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. See the Sustainable fresh water management section for details of the water program.

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 kilotons

Chemical oxygen demand in kilo ton (bar chart)

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

1 2010 milestones were set in 2005, based on the AkzoNobel portfolio that year.

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 COD of our effluent to surface water.

In 2005, before AkzoNobel’s portfolio change, we set a milestone to reduce COD emissions to surface water to 1,500 tons by 2010. We continue to reduce the level of emissions, but have not yet achieved this target with the changed business portfolio.

  • Fresh water use per ton of production has remained stable at 16m3/ton (2009: 16m3/ton). Total fresh water use was 309 million m3 (2009: 270 million m3), an increase of 14 percent, mainly due to production volume increases
  • Reductions in COD in effluent are being achieved across the company. The COD load to surface water per ton of production was down 33 percent to 0.10kg/ton (2009: 0.15kg/ton). The total COD load to surface water was down 24 percent to 1.9 kilotons (2009: 2.5 kilotons). Improvements are due to the divestment of National Starch business in the last quarter and improvement projects executed in this business earlier in the year.
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