3 m3/ton (2011:15.6 m3/ton). Total fresh water use was 283 million m3 (2011: 291 million m3), a decrease of 3 percent

Reductions in COD in effluent are being achieved across the company. The COD load to surface water per ton of production reduced to 0.09 kg/ton (2011: 0.10 kg/ton). The total COD load to surface water was down 12 percent to 1.6 kilotons (2011: 1.8 kilotons). Improvements are due to various initiatives, such as the one at Santo Andre, where a project was approved to connect its operations to the municipal wastewater treatment.

Fresh water use
in million m3

Fresh water use in million m3 (bar chart)

Total fresh water intake from surface, ground or potable water sources.

Chemical oxygen demand (COD)
in kilotons

Chemical oxygen demand (COD) in kilotons (bar chart)

Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is the amount of oxygen required for the chemical oxidation of substances in the wastewater effluent which is directly discharged into surface waters from our facilities. It excludes our effluent treated by others.

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