ExxonMobil reduces freshwater consumption by 11%

Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil has reduced freshwater consumption throughout its operations to 2,083 million barrels, representing an 11% decrease from 2011.

According to the company’s 2012 Corporate Citizenship report, the reduction was largely due to on-site recycling and water reuse, sourcing treated wastewater for use as process water, employing processes to decrease water needs and appropriately treating wastewater prior to its discharge.

As a result of its long-term investment in reducing water consumption, as well as research and the use of alternative saline groundwater sources, ExxonMobil has been able to reduce its freshwater-use intensity by 90% since 1985.

“We have additional conservation initiatives under way targeted to continue to further reduce freshwater use by 2014,” the company states.

From its 108 major operating sites, the company has identified around 25% operating in regions that may have some degree of water stress or scarcity. These areas are located in 15 countries.

The company states: “ExxonMobil performs this screening exercise each year after the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) updates the global water tool with new sensitivity data.

“As a result, the company has a greater focus on water supply resources in Environmental Business Plans for each operation site, which take a five-year look ahead,” it says.

In 2012, ExxonMobil invested $330m to improve energy efficiency, reduce flaring and decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Through the investment, the company has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 4 million metric tons, or 3%, compared to 2011.

However, energy used in the company’s operations in 2012 totalled 1.5 billion gigajoules, which remains unchanged relative to its 2011 energy usage.

Leigh Stringer

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