Water and Waste

Water and Waste

Our commitment to reducing our environmental impact includes being a responsible water and waste steward. As water availability and scarcity varies considerably from region to region, we evaluate opportunities to minimize the amount of water we consume on a local basis.

Monitoring and Reducing Water

As a provider of primarily water-based chemical solutions, water is a material input and output of our production process. A significant portion, but not all, of the water we consume is ultimately sold to our customers. We regularly monitor our consumption and pursue opportunities to conserve and use water efficiently within our facilities and our products.

Seventeen of our sites, including fourteen manufacturing facilities, reduce the amount of water they use by treating their own wastewater. We also seek opportunities to minimize both consumption and contamination of water. For example, we use closed-loop water chillers instead of single pass, non-contact cooling water systems in many locations.

Over time, we have made substantial improvements to conserve, recycle and reclaim water used at many facilities. Across the entire company, we consumed 365 million liters of water in 2020. This represents a 7% and 12% reduction in water consumption compared to 2019 and 2018, respectively. We primarily focus our reduction efforts in areas of water scarcity. Seven of our thirty-nine facilities (18%) operate in high or extremely high water stressed areas, according to the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.  Partially as a result of our focused efforts to reduce water use, these seven facilities contribute only 6% of our total water consumption.

Measuring and Reducing Waste

Measuring and Reducing Waste

We monitor and aim to reduce general and hazardous waste within our production operations. We also work to support the waste reduction capabilities of our customers, many of whom recognize the value of reducing waste in the overall value chain. As some of the by-products of our production processes can be deemed hazardous, we are also fully committed to meet or exceed the applicable regulatory requirements related to hazardous waste management.

Many of our facilities have set specific goals and targets related to the management of hazardous waste as part of their broader ISO 14001 certified environmental management systems. In 2020, we reduced waste generation by 20% compared to 2019. Other initiatives to manage waste include capturing “heels” (leftovers) of batches, which we then use in the next batch of similar formula and reusing first water rinse from a tank in the production process of a similar product.