Managing water to reduce consumption
Sustainable water use is important to us. We rely on water mainly for use in our facilities, for cooling and cleaning, and for product formulation and manufacturing of water-based coatings.
Nine of our sites are in water-stressed areas where we take special measures to protect water. A significant number of our sites already reuse water, for example in their cooling systems.
In the manufacturing process, some production equipment (high-speed dissolvers, mills) needs cooling. The cold water used for this flows through a circuit, which is kept at a low temperature (6-8°C) via a chiller or cooling tower or a combination of both. This system is in use at all Beckers sites except one: Sweden uses an open circuit to cool machinery. This process will be replaced by a chiller with a closed-loop circuit in 2024, which will have a positive impact on water consumption.
In countries where water sources are under stress, several projects have been initiated. The aim is to collect and store rainwater for a variety of purposes. In India, rain water is collected for harvesting and irrigation. In Vietnam, it is used to fill a reservoir for fire protection. In Argentina, we collect rainwater to irrigate a company vegetable garden for employees.
Water is not one of our material topics as our global consumption is currently marginal. However, we do monitor yearly water consumption closely as part of our initiatives within the 2030 Sustainability Strategy. Measures to monitor and prevent contamination of groundwater are standard procedure and comply with all local laws. We regularly review and monitor whether a topic – such as water – might become material.