Water

We strive to use water sustainably at our sites. This includes keeping consumption as low as possible, particularly in areas where water is scarce, and reducing or preventing emissions to water. We offer our customers solutions for improving the quality of drinking water, optimising wastewater treatment and recycling water through closed-loop systems. With its SOLVOX®OxyStream solution, for example, Linde introduced a system to the market which enables particularly cost-effective and energy-efficient oxygenation at land-based aquaculture sites.

In 2012, we made further progress in implementing a new strategy for sustainable water management at sites located in water-stressed areas. This involved conducting a pilot study in Great Britain for instance. We look at optimisation measures and targets on a region- and production-site-specific basis. At our site in Karratha, Australia, for instance, a closed cooling water system, commissioned in 2012, has been helping to reduce water consumption at a new air separation plant by approximately 15,000 cubic metres per year. At one of our sites in Colombia, we introduced a new water circulation system during the year under review, which reuses water multiple times. Our subsidiary Afrox in Africa managed to cut water consumption by around 2.5 percent relative to the prior-year level through water conservation initiatives at various sites.

Water in the Linde Group (in million cubic metres)

Water in the Linde Group

Water use

In the 2012 financial year, Linde used an approximate total of 349 million cubic metres of water (2011: 288 million cubic metres). Only a small proportion of this is used up or contaminated in production. Over 85 percent of the total water we need is required for cooling. Most of this cooling water is simply heated and can be fed back into the water cycle without any further treatment, at a temperature that does not pose any risk to the surrounding ecosystem. Linde’s water consumption in 2012 was around 41 million cubic metres (2011: 43 million cubic metres). This water is used in manufacturing products, as a source of steam and in office buildings. As well as continuous flow systems, we also make use of closed-loop systems in which the water can be used several times. This means that only a small amount needs to be replaced, depending on the water quality and equipment used in the plants.

Emissions to water1 (in tonnes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

 

2011

 

2010

 

2009

Assured by KPMG Sustainability

1

We monitor compliance with local regulatory requirements worldwide and report our data for all sites legally obliged to report emissions.

Chemical oxygen demand (COD)

 

135

 

165

 

308

 

381

Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)

 

51

 

38

 

75

 

157

Nitrates

 

52

 

61

 

35

 

37

Phosphates

 

4

 

3

 

3

 

3

Waste water

We purify the waste water from our production and sanitary facilities either by using our own treatment systems or by sending it to municipal or industrial plants. In compliance with official regulations, Linde measures emissions of phosphates, nitrates and organic compounds. In 2012, Linde reported around 9.8 million cubic metres of wastewater worldwide to the authorities (2011: 8.1 million cubic metres).

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Responsibility along the value chain

Highlighted: areas in the value chain connected to the topics covered on this page

Global Reporting Initiative

UN Global Compact

Measuring sustainability