Currently, 884 million people in the world do not have any basic supply of water. Another 40 percent of the world population, according to the UN, are affected by a water shortage – an amount which is expected to go up. It’s time to do something.
In addition to hundreds of millions of people without access to water, more than 1.7 billion people currently live in river areas in which the consumption of water exceeds the natural regeneration, i.e. the natural supply of water. That is why we at Greiner are active for a sustainable water management and want to reduce our consumption of water.
Water is a valuable resource and vital for our manufacturing process. At Greiner, water is used for heating and cooling circuits, as well as for the operation of our sanitation facilities. The majority of the water we consume is groundwater. This is mainly used for process cooling. By using plate heat exchangers, it is possible to take the chill from the groundwater, thereby operating our closed cooling circuits more efficiently. As a result, we can return more than 97 percent of the groundwater extracted back to the source of extraction. If cooling with groundwater extraction is not possible, the closed cooling circuits are operated at the sites with a wide variety of technologies, such as free cooler systems or cold pumps. Recently, the total volume of our water consumption fell overall. By fixing leaks, the water extracted in 2018 fell by nearly 20 percent.
1 Readings from water meters, water bills, and estimates of the water volumes form the basis for the survey on water withdrawal
In the Risk Report 2018 of the World Economic Forum (WEF), water is among the top 5 risks. In many regions, companies can no longer rely on a stable supply with high-quality water. We at Greiner recognize that our consumption of water has a diverse impact on the eco system and influences the quality life in a particular area – including social and economic consequences for the local communities in the neighborhood of our sites.
Water supply is a local challenge. That is why every strategic reduction in water must pursue a local approach and build on local solutions. At Greiner, we use the Water Risk Filter of the WWF to identify sites in areas with water risks. If, pursuant to this filter, sites are located in areas with a physical risk and a general operational risk / catchment area risk above factor 3, the term “water-stressed areas” is used. Based on this analysis, we are concentrating our initiatives to save water on the production sites in the regions affected and are ensuring more than ever that water is used efficiently.
2 Locations which, according to the WWF Water Risk Filter 2018, are in areas with a physical risk and general operational risk/drainage area risk above factor 3.