Water supply and pollution is another serious global concern. Not only is climate change threatening water resources, but unsustainable use of water and industry-related water pollution is accelerating this process. Our business depends on the availability of large amounts of water for production. For our production processes, water is used as process water and as non-contact cooling water. This is why we want and need to address this topic.
The Thaya in Austria, the Rhine in France, the Neckar Canal in Germany and the Welland Canal in Canada are the water basins from which Jungbunzlauer takes water, either from surface or from ground depending on the site, for the production processes. So-called non-contact cooling water is directly returned to the river, while process water is treated in state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plants at all our production sites before release to the water basin.
Each production site has a wastewater treatment plant, operated by us or by a third party, to ensure the correct treatment of water effluents. We meet all local regulatory requirements. There is a dedicated manager in each plant operated by us supervising the wastewater treatment process. Key aspects on water handling are summarised in the Responsible Care® Report of the relevant production site.
In our wastewater treatment plant in Austria, we utilise some wastewater streams in anaerobic digesters to produce biogas, which is then burned on site to produce steam for the production process.
For each production site water accounting is in place in order to monitor water withdrawal, water treatment in wastewater treatment plants, and water release. Data is recorded in the annual Responsible Care® Reports. Each production plant and each office location manages water usage individually. Jungbunzlauer does withdraw water from some areas with water stress. These withdrawals are monitored closely, and all local regulations are followed.
Stakeholder engagement led to the decision to dedicate more capacity to further developing our insights into the details of our water management in order to establish meaningful targets in 2023.
Individual improvement goals regarding water are set at each production plant and progress is measured. Since 2021, water withdrawal, discharge and consumption have been evaluated according to GRI Standards. More information can be found in chapter 6 in our report.
We aim to reduce our water consumption as much as possible. Additionally, we strive for systematic compliance of all set limits regarding wastewater treatment. We also continuously try to improve the recycling of water streams, where feasible.
- Reduction of chemical oxygen demand (COD) load to wastewater treatment plant in Marckolsheim, France
- Additional recycling of cooling water in Pernhofen, Austria
- Recycling of water from vacuum pumps in Port Colborne, Canada
Save water by implementing individual projects at our four production sites
In 2022, water recovery and usage were optimised at our production plants by implementing new processes or by
renovating. There are also processes to maximise the reuse of water in our sites
Collect data at production plants according to GRI Standards
Data collection for water according to GRI Standards has been finalised. Total water withdrawal and total water discharge increased slightly (by 4%) from 2021 to 2022. Water withdrawal in areas with water stress barely increased (by 6%); however, water discharge in areas with water stress only makes up 5% of the total water discharge of all production sites
We will continue to monitor and record our water usage and implement measures to reduce water consumption where possible. We also strive to improve robustness of data on water use at our different production sites. Data on water usage will be evaluated on a yearly basis for all production plants. The evaluation of the data collected and the setting of meaningful water targets for the whole Group are set to be finalised in the course of 2023.