AkzoNobel achieves water standard for cutting consumption

AkzoNobel's UK Decorative Paints business has become the first company in the DIY and construction industry to achieve the Carbon Trust's Water Standard award for cutting water use.

The company is the sixth in the world to be awarded the Carbon Trust Water Standard, following Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sainsbury’s, Sunlight, Branston and Glanbia.

AkzoNobel reduced its fresh water use to 283 million square metres (m3), down from 309 million m3. The company achieved the 26 million m3 cut through a series of reduction measures, including rainwater harvesting to feed manufacturing processes, a programme to reduce water leakage across plants and by reducing the number of cleaning cycles needed.

The company also cut the need for fresh water by increasing storage capacity for waste water at manufacturing sites, meaning more waste water can be incorporated into product formulations.

Launched in February, AkzoNobel’s UK Decorative Paints business has become the first company in the DIY and construction industry to achieve the Carbon Trust’s Water Standard award for cutting water use. the Carbon Trust created the new certification to galvanise business action on measuring, managing and reducing water use.

The Carbon Trust says businesses around the world are not acting fast enough to cut water use, despite the fact global water demand is predicted to increase dramatically by 2030 to a level far exceeding current freshwater availability.

It added that failure to act will expose businesses to water scarcity issues down the line which could drive up costs or even grind operations to a standstill.

AkzoNobel’s global sustainability director for Decorative Paints, Chris Cook, said: “Radical resource efficiency, doing more with less, is central to our sustainability strategy and water reduction is an important part of responsible resource management.

“We have driven down water usage at our plants and we are determined our new plant in Ashington will be the most sustainable paint plant ever with state-of-the-art processes driving down energy consumption and waste”.

The Carbon Trust’s associate director, Michael Gifford, said: “Water is the new frontier in the battle against climate change. Businesses everywhere must take serious steps to reducing their water consumption as a matter of urgency.

“Businesses have a responsibility to use resources efficiently. Companies like AkzoNobel are demonstrating real leadership by achieving independent certification to show that they their commitment is matched by genuine action.”

For more on AzoNobel’s sustainability plans read ‘In conversation with Chris Cook’

Leigh Stringer

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