Water

As water is an essential resource that is used by everybody around the world, industries like ours must set an example in its responsible use and management. Effective water stewardship has to be a priority, particularly in water-scarce areas where we operate. With this aim, we recently assessed all of our plants to identify the most vulnerable in order to effectively concentrate our efforts. Our water strategy centers on minimizing the amount of water we draw from natural and municipal sources through reusing process water and harvesting rainwater. Understanding our water cycle will help us reduce our overall footprint and preserve this precious natural resource.

Progress towards target

Target: Reduce by 50% our water withdrawal intensity (m3/tcarbon black) versus FY2012 baseline for our high- and medium-risk sites
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Target: Reduce by 50% our water withdrawal intensity(m3/tcarbon black) versus FY2012 baseline for our high- and medium-risk sites
Baseline FY2012FY2014FY2015FY2016FY2020 target
100% 80% 81% 87% 50%
3  This KPI has been adjusted to focus on the manufacturing plants identified as high and medium risk based on our water vulnerability assessment.

Assessing our Water Footprint

To better focus our water actions, we partnered in FY2015 with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resource Institute (WRI) to assess the water stress level at each of our manufacturing sites. We classified our plants into three risk categories (high, medium and low) using the data generated by the WRI’s Aqueduct  tool. As a result, we have revisited our global water KPI and replaced it with an equivalent focusing on the high- and medium-risk locations. Although informative, we recognize that the data generated by this KPI is not granular enough to drive dramatic changes. Birla Carbon believes that water risk management needs to be considered at a local level as much as possible. 

To achieve more informative reporting, we have established a multi-disciplinary team to map the water risks for the most vulnerable plants and reassess the identified scarcity or flood risks against the AqueductTM tool. Following this assessment, this team will work with engineers to try and gain a better understanding of the inherent costs of the water cycle – ranging from the actual cost of water to treatment, internal movement and discharge costs. These considerations will also include a valuation of the social cost of water in specific areas where water is scarce.

Through this assessment, we hope to gain a better understanding of our water use and the cost on the business and the wider community. We recognize that it is unlikely that we will have a clear and definitive answer to these questions within the next year, but we have started the process – a process that will make our business more robust, and more sustainable.

 
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Responsible Consumption and Production


Efficient use of resources we consume, including water.

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16 of our 17

manufacturing locations use recycled process water and/or rainwater in their operations

Our water risks

As identified by the Aqueduct Tool in partnership with WBCSD and WRI

High

  1. North America

    a Hickok, USA

     
  2. South Asia

    b Gummidipoondi, India

    c Renukoot, India

  3. South East Asia and Far East

    d Weifang, China

    e Liaoning, China

    f Yeosu, South Korea

Medium

  1. South America

    g Bahia, Brazil

     
  2. Europe and Africa

    h Hannover, Germany

    i Trecate, Italy

    j Santander, Spain

  3. South East Asia and Far East

    kAngthong,Thailand

     

Low

  1. North America

    l North Bend, USA

    m Hamilton, Canada

     
  2. South America

    nCubatão, Brazil

     
  3. Europe and Africa

    o Alexandria, Egypt

    p Tiszaújváros, Hungary

     
  4. South Asia

    qPatalganga, India

     

Water cycle at Birla Carbon sites

We recycle and reuse water wherever we can. For example, once water has been used in the manufacturing process, it is directed into retention ponds so it can be re-directed into the process. Our water conservation best practices are shared across all of our locations as part of our SOE strategy.

Our water cycle

The water cycle at Birla Carbon sites

*Approximately 3,299,460 m3 (17%) reused from retention ponds in FY2016. Recycled process water and rainwater is collected in retention ponds and pumped back into the process.

Water withdrawal by source

FY2016

16,563,889 m33

  • 43%Surface water
  • 27%Municipality
  • 30%Groundwater well

Water discharge by destination

FY2016

4,362,225 m33

  • 3%Sanitary
  • 68%On-Site retention pond
  • 21%Surface Water
  • 8%Muncipal waste water treatment process (WTTP)

Water withdrawal by source

FY2016

19,563,889 m3

  • 41%Surface water
  • 32%Municipality
  • 27%Groundwater well

Water discharge by destination

FY2016

4,362,225 m3

  • 3%Sanitary
  • 82%On-Site retention pond
  • 4%Surface water
  • 11%Municipal waste water treatment process (WTTP)

Water withdrawal by source

FY2016

16,563,889 m3

  • 41%Surface water
  • 32%Municipality
  • 27%Groundwater well

Water discharge by destination

FY2016

4,362,225 m3

  • 3%Sanitary
  • 82%On-site retention pond
  • 4%Surface Water
  • 11%Municipal waste water treatment process (WTTP)

Water withdrawal by source

FY2016

16,563,889 m3

  • 41%Surface water
  • 32%Municipality
  • 27%Groundwater well

Water discharge by destination

FY2016

4,362,225 m3

  • 3%Sanitary
  • 82%On-site retention pond
  • 4%Surface Water
  • 11%Municipal waste water treatment process (WTTP)

case study

Smart Engineering Saves Water and Money in Canada

Our facility in Hamilton, Canada, is located in an area with a high risk of flooding, which tends to occur annually. Furthermore, the turbine cooling system discharges water into retention ponds, increasing the volume of water around the plant.

Previous attempts to recycle water had involved the implementation of a holding tank, through which water was then reintroduced to the plant via the turbine cooling system. However, the same holding tank also received rejected water from the purification system, which, once mixed with the floodwater, meant that the water in the holding tank was not of a high enough quality to be reintroduced into the system. Any quality shortfalls were supplemented by water purchased from local utility providers.

Engineers at the Hamilton facility responded by modifying the system, ensuring that reject water from the purification scheme was automatically directed to the turbine cooling system, rather than mixing with floodwater. The modifications decreased our usage of local utility water by 24,480 gallons per day, resulting in savings of approximately $7,400 per month. A simple re-engineering solution therefore reduced the amount of water being stored in retention pools and produced savings by using less local utility water.


Responsible Consumption and Production

Efficient use of resources we consume, including water.


16 of our 17

manufacturing locations use recycled process water and/or rainwater in their operations