BASF achieves a gold-level certificate of European Water Stewardship
The production plant of BASF in Tarragona (E) has achieved the first gold-level certificate of EWS European Water Stewardship Standard, and as first chemical company
The EWS standard requests an audit by a third party and for BASF the respective body was TÜV Nord Integra. It was assessing the entire water management performance of BASF’s production site, from extraction of the water at its tapping at the source to its reintroduction in downstream water bodies. The European standard has been developed jointly by governments, businesses and NGOs under the leadership of the independent organisation European Water Partnership (EWP) formed at the end of 2011.
The EWS standard aims to lower the quantity of water used by companies and farms, with simultaneously safeguarding the integrity of local ecosystems within the vicinity of the site. The assessment includes more than 50 indicators, addressing the four principles of water stewardship: sustainable water abstraction, ensuring good water status, protection of high conservation areas and equitable water governance. It further requires a water-recycling strategy, and a cohesive crisis management strategy to be in place.
The BASF Tarragona site fulfils all criteria and thus achieved the gold-level certificate of EWS. BASF uses water as a coolant, solvent and cleaning agent, as well as directly in chemical production. The firm has implemented the standard in order to promote its global water goals. By 2020, the company wants to reduce the withdrawal of drinking water from supply sources in its production by half as to compare with the usage of 2010. Thus, the emissions to water of organic substances and nitrogen are to be reduced by 80 % and the emission of heavy metals by 60 % as to be compared with 2002.
BASF aims to take its sustainable water management even further. In regions considered to be “water-stressed”, more than 60 % of the naturally available water sources are exploited by humans. In total 20 % of all BASF sites, including Tarragona, are located in water-stressed areas. Last year, BASF abstracted around seven percent of its worldwide water supply from these areas, and in 2020 all sites where water is scarce will be applying the EWS standard.