Water and effluents: reducing water pollution and effluent emissions

Water and effluents: reducing water pollution and effluent emissions

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Water is a strategic focus for Stahl, and as a company we dedicate significant resources to research, the reduction of water use, the introduction of water-based products, improving the quality of water effluent and reducing water pollution.


Water consumptionand water intensity

We constantly work to reduce, improve and monitor water consumption at our manufacturing sites. More efficient consumption at our manufacturing sites saw us reduce our water use in 2018, and we are continuously upgrading our production sites and laboratory facilities to reduce water use and so improve our environmental footprint.


2018 2017 2016 2015
Water consumption (m.) 344,922 370,855 355,041 325,864
Other water use (m.)* 456,820 561,788 506,056 491,021
Total Water Used (m.) 801,742 932,643 861,097 811,093
Total production volume 228,440 238,590 207,923 195,646
Water intensity** 1.510 1.554 1.708 1.666
These KPIs have been audited and verified by Ernst & Young.

*  Other Water use = Water in Palazzolo, in particular ground well water, is used for the processes but also as cooling water (for this reason we have high volumes of withdrawn water). This water (cooling water) is kept completely separated from chemical products and discharged into the river Seveso at controlled temperature.
** Water intensity is the amount of water used per tons produced = Water consumption (m3) / Total production volume (excluding Other water use).


Effluent-reducing technologies

In addition to a continuous investment in the on-site treatment of wastewater generated at our sites, we have introduced effluent-reducing technologies like Proviera® - Probiotics for Leather and Catalix®, and water-reducing technologies like Stahl EasyWhite Tan.


Reducing water pollution with our partners

Stahl participates in public-private partnerships in India and Ethiopia to reduce water pollution. In India, we are working with Solidarid and other partners to reduce the pollution of the Ganges and so make the Kanpur Leather Cluster more sustainable. In Ethiopia, Stahl, Solidaridad and CSR Netherlands run the Green Tanning Initiative. This promotes low impact leather-making and aims to create sustainable employment in the Ethiopian leather industry.

In addition, we regularly organize sustainability roadshows for stakeholders. These seminars focus on sharing housekeeping, chemical management and technology best practices that reduce water pollution during the manufacturing process. In 2018, more than 350 people attended each of the four seminars.


GRI standard Water and effluents

Access to freshwater is essential for human life and wellbeing, and is recognized by the United Nations (UN) as a human right. Through a comprehensive understanding of its water use, an organization can assess the impacts it has on water resources that benefit the ecosystem, other water users, and the organization itself. Learn more about the GRI standard Water and effluents.


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Water and effluents: reducing water pollution and effluent emissions
Michael Costello
Director of Sustainability