Water is a critical resource in our operations. Our 2020 water management target — a target we far exceeded — was to reduce water used at sites located in water-stressed areas by 25%. Since 2013, we reduced water use at these sites by 39%.  

Our new commitment is to be net positive in water use by 2030 — producing more water than we use. That means improving the quality of watersheds that provide drinking water to millions of people in the water-stressed locations where we have manufacturing operations. We are in the initial stages of strengthening relationships with peer companies and nongovernmental organizations to develop the mechanisms, governance, partnerships and portfolio solutions to drive restorative impacts for water conditions at water-stressed locations.

Water quality for intake and discharge is important at all our sites. We track our water use at each facility monthly through our Gensuite environment management system. The WaterWatch™ module tracks effluent discharge data and trends against regulatory limitations and reporting requirements. For each effluent limit, we define an internal action threshold to recognize changing conditions and adjust pretreatment systems before a regulatory discharge limit is exceeded. We have developed and implemented operating standards and procedures to drive toward zero wastewater exceedances year-over-year.  

This approach resulted in a decrease of 3% in our overall water use in 2019 compared to 2018. At sites located in water-stressed regions, we reduced 2019 water use by 5%. Our total freshwater consumption was 3.13 million cubic meters. 

Water Data* 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Water use (million cubic meters) 3.13 3.22 3.40 3.31 4.20 4.04 3.74
Normalized water use (cubic meters/million USD) 188 206 239 245 316 313 303
Wastewater permit exceedances 4 0 2 4 8 2 10

*Slight adjustments made to previously reported data for 2013–2018 to reflect changes in our operational footprint.