We recognize the value of using water responsibly. Although none of our facilities that use water in the production process are located in regions of high-water stress, we make sure that we use this valuable resource as carefully and efficiently as possible.

View our Water Policy

2020 Performance

Water usage has reduced steadily over the past 15 years. We are now using 47% less water in our manufacturing than we were in 2006. However, despite a number of sites decreasing their absolute water usage during 2020, overall water usage intensity increased by 14%. This increase is due to the downturn in customer demand and hence production in both our Fuel Specialties and Oilfield Services businesses, resulting in the reduction in efficiency of water use.

Water Use

2020 Water Saving Activities

Below are some examples of 2020 activities that helped to reduce our water consumption and improve the quality of wastewater discharge from our sites.

  • At our High Point, US site, improvements were made to their stormwater handling system. Previously, clean storm water collected on site was directed into the city’s wastewater system for treatment. The sites drainage systems were changed to divert this water into the city’s storm water drains, removing the need to unnecessarily treat clean rainwater.
  • Towards the end of 2019, we installed a permanent Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) pre-treatment unit at our Salisbury plant in the US to help improve wastewater quality. In 2020, this resulted in a 79% reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD) and a 98% reduction in solids discharged from site to the city’s wastewater treatment system.
  • Our site in Ellesmere Port, UK continued the upgrade of ageing underground water main and distribution pipelines which addressed two significant water leaks. The team in Barcelona, Spain is reducing the amount of water used by further extending the switch from water to steam cleaning and ensuring efficient pressure settings are used.
  • In Herne, Germany the team have focused their water reduction actions on process optimization. Changes to the washing stage of the manufacturing process of a key new fuel additive product reduced the amount of water needed per batch by 27%. Improvements were also made to the cooling water system to prevent the buildup of lime deposits in the reactors cooling jackets, helping to reduce water consumption by 0.8m3 per batch of product.
  • In Oklahoma and Pleasanton in the US, the sites are reducing water consumption and eliminating wastewater disposal, by reusing wash water as an alternative to fresh water in compatible product batches.
  • A rainwater collection upgrade project at our St-Mihiel, France, site ensures rainwater is collected and reused on site by pumping it through the site’s bioplant.
  • Herne, Germany, has installed steam meters to help monitor and target projects for water and energy reduction.
  • Our Performance Chemicals business continues to explore opportunities to create concentrated and solid versions of surfactants to reduce the amount of water required during manufacture and use.