Last Update: 03/11/2010
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Part of the audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Management´s Analysis

Emissions to water

2020 GOAL

Reduce emissions to water
We aim to reduce emissions of both organic substances and nitrogen to water by 80% and of heavy metals by 60% (baseline 2002).

One tenth of the water used at BASF comes into contact with products when used for washing or as a solvent or a reaction medium, for example. The resulting wastewater is treated appropriately and biologically purified in wastewater treatment plants.

In 2009, BASF discharged a combined total of around 185 million cubic meters of wastewater at all its production sites. We reduced emissions of organic substances to water by 80% compared with 2002. Emissions of organic substances – calculated as chemical oxygen demand (COD) – amounted to around 18,600 metric tons (2008: 20,600 metric tons). Emissions to water of nitrogen (N total) were 3,600 metric tons (2008: 4,400 metric tons). This amounts to a reduction of 84% compared with the baseline year 2002. Emissions of phosphorous were 355 metric tons (2008: 376 metric tons). Our wastewater contained 24 metric tons of heavy metals (2008: 27 metric tons). Heavy metal emissions were cut by 61% compared with 2002.

Thus, we significantly beat some of our goals for emissions to water in 2009. These represent absolute goals that are also related to production volumes. Therefore the improvements are also a result of the decline in production volumes. We will continue to adhere to our goals despite the Ciba integration and even when production volumes rise.

Our water protection concepts aim to ensure that no unforeseen emissions are able to enter natural water reservoirs. Despite our existing protection systems, 7.2 metric tons of hydroxypivalic acid neopentylglycolester (HPN) entered the Rhine river from the cooling water network at BASF’s site in Ludwigshafen in June 2009. The unintentional release of this easily biodegradable intermediate product was caused by a technical fault which was immediately corrected. In 2009, we started a global project that will review the water protection concepts at our major production sites by 2015.

Emissions to water1

1 reduction compared with baseline 2002

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