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Fresh water availability

Sustainable fresh water supply is essential to life – and to the sustainability of our business. Our ambition is to achieve sustainable fresh water management at all our sites in 2015.

The AkzoNobel fresh water sustainability assessment takes into account both the societal impact and the business continuity aspects. During 2009, 99 percent (target 100 percent) of manufacturing sites completed the assessment – 38 percent already have sustainable fresh water management in place, while all remaining sites are developing improvement plans to achieve this status by 2015.

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 our fresh water consumption and the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of our effluent to surface water.

  • Total fresh water use was 270 million m3, 9 percent lower than 2008 (297 million m3 )
  • Reductions in chemical oxygen demand in effluent are being achieved across the company. In 2009 we monitored a COD load of 2.46 kilotons to surface water, a 15 percent decrease on the 2008 (2.88 kilotons). Our Los Reyes site in Mexico achieved a major reduction by diverting the waste water to a treatment plant. However, some of this improvement was canceled out by poor performance at the Rotterdam waste water treatment unit.
Fresh water use
in million m3
Fresh water use in million m3 (bar chart)
Total fresh water used from surface, ground or potable water sources.
Chemical oxygen demand
in kilo tons
Chemical oxygen demand per million ton (bar chart)
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is the amount of oxygen required for the Total fresh water used from surface, ground or potable water sources. chemical oxidation of substances in the waste water effl uent which is directly discharged into surface waters from our facilities. It excludes our effluent treated by others.
*2010 milestones were set in 2005, based on the AkzoNobel portfolio that year.

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