Management Report & Annexes | Fundamental Information About the Group

12.3 Use of Water and Emissions into Water

The continuous availability of clean water in sufficient quantities is essential for supplying our production sites and the surrounding areas. However, this can no longer be taken for granted in many parts of the world. We make sure we have all the water we need while also ensuring that industrial water usage does not lead to local problems such as water scarcity for the people living in the area.

Bayer supports the ceo Water Mandate of the u.n. Global Compact with the goal of working with key stakeholders to develop sustainable strategies for water usage. Our CDP Water Disclosure reports on our water usage and the associated risks.

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Online annex: 3-12.3-1

In the last few years, we have been actively involved in the ceo Water Mandate’s working group and in drawing up the new version of the Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines. The updated guidelines were published in September 2014. We provide details of our commitment, the measures implemented and the results achieved within the Group in our annual cdp Water Disclosure response, which represents a progress report for the ceo Water Mandate. In this survey initiated by the cdp, institutional investors call on more than 800 of the world’s biggest companies to disclose details of their water management, their company-specific water footprint, and the opportunities and risks they have identified in connection with the use of water. In addition, Bayer also took part in 2014 in a cdp Water Disclosure pilot project to develop a standardized assessment and comparison method for companies’ water stewardship.

Based on our company’s Water Position and the analysis of environmental aspects in our existing Bayer environmental management systems, we have established a program for the targeted and ongoing improvement of our water-related operating procedures. This covers both the conservation and the efficient use of resources. In 2013 we used the wbcsd (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) Global Water ToolTM to screen all of our environmentally relevant sites in terms of water scarcity. As a result, we identified sites whose location in water-scarce areas exposes them to particular risks in terms of water availability and quality. In line with our Group target, these sites are to establish water management with local targets by 2017 (see also Chapter 1.3 “Targets and Performance Indicators”). The existing water management at over 80% of these sites has already been reviewed in 2014. This review examined, for example, whether water-relevant strategies, objectives and initiatives and an appropriate risk management system were already in place. On the basis of this review, individual steps to improve water management will be agreed on with the sites in question. In addition, our three subgroups use specific systems and standards to address their own individual challenges in handling water.

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Online annex: 3-12.3-2

In its Water Protection Directive, HealthCare commits itself to responsible water usage. At the Bergkamen site in Germany – Bayer’s largest production site for active pharmaceutical ingredients – all wastewater produced on the site premises is treated in the central wastewater treatment plant (zaba). Its state-of-the-art membrane technology retains all biomass from biological wastewater treatment. The ultrafiltration cleans the water so effectively that it can be fed straight into the River Lippe. Before treatment in the zaba, water containing high levels of solvents first goes through the decentralized process water treatment plant. Solvent material is separated off, cleaned as far as possible and reused. Non-recyclable materials are incinerated. The facility considerably reduces the organic material content (toc load): approximately 96% of materials are filtered out in this way, before the water goes to the zaba for processing. In addition, a rainwater collection, treatment and usage project was completed in 2014 to reduce water consumption from other sources and achieve further benefits.

CropScience is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Water Programme Leadership Group. At the site in Quart de Poblet, Spain, we conducted a pilot project for assessing the sustainable use of water and determining the potential for improvement as part of the European Water Stewardship (ews) Programme. This assessment formed the basis for the certification in the ews water project achieved in 2014.

MaterialScience regulates the resource-friendly use of water in its hseq policy. This policy includes a commitment to handle resources carefully. The company also feels it has a responsibility to continuously improve its contribution to environmental protection and energy efficiency. As part of its environmental management system, the Tarragona site has set itself various goals to reduce the discharge of emissions into water and the total water volume. The measures initiated to this end cover the use of rainwater for the site cooling tower and the recycling of wastewater from the public treatment plant, for example.

Water consumption and usage

In 2014 total water consumption in the Group fell by 3.1% to 349.8 million cubic meters. Major reductions were observed at the Chempark Dormagen site in Germany, and at the u.s. sites in South Charleston and Institute. As a result of the phased closure of the CropScience site in Institute, water consumption there fell by a further 2.2 million cubic meters to 15.2 million cubic meters.

71.1% of all water used by Bayer is once-through cooling water. This water is only heated and does not come into contact with products. It can be returned to the water cycle without further treatment in line with the relevant official permits. The total volume of once-through cooling water was 248.7 million cubic meters in 2014. In our production activities, we endeavor to use water several times and to recycle it. Water is currently recycled at 35 sites, e.g. in closed cooling cycles, or through the reuse of treated wastewater or the recirculation of steam condensates as process water. A total of around 12.8 million cubic meters of water was reused in 2014.

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Online annex: 3-12.3-3

The diagram shows the distribution of the different types of water usage within the Bayer Group.

Water Use in the Bayer Group in 2014

The water sources largely corresponded with those of 2013.

Net Water Intake by Source         [Table 3.12.5]
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Water consumption (million m³ p.a.) 474 411 384 361 350
Proportion from surface water (%) 71 65 64 63 63
Proportion from boreholes/springs (%) 25 31 32 33 32
Proportion from public drinking water supplies (%) 3 2 2 3 3
Proportion from other sources, generally rainwater (%) 1 2 2 2 2

Wastewater and wastewater discharges

The total volume of process wastewater rose by 6.1%. All wastewater is subject to strict monitoring and analysis before it is discharged into disposal channels. Some 75.5% of Bayer’s process wastewater worldwide was purified at wastewater treatment plants (Bayer or third-party facilities). Following careful analysis, the remaining 24.5% was categorized as environmentally safe. Part of it contained nutrients and was therefore used to water gardens and agricultural land, as in the previous year.

Volume of Process Wastewater         [Table 3.12.6]
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Volume of process wastewater (million m³) 69 72 65 63 66

Our goal is to minimize emissions into wastewater. The amount of phosphates released into wastewater fell by 12.6%. Total organic carbon emissions (toc) fell by 21.6%. This is primarily due to lower toc and phosphate discharges at the CropScience site in Kansas City, United States. Maintenance and inspection work at the wastewater treatment plant there was completed by the end of 2013, and a new wastewater laboratory also began operations. This considerably improved the cleaning performance and wastewater monitoring. HealthCare’s site in Berkeley, United States, was also able to reduce phosphate discharges into wastewater in 2014 via the elimination rate of the local wastewater treatment plant.

We recorded an increase of 11.3% in the emission of nitrogen compounds into the wastewater in 2014. This was primarily caused by increased production volumes at CropScience’s Dormagen site in Germany, but also by the situation at MaterialScience’s Baytown site in the United States, where the denitrification process did not work to an optimal level of effectiveness as a result of operational disturbances.

Emissions into Water         [Table 3.12.7]
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Phosphorus (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 0.09 0.08 0.15 0.11 0.10
Nitrogen (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 0.49 0.53 0.70 0.69 0.76
Nitrogen (kg per metric ton of manufactured sales volume) 0.0474 0.0486 0.0624 0.0620 0.0671
TOC1 (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 1.42 1.50 1.42 1.53 1.20
TOC (kg per metric ton of manufactured sales volume) 0.136 0.137 0.126 0.138 0.105
Heavy metals (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 0.0114 0.0108 0.0098 0.0091 0.0063
Inorganic salts (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 866 926 1,048 946 845
COD2 (1,000 metric tons p.a.) 4.26 4.51 4.25 4.58 3.59
1 total organic carbon
2 chemical oxygen demand; calculated value based on TOC figures (TOC x 3 = COD)
Last updated: February 26, 2015  Copyright © Bayer AG