Water is a vital resource for both our operations and the planet, however itis becoming increasingly scarce.
There is pressure for collective action, including involvement from the private sector,for efficient and improved the efficiency of water management.
The world's water consumption has increased by more than twice the rate of population growth over the last century, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2017 lists the water crisis among the top ranked global risks. Water stress, droughts, floods, and a rise in sea levels are growing concerns in both the developed and developing world. The quality of the world's water is increasingly being degraded, threatening the health of people and ecosystems.
Water Management Policy
IVL is committed to sustainable water management (including water withdrawal and discharge) through our Water Management Policy and Strategy. We comply with all applicable environmental laws, international standards, procedures and regulations in the countries we have operations and are proactive in demonstrating leadership through responsible water use in-line with our values.
In focusing on our business performance and objectives, we are committed to reducing our water intensity and minimizing water-related risks globally through our enterprise risk management in addition to creating sustainable business value.
Our water policy is a key component of the IVL Group EHS policy which mandates environmental stewardship, environmental protection, and the efficient use of natural resources.
Improving our water management by:
Ensuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
Regular communication/coordination with local regulatory authorities/water suppliers to monitor water situations and mitigation measures.
Responsible use of water including monitoring water consumption with a focus on reducing water intensity on a per ton production basis.
Development of eco-friendly products through process innovation.
Systematic tracking of water-related risks to the company and local communities.
Quantifying and monitoring our water usage and discharge, as well as the potential effects on the surrounding environment, with the aim of improving performance.
Regular increase of water recycles and reuses.
Setting yearly targets for total fresh water consumption and water intensity.
Monitoring total yearly operating costs for water at all sites including the impact of increases in fresh water costs worldwide to our operations.
Managing and reducing effluents.
Initiating incident investigations and corrective actions, and reporting on non-compliance.
Water Management Strategy
IVL has been focusing on responsible water use through our Sustainability Strategy and our Corporate Global Water Strategy, which mandates continuous improvements in water management through regular assessments and by further implementing technologies and processes to improve water use throughout our operations.
We are working to achieve zero liquid discharge at more of our sites while ensuring the most efficient water consumption by implementing the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), as well as building wastewater treatment plants to increase water reuse and recycling, and reducing freshwater withdrawal in most of our operations.
Total water withdrawn (m3) (Tons)
Intensity (m3 / Ton of Production)
Water Recycled & Resused *
Total water withdrawn (m3) (Tons)
Recycled / reused water (%)
* Percentage of historical recycled/reused water intensities are restated due to chane in calculation methodology.
≤ 5.32 m3 /ton of production
4.14% reduction in water intensity over 2018 (for 2019 Reporting Scope (94 sites) i.e. including 2019 acquisitions)
10% reduction in water intensity from 2019 levels
Water Risk Management
We conduct a water sensitivity analysis using the AQUEDUCT Water Risk tool developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) to identify the level of water stress at our operational sites. This analysis takes into account the total water available and total withdrawal in the area. Our study in 2019 indicates that currently 14% of our sites are located in extremely high water stress areas, while 16% are located in high water stress areas. With projected water stress in 2030, 16% of our sites are expected to fall under extremely high water stress areas while 11% are expected to be in high water stress areas. These results have been analyzed and discussed with the respective sites during risk assessment meetings and were shared with the committee to properly plan, and take the necessary corrective measures in regards to water use and conservation.
Water withdrawal by sources (m3)
Surface water (wetlands, rivers, lakes, oceans)
Once through cooling water
Water Withdrawal in Extremely High and High Stress Area (m3) - Region wise
Water Stress Assessment* : Current and Future
Medium to high
Low to medium
Arid & Low water use
Medium to high
Low to medium
Arid & Low water use
* Assessment conducted using the AQUEDUCT Water Risk Tool developed by WRI in the picture below
Case studies: Solution for a Large Volume of Wastewater and Excessive Disposal
For efficient and effective management of wastewater, Avgol (Russia), a subsidiary of the Company, installed a wastewater evaporator to reduce the volume of wastewater discharged thus lowering the load of wastewater treated after discharge, and in turn, reducing the treatment cost. The evaporator handles hydrophilic surfactant – which makes up just over 5% of Avgol’s waste, almost all of which is uncontaminated or unpolluted. The estimated annual cost-savings amounts to USD 13,000. The wastewater evaporator began operations last year saving 480 L/day, and was designed to process liquids originating from various industrial processes. The use of a vacuum system in the installation allows the boiling process to be achieved for liquids at a temperature significantly lower than in normal atmospheric pressure conditions (boiling begins when the liquid reaches 30˚C). This can reduce the energy needed for a high boiling point condition and decrease the amount of water consumption as evaporated water can return to the process
IVPSA plant reduces raw and potable water consumption
With 100% of wastewater being recovered at IVPSA’s plant in Ipojuca, Brazil, three projects were implemented to reduce both raw and potable water consumption onsite. Two raw water projects aimed at recovering part of the Water Cooling Tower purge while taking advantage of rainwater during the winter season. The first project treats the Cooling Tower purge in a coagulation/sedimentation system, followed by a reverse osmosis machine which removes antimony and phosphorus salts. This allows the water to be reused in the tower reducing raw water consumption by 26,000 m3/year. The second project, which runs until 2020, transfers and reuses rainwater from the PET resin warehouse to the contention basin and is expected to reduce consumption by 20,000 m3/year (saving USD 5,000 per year). The potable water project consists of a comprehensive set of actions, including individualizing water measurements to the different buildings, replacing potable water with raw water in drainages, as well as for gardening and lavatories, in addition to training programs. This project is already underway providing a reduction of 28,500 m3/year and saving USD 100,000 per year.
Harvesting Rain Water
IVL Dhunseri Petrochem Industries Private Limited, an IVL subsidiary located in Panipat, India, established a rainwater harvesting system at its plant in 2017 to supply surface water to subsurface aquifers (before it is lost as surface runoff). The amount of rainwater estimated to percolate into the ground is over 41,500 m3/year, which amounts to over 30% of 2017 annual fresh water withdrawn by the plant. This water will be free of pollutants as well as salts, minerals and other man-made contaminants, and will help in reducing soil erosion and contamination of surface water with pesticides and fertilizers by replenishing groundwater. We have plans to extend this system to additional sites in the future.