Water – Save, Conserve, Protect
Mar 18, 2022
One of WACKER’s sustainable development goals is water stewardship. By 2030, WACKER aims to reduce water withdrawal across the Group by 15 percent. The Environmental Protection and Utility Supply departments at the Burghausen site are collaborating with the production plants on water stewardship projects that save, conserve, and protect water.
Safe and economical availability of water faces major challenges, not least due to climate change. Extreme weather conditions such as heat and drought, heavy rainfall and flooding are on the rise and are affecting the use and management of water. This is why it is more important than ever to use water as sparingly as possible and to find ways of reconciling economic efficiency with ecological and social aspects.
For WACKER, this means systematically consolidating and expanding our commitment to date. The Group is aligning its water stewardship with international standards for analyzing and controlling measures. WACKER is setting up a software tool that will help production plants determine how to improve their water footprint and contribute toward reaching the company goal.
Water management is based on six principles, tailored to local requirements:
- Responsible use of water
- Sustainable water withdrawal
- Maintaining “good status” for water
- Conserving protected areas
- Protecting people and facilities from the consequences of extreme weather events
- Access to water, sanitation facilities and hygiene standards
Previous projects on water protection and an efficient water supply are already incorporated the tenet of these principles. For example, the Burghausen site has been investing in analyses and measures to treat and improve wastewater for years. A team of experts is investigating potential for even more efficient use of cooling water. For example, the decentralized use of heat pumps is being examined, which would enable residual heat to be used even more efficiently and further reduce heat loss into the cooling water. The Construction Department is developing solutions for the safe drainage of heavy rainfall events, which are increasing due to climate change.
Water stewardship goes beyond the factory fence and involves other water users and stakeholders, such as the Verein Naturnahe Alz (Natural Alz Association). WACKER and seven other ChemDelta Bavaria companies support this organization in their endeavor to help Bavarian authorities renaturalize the Alz river and enhance its ecosystem in the long term.