Water

Water

We work continuously to ensure that we use the natural resource water as efficiently as possible. More than 90 percent of our annual water requirement is used in cooling processes in our production plants. Mostly, this water is just heated and can be fed back into the water system without further treatment. The rest of the water we use is required, for example, in office buildings or as a source of steam for the compression of gases in separation processes. In this context, we employ closed-loop systems for steam turbines and compressors. This enables us to reduce consumption, because the water can be used several times.

Water balance
Source
Water balance – Source (graphic)

More than 98% of the water used at Linde’s sites comes from surface water, sea water or ground water sources which do not meet drinking water quality standards. Less than 2% of the demand at Linde’s sites is covered by water which meets drinking water quality standards.

Use
Water balance – Use (graphic)

More than 93% of the water used in Linde’s processes is used for cooling purposes, including once-through cooling water and sea water. Less than 7% of the water used in Linde’s processes is consumed in the process or discharged into the sewerage system after use.

Discharge
Water balance – Discharge (graphic)

More than 95% of the water discharged is unpolluted cooling water which can be fed back into the water system without need for further treatment. Less than 5% of the discharged water is piped to a waste water treatment plant or facility: e.g. boiler blowdown, purge from cooling towers, and sanitary foul water.

Total water use in 2017 was 811 million cubic metres (2016: 716 million cubic metres). Of this amount, water consumption excluding once-through water was 56.4 million cubic metres (2016: 54.8 million cubic metres). The amount of waste water at our locations worldwide in 2017 was 13.6 million cubic metres (2016: 13.1 million cubic metres). We measure emissions of phosphates, nitrates and organic compounds to water in accordance with local regulatory requirements.

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Water1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

1

In line with the information in the Financial Report 2017, the figures provided for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 exclude the business of the logistics service provider Gist, as it has been reported as a discontinued operation.

2

Water consumption relates to drinking water and industrial water used. Once-through water is drawn from a natural or other sources, solely warmed and ultimately piped back to the original source at a temperature not posing any risk to the surrounding ecosystem.

Lagebericht 2014

Included in the audited Non-Financial Report

Geprüft von KPMG

Audited by KPMG

Water useGeprüft von KPMG

million m3

 

Lagebericht 2014 811

 

Lagebericht 2014 716

 

681

 

682

 

681

of which ground and surface waterGeprüft von KPMG

%

 

98.8

 

98.7

 

98.6

 

98.5

 

98.6

of which drinking waterGeprüft von KPMG

%

 

1.2

 

1.3

 

1.4

 

1.5

 

1.4

Total water consumption2Geprüft von KPMG

million m3

 

Lagebericht 2014 56.4

 

Lagebericht 2014 54.8

 

52.6

 

50.7

 

44.5

of which industrial and process waterGeprüft von KPMG

million m3

 

46.5

 

45.3

 

42.8

 

40.8

 

34.8

of which drinking waterGeprüft von KPMG

million m3

 

9.9

 

9.5

 

9.8

 

9.9

 

9.7

Waste waterGeprüft von KPMG

million m3

 

Lagebericht 2014 13.6

 

Lagebericht 2014 13.1

 

13.8

 

13.2

 

13.8

Initiatives for the efficient use of water

In 2016, we reviewed water supplies at our key production sites worldwide, on the basis of the criteria set out by the World Resources Institute. Based on these criteria, 9 percent of our sites are in regions which experience water scarcity. The measures we are taking to optimise the use of water and cooling water systems focus in particular on those regions. In 2017, potential savings were also identified for example at two locations in China and Indonesia of around 70,000 cubic metres of water, which would lead to annual cost savings of around EUR 70,000. For our Central Europe business unit, we have defined performance indicators relating to water treatment which must be complied with when a tender is made. From 2018 on, water treatment in this region will be carried out by a service provider. The aim is to manage waste water treatment in the most efficient and verifiable way possible. For that reason, we provided special training courses on water management in 2017 in which around 100 employees took part.

Products for water protection

Linde gases and technologies are used by our customers to eliminate harmful substances in drinking water and bodies of water and to treat waste water. We support customers in various industries in meeting demanding environmental regulations. With the help of Linde’s SOLVOCARB® process, our customers were able to bring around 790 million cubic metres of water in just six countries up to drinking water standard in 2017. The process is also being used successfully in the desalination of seawater. In addition, our technologies are being employed in fish farms, helping with food supply without contributing to overfishing.

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Emissions to water (in tonnes)1,2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

1

In line with the information in the Financial Report 2017, the figures provided for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 exclude the business of the logistics service provider Gist, as it has been reported as a discontinued operation.

2

In 2015, we have further improved the determination method for emissions to water (COD, BOD, nitrates, phosphates) applying measurement and extrapolation models. Although there are inherent limitations by applying this methodology, full measurement of these emissions by all Linde sites is considered economically not viable. The reported figures of the water emission indicators of the Linde Group therefore serve as an approximation. The figures for 2014 have been re-calculated accordingly.

Geprüft von KPMG

Audited by KPMG

Chemical oxygen demand (COD)Geprüft von KPMG

 

1,541

 

1,561

 

1,425

 

1,585

 

2,157

Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)Geprüft von KPMG

 

518

 

511

 

496

 

544

 

163

NitratesGeprüft von KPMG

 

357

 

339

 

335

 

295

 

89

PhosphatesGeprüft von KPMG

 

41

 

45

 

47

 

39

 

3

UNGC Indicators

Sustainable Development Goals