Last Update:
March 1, 2012

New global goals

  • Commitment to sustainable water usage
  • 2020 Goals achieved for reducing emissions of nitrogen and heavy metals to water
  • Two new 2020 Goals for water

2020 Goals


Reduce use of drinking water in production processes

(baseline 2010)


Sustainable water management in water stress areas



Fewer emissions

We want to reduce emissions to water of organic substances and nitrogen by 80% and of heavy metals by 60% compared with baseline 2002.

In 2011, we set ourselves two new goals for 2020: We want to reduce the use of drinking water in production processes by half compared with 2010 and establish sustainable water management at all sites in areas of water stress. In 2011, around 21% of our production sites were located in water stress areas, and around 6.5% of water used by BASF was abstracted from these areas.

In 2011, we already made progress toward our 2020 goal of reducing the use of drinking water in production by half compared with 2010; we achieved a reduction of 20.9%. At our site in Antwerp, Belgium, we have switched to using river water instead of drinking water for cooling purposes.

Reducing emissions further

Around 192 million cubic meters of wastewater were discharged from BASF production sites (2010: 197 million cubic meters). At 2,900 metric tons, emissions to water of nitrogen (N total) in 2011 were less than in the previous year (2010: 3,950 metric tons), representing a reduction of 87.2% since 2002. BASF’s wastewater contained 24 metric tons of heavy metals (2010: 25 metric tons). Using an optimized procedure for separating heavy metals from wastewater at the Ludwigshafen site, we were able to reduce heavy metal emissions worldwide by 5.6% compared with the previous year and by 60.8% compared with 2002. As a result, we already reached our 2020 goals for reducing emissions of nitrogen and heavy metals to water in 2011. Around 24,300 metric tons of organic substances were emitted in 2011 (2010: 26,100 metric tons). This represents a decline of 73.5% compared with 2002. Phosphorus emissions amounted to 391 metric tons (2010: 458 metric tons).

Emissions to water
(2020 Goal: reduction compared with baseline 2002 in %)

To avoid errors which lead to unanticipated emissions, we will review our water protection concepts at all production sites by 2015. For example, we will invest more than €2 million in improving the analytical instrumentation of the wastewater treatment facility at our site in Geismar, Louisiana, in order to identify any unanticipated emissions at an early stage.

BASF not only reduces its own emissions to water – we also want to minimize the risk of water contamination from our products. We have participated in the roundtable Zusammenarbeit von Wasserversorgung und Agrarchemie (Water Supply and Agricultural Chemistry Cooperation) since 2009, which aims to prevent the contamination of drinking water with crop protection products. In 2011, a monitoring database was set up for Germany within the framework of this cooperation.

Seite zurück Seitenanfang Seite weiter