BASF recognised for water management achievements

BASF has become the first chemical company to achieve gold-level certification according to the European Water Stewardship (EWS) standard, for its production site in Tarragona, Spain.

The EWS standard aims to lower the quantity of water used by companies and farms while simultaneously safeguarding the integrity of local ecosystems within the vicinity of the site.

In order to achieve the certification, the entire water management performance of BASF’s production site was assessed, from extraction of water at its source to its reintroduction in downstream water bodies.

The German chemical company uses water as a coolant, solvent and cleaning agent, as well as directly in chemical production.

By 2020, BASF wants to reduce the withdrawal of drinking water from supply sources for production by half compared with 2010. In addition, it aims to reduce the emissions to water of organic substances and nitrogen by 80% and the emissions of heavy metals by 60% compared with 2002.

BASF also aims to improve its sustainable water management by exploiting less water in regions considered to be water-stressed.

More than 60% of the naturally available water sources in water-stressed regions are currently exploited by humans and 20% of all BASF sites, including Tarragona, are located in water-stressed areas.

Last year BASF abstracted around 7% of its worldwide water supply from these areas.

BASF’s Ulrich von Deessen said: “By the year 2020, we want to introduce a water management following the EWS standard at all sites where water is scarce.”

This week, BASF came top in an index published by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO), which ranked the top 800 global companies for their emissions reporting. (LINK)

Conor McGlone

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie