Use of water and emissions into water
Water is essential for sustaining life. By developing and supporting solutions for the efficient and economical use of water, Bayer is helping to conserve this important resource. This applies both to the company’s own production activities and to the development of products, for example for agriculture (Focus Issue Nutrition
Responsible water usage
Since the end of 2008, Bayer has supported the CEO Water Mandate [ @137 ]
, an initiative of the UN Global Compact. A list of examples of efficient use of water attests to our systematic commitment to sustainable water usage in the 2010 reporting year. In addition, we took part in the Water Disclosure Project [ 138 ]
carried out for the first time in 2010 by the Carbon Disclosure Project. 137 institutional investors asked 302 of the world’s biggest companies to disclose details of their water management along with opportunities and risks identified in connection with the use of water.
All three Bayer subgroups have implemented systems and standards that meet their specific challenges with regard to water usage. In its Water Protection Directive, Bayer HealthCare commits itself to using water responsibly. Bayer CropScience has also committed itself to conserving water and to sustainable use, while Bayer MaterialScience regulates, among other aspects, the efficient use of water in its HSEQ policy.
Consumption of water rose year-on-year by 16.5 percent. In relation to the growth in production volume of around 20 percent, specific water consumption has fallen slightly, however. The absolute rise is largely due to an increase in the volume of once-through cooling water owing to increased production at the BMS sites in Brunsbüttel and Leverkusen (both Germany) and Antwerp, Belgium. In addition, a temporary leak in the cooling water system at the BCS site in Institute, United States, had an impact on the rise in the volume of water used.
Usage of water
85 percent of the water used by Bayer is cooling water (this figure includes losses due to evaporation). This water is only heated and does not come into contact with products. It is therefore possible to return this water to the water cycle without any further treatment in accordance with the official permit specifications. In our production activities, we aim to use water several times and to recycle it. Water is already recycled and reused at 35 sites, e.g. in closed cooling cycles, through the reuse of treated wastewater or the recirculation of steam condensates as process water. A total of 14 million cubic meters of water were reused in the year under review.
|22_Net water intake by source |
|Water consumption (million m² per year)||442||447||439||407||474|
|– Proportion from surface water (percent)||53||57||58||58||71|
|– Proportion from boreholes/springs (percent)||35||32||32||32||25|
|– Proportion from public drinking water supplies (percent)||2||2||1||1||3|
|– Proportion from other sources, generally rainwater (percent)||9||9||9||9||1*|
* Through optimized accounting of water use, water consumption from other sources for 2010 was assigned to the actual sources in most cases.
Discharge of water
Following an increase in the volume of wastewater in the previous year, this was reduced by approximately 9 percent in the period under review. Of the 69 million cubic meters generated, 54 million were treated as wastewater in wastewater treatment plants. We were thus able for the Group as a whole to increase the proportion of wastewater purified in a wastewater treatment plant from 67 percent in the previous year to over 78 percent. Wastewater that is not treated is also subject to strict monitoring and assessment before it is discharged into disposal channels.
|23_Volume of wastewater|
|Volume of wastewater in million m³||78||80||68||76||69|
|24_Emissions into water (absolute)|
|Phosphorus (1,000 metric tons p.a.)||0.81||0.99||0.78||0.74||0.09|
|Nitrogen (1,000 metric tons p.a.)||0.73||0.68||0.67||0.64||0.49|
|Nitrogen (kg per metric ton of sales product)||0.0723||0.0642||0.0669||0.0737||0.0474|
|TOC* (1,000 metric tons p.a. of organically bound carbon)||1.49||1.77||1.59||1.35||1.42|
|TOC (kg per metric ton of sales product)||0.147||0.167||0.159||0.155||0.136|
|Heavy metals (metric tons p.a.)||8.0||8.9||10.4||9.0||11.4|
|Inorganic salts (1,000 metric tons p.a.)||843||825||812||726||866|
|COD** – chemical oxygen demand |
(1,000 metric tons p.a.)
* Total organic carbon
** Calculated value based on TOC figures (TOC x 3 = COD)
Emissions into water
Bayer aims to keep its emissions into water as low as possible. Through process optimization in the production of Makrolon™ in Baytown, United States, we were able to completely avoid phosphorus emissions in the form of phosphate in 2010. This equates to a reduction of 88 percent across the Group. At the site in Berkeley, United States, the closure of one area of production significantly reduced the volume of phosphoric acid required there for the neutralization of wastewater.
Nitrogen emissions fell by around 23 percent year-on-year. Given the increase in the volume of sales product produced, the specific nitrogen volume improved to 0.0474 kg per metric ton of the volume of sales product produced, which was well below the target for 2010 of 0.0536 kg per metric ton. A considerable volume of nitrogen is released in the production of an insecticide at the site in Institute, United States. As these production activities were suspended for six months, there was a corresponding drop in volumes in 2010. The figure for the Leverkusen site was reduced as the method for determining the nitrogen preload of the volume of water used was improved. The figures for emissions of total organic carbon (TOC) rose year-on-year by around 5.2 percent in the period under review. Owing to the increase in the volume of sales product produced, the specific volume of TOC dropped to 0.136 kg per metric ton of sales product. The objective for 2010 has thus been met in full. The reason for the increase in TOC is the growth in production at the BMS sites in Dormagen, Germany; Caojing, China; and New Martinsville, United States. However, factors that were not linked to the economy, such as structural demolition work at individual sites, also had an impact on the increased figure for TOC.
Bayer supports Pittsburgh at the UN Environment Day
Neben Greg Babe, CEO Bayer Corporation, nahmen Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox, Deputy Director, UNEP North America, Dan Onorato, Chief Executive, Allegheny County und Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor of Pittsburgh (v. l.) am UN-Weltumwelttag teil.
On the basis of its longstanding global partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Bayer supported the city of Pittsburgh in its successful organization of the World Environment Day in North America in June 2010. The Group was involved in the planning and coordination of the individual events to which politicians, environmental experts, top managers, organizations and citizens from all over the world were invited. “Pittsburgh really does demonstrate what cities around the world can do and how important it is in our own backyard to take steps to make the environment and where you live into a place that’s healthy,” said Amy Fraenkel from UNEP. UNEP also praised Bayer’s support and willingness to assume corporate social responsibility, citing it as proof that the collaboration between the two organizations can move the environmental agenda forward.
Heavy metal emissions rose to 11.4 metric tons compared with the previous year. This increase is mainly due to the growth in production at the BMS sites in Brunsbüttel and Leverkusen, Germany. We also developed our monitoring and reporting, so that it is now also possible to record heavy metal levels in the central wastewater treatment plant at the Krefeld-Uerdingen site and heavy metal levels in wastewater that does not have to be treated. Work on components containing zinc led to additional zinc emissions in the wastewater discharged at the Brunsbüttel site.
The increase of 19.3 percent in emissions of inorganic salts was primarily due to increasing production activities, particularly at the BMS site in Caojing, China.
One specific example of our wastewater management is the modernization of the treatment plant in Leverkusen-Bürrig by our service company Currenta. Following a six-year period of modernization, the €18 million project was completed on schedule in mid-November 2010. The communal wastewater treatment plant is now one of the most modern industrial treatment plants in Germany. The breakdown of nitrogen in the wastewater is improved by more than 40 percent and more efficient wastewater treatment is possible.