With water becoming an increasingly scarce resource, restrictions on its use will become more and more common. As a result, Aperam has defined a -43% reduction target in terms of water consumption over 2015.
> After continuous decreases in consumption between 2012 and 2015, and a stabilization since then, our 2019 performance looks disappointing, with stagnating water recycling ratio (95.3% vs. 95.7% in average since 2015) and 23 millions of cubic meters withdrawn from various sources (for the split, see the graph aside), which corresponds to a +18% increase in the intakes in intensity. In addition to the heavy impact linked to reduced production volumes, which des-optimize our processes, our 2019 results have been slightly impacted by a change of methodology. Indeed, to be able to compare our sites and challenge them in their optimization of water consumption, we have decided to integrate the volumes of rain that falls upon our roofs, independently from the fact that they channel and use that water or not. It is more logical because these waters are counted at the exit, since they are going to the discharge points via the gutters, but it is also a way to entice units to leverage these volumes, storing them and/or reducing proportionally the volumes withdrawn from the near-by waterways. Overall, compared to our 2015 baseline, our consumption has increased by 15% in 2019, of which 3% are linked to this rainwater adjustment, which is not satisfactory as we aim to reduce our consumption by 40% by 2030.
> To see the impact of our eucalyptus on water, check this page.
> We started to report publicly about water quality in 2016, to show that we treat our effluents and monitor our discharge into the rivers in line with our permits in terms of volumes, pH, temperature, particles of suspended solids and metals in water. Overall, our indicators deteriorated versus 2018, although they remained in line with our authorization, mainly due to our specific issues that happened at our Timóteo plant last year (they discharged 95% of the Group volumes of suspended solids into water in 2019). On their side, Aperam’s Belgium and French sites have improved regularly over the last three to five years: as of 2019, they reduced the total volumes of suspended solids into the water by respectively 88% and 73% compared to 2015.