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Note 22: Water

 Fresh water availability

Water supply is essential to life – and to the sustainability of our business. We rely on water for raw materials production, product formulation and manufacturing, power generation, cooling, cleaning, transporting and for effective use of some products. In total, 88 percent of our fresh water intake is from surface water and 85 percent of our intake is used for cooling.

Our ambition is to achieve sustainable fresh water management at all our manufacturing sites in 2015.

In addition to the intake of fresh water, the emission of contaminated water from our sites to surface waters may impact fresh water resources and eco-systems. We continue to reduce the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of our effluent to surface water.

Sustainable fresh water management
in % manufacturing sites

Sustainable fresh water management in % sites (bar chart)

Fresh water use in million m3

Fresh water use in million m3 (bar chart)

Water emissions

  • 74 percent of manufacturing sites have sustainable fresh water management (2010: 48 percent) as measured by the AkzoNobel fresh water management risk assessment tool
  • Fresh water use per ton of production has come down to 15.6 m3/ton (2010:15.7 m3/ton). Total fresh water use was 291 million m3 (2010: 309 million m3), a decrease of 6 percent
  • Reductions in COD in effluent are being achieved across the company. The COD load to surface water per ton of production remained stable at 0.10 kg/ton (2010: 0.10 kg/ton). The total COD load to surface water was down 5 percent to 1.8 kilotons (2010: 1.9 kilotons). Improvements are due to the divestment of the National Starch business, as well as developments in Decorative Paints, where a waste water reduction initiative applies new technologies to increase yield and reduce related waste water streams

Chemical oxygen demand (COD) in kilotons

Chemical oxygen demand in kilotons (bar chart)
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