Management Report & Annexes | Basic Information About the Group

12.3 Use of Water and Emissions into Water

The continuous availability of clean water in sufficient quantities is essential for our production sites and the surrounding areas. However, this cannot be taken for granted in many parts of the world. We safeguard our water supply under the premises that industrial water usage does not lead to local problems such as a shortage of water for the local population.

Bayer supports the CEO Water Mandate of the U.N. Global Compact with the goal of working with key stakeholders to develop sustainable strategies for water usage. Our CDP Water Disclosure reports on our water usage and the associated risks.

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Online annex: 3-12.3-1

We are currently actively involved in the CEO Water Mandate’s working group to develop Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines. We provide details of our commitment, the measures implemented and the results achieved within the Group in our annual CDP Water Disclosure response, which represents a progress report for the CEO Water Mandate. In this survey initiated by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), 530 institutional investors call on 629 of the world’s biggest companies to disclose details of their water management, their company-specific water footprint, and the opportunities and risks they have identified in connection with the use of water.

Based on our company’s Water Position, we have established a program for the targeted and ongoing improvement of our water-related operating procedures. This covers both the protection and the efficient use of resources. As part of the Water Disclosure Project we have performed a screening of all environmentally relevant sites with respect to water shortage. Sites located in arid regions that are subject to particular risks when it comes to the availability and quality of water will establish a water management system with regional targets and measures by 2017 (see also Chapter 1.3 “Targets and Performance Indicators”). This will be performed on the basis of the analysis of environmental aspects in existing Bayer environmental management systems. Previous local reduction targets, as established in Spain, New Zealand and Australia, will be taken into consideration.

Our three subgroups apply specific systems and standards to tackle the respective challenges they face in their usage of water.

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Online annex: 3-12.3-2

In its Water Protection Directive, HealthCare commits itself to responsible water usage. For example, new facilities for collecting, treating and using rainwater are under construction at the Bergkamen site in Germany. HealthCare sees itself as duty-bound to continue developing its strategy for dealing with pharmaceutical residues in the environment.

CropScience is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Water Programme Leadership Group. At the end of 2012 a pilot project was launched at the Quart de Poblet site in Spain. As part of the European Water Stewardship Programme, this project will evaluate the sustainable use of water and investigate potential for improvement.

MaterialScience regulates the resource-friendly use of water in its HSEQ policy. This policy includes a commitment to handle resources carefully. The company also feels it has a responsibility to continuously improve its contribution to environmental protection and energy efficiency.

Water consumption and usage

In 2013 the Group’s water consumption fell by around 23 million m³ or approx. 6%. The biggest ­reductions were seen at the Chempark Leverkusen site in Germany and the MaterialScience site in ­Antwerp, Belgium. The gradual closure of production facilities at the CropScience site in Institute, West Virginia, United States, has reduced water consumption there by almost 24 million m³, which corresponds to over 6% of the Group’s total water volume. Water was essentially obtained from the same sources as in the ­previous year.

Net Water Intake by Source[Table 3.12.5]
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Water consumption (million m³ p.a.) 407 474 411 384 361
Proportion from surface water (%) 58 71 65 64 63
Proportion from bore holes/springs (%) 32 25 31 32 33
Proportion from public drinking water supplies (%) 1 3 2 2 3
Proportion from other sources, generally rainwater (%)* 9 1 2 2 2
* Through an optimization in the accounting of water use, it was possible to assign most of the water to the actual sources from 2010 onward, thus reducing the figure for water from other sources.

The total volume of once-through cooling water in 2013 was around 253 million m³. This is approximately 12% down on the previous year, which amounts to a reduction of 36 million m³ worldwide. 70% of all water used by Bayer is once-through cooling water. This water is only heated and does not come into contact with products. It can be returned to the water cycle without further treatment in line with the relevant official permits. The main reasons for the reduction in the volume of once-through cooling water are the partial closure of the CropScience site in Institute, West Virginia, United States, and the lower production volume at the MaterialScience site in Antwerp, Belgium.

In our production activities, we endeavor to use water several times and to recycle it. Water is already recycled and reused at 36 sites, e.g. in closed cooling cycles, or through the reuse of treated wastewater or steam condensate recovery as process water. A total of around 11 million m³ of water was reused in the reporting year.

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Online annex: 3-12.3-3

The graphic shows the distribution of the different types of water usage within the Bayer Group.

Wastewater and wastewater discharges

The total volume of process wastewater fell by around 3.6%. All wastewater is subject to strict monitoring and analysis before it is discharged into disposal channels. 81% of Bayer’s process wastewater worldwide is purified in wastewater treatment plants (Bayer or third-party facilities). Following careful analysis, the remaining 19% was categorized as environmentally safe. Part of it contained nutrients and was therefore used to water gardens and agricultural land. The volume of treated wastewater fell by 4% compared to the previous year. Its proportion of the total discharge of water remained at the previous year’s level. The decrease in the volume of wastewater not requiring treatment is primarily due to the ­reduced use of once-through cooling water at the two German Chempark sites in Leverkusen and Krefeld-Uerdingen.

Our goal is to minimize emissions into wastewater. In 2013 the amount of nitrogen compounds released into wastewater fell by 2%, and the amount of phosphate discharged decreased by 25%.

In 2013 we recorded an increase of around 8% in total organic carbon (TOC) emissions. The main ­generators of this were the CropScience sites in Muttenz, Switzerland, and Kansas City, Missouri, United States. The most important reason for this was a considerable increase in production, along with a defect in a heat exchanger in Muttenz.

Emissions into Water [Table 3.12.6]
  Absolute values
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Phosphorus (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 0.74 0.09 0.08 0.15 0.11
Nitrogen (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 0.64 0.49 0.53 0.70 0.69
Nitrogen (kg per metric ton of manufactured sales volume) 0.0737 0.0474 0.0486 0.0624 0.0620
TOC* (1,000 metric tons p.a. of organically bound carbon) 1.35 1.42 1.50 1.42 1.53
TOC (kg per metric ton of manufactured sales volume) 0.155 0.136 0.137 0.126 0.138
Heavy metals (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 0.0090 0.0114 0.0108 0.0098 0.0091
Inorganic salts (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 726 866 926 1,048 946
COD** (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 4.05 4.26 4.51 4.25 4.58

* total organic carbon

** chemical oxygen demand; calculated value based on TOC figures (TOC x 3 = COD)

Last updated: July 28, 2014  Copyright © Bayer AG