water efficiency

water efficiency

Water is a critical resource that is essential for life. Using it rationally is a basic principle for ensuring a future with dignity and quality of life for everyone. According to studies by the Worldwatch Institute (WWI), by 2030, when we will reach 9 billion people in the world, water demand is expected to increase by 30% from today’s level.

That is a major global challenge that demands the attention and participation of everyone, including citizens, companies, governments and non-profit organizations.

Since Braskem’s creation, in 2002, we have implemented initiatives to improve continuously our processes involving water.

We are firmly committed to preserving water, with our investments in water efficiency projects and wastewater treatment for reuse in our operations surpassing R$280 million, which is an effort that has produced important results.

According to the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), Braskem is one of the chemical producers that least consumes water worldwide – around six times less than the global average. Moreover, we were named an “A List” company in the CDP Water ranking, which recognizes the world’s best publicly traded corporations in managing the use of water. Today we are part of a select group of 1% of the world’s companies figuring on the “A List.”

Clean water & sanitation

Target 6.1

Target 6.2

Target 6.3

Target 6.4

Target 6.5

Target 6.6

Target 6.A

Target 6.B

Commitments, Recognitions & Forums

Since 2002, we have worked actively and extensively on the issue of water, given our belief that Braskem should be a part of the solution for the efficient and responsible use of water resources. Throughout this journey, our focus has been not only on improving our water footprint, but also on forging partnerships with the client and supplier chain and with strategic partners to develop new products, applications and solutions that help to improve the efficiency of water use.

See below some highlights from Braskem’s initiatives in water management:


Brazilian Business Commitment to Water Safety (CEBDS)

Braskem committed to public meeting targets that can be consulted on the Aquasfera platform:

Participant in the CDP Water and CDP Water Supply Chain Programs

Endorser of the CEO Water Mandate


  • - Leadership of the Movement “Less Waste, More Water” (Brazilian Network of the UN Global Compact)
  • - Member of the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate integrating its steering committee
  • - Leadership of the Environment Group of ABIQUIM
  • - Member of CEBDS Water Working Group
  • - Member of the Water Thematic Group of the Brazilian Network of the UN Global Compact
  • - Member of the Brazil Network for Water Resources of CNI


  • - CDP Water (A List)
  • - CDP Water Supply Chain (A List)

Policies & Targets

Water efficiency is one of the most important topics in Braskem’s strategy for Sustainable Development and is incorporated in our internal policies and guidelines, which include specific targets and procedures to ensure a responsible and excellence-driven management. Check them out:

Water consumption

  • Plan for monitoring risks and impacts deriving from water use
  • Plan for analyzing soil and/or groundwater to identify real or potential contaminants to establish control, prevention and remediation measures
  • Implementing system to support storm water runoff, preventing floods and overflows

Wastewater discharge

  • Reducing evaporation of volatile fluids
  • Separating clean water from contaminated water
  • Directing contaminated water and waste to a specific drainage system

Environmental impact management

  • Designing or modifying all equipment, facilities and processes considering the environmental impacts associated with them
  • Identifying the key sources of wastewater generation and water consumption, as well as the environmental impacts arising from normal and emergency situations
  • Preventative controls for minimizing wastewater discharge, complying with specifications and water consumption
  • Complying with metrological reliability standards in water efficiency monitoring equipment
  • Making information/documents regarding environmental impacts available to all stakeholders

  • Maintain a water consumption rate (m³/t) below the average consumption rate of the global chemical industry, which is 26.64 m³/t (2014 data).
  • Gradually increase the water reuse rate to 25% by 2020, to 30% by 2025 and to 50% by 2030.

Click here to see the macro goals.

Risks, Opportunities & Adaptation

Finding solutions to the water scarcity problem is one of the world’s greatest challenges of today. Manufacturers currently are responsible for around 20% of the world’s water consumption, which means that the sector must adopt actions focusing on the rational use and preservation of this fundamental resource.

To better understand the potential water risks that could impact our businesses, we conducted a study of scenarios of exposure to climate change through 2040. The study resulted in the Plan to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change , which identified water scarcity as the risk with the greatest potential to impact Braskem’s operations.

In view of this scenario, we are aware of the need to use water to support life, efficiently and responsibly, and are focused on implementing initiatives that have positive impacts on its preservation.

See below some examples of Braskem initiatives and solutions to foster water efficiency:

Water efficiency is one of the most important topics in Braskem’s strategy for Sustainable Development and is incorporated in our internal policies and guidelines, which include specific targets and procedures to ensure a responsible and excellence-driven management. Check them out:

Aquapolo, in operation since 2012, is Latin America’s largest water reuse project. The product of an unprecedented partnership between São Paulo Basic Sanitation Company (Sabesp), BRK Ambiental and Braskem, the project treats sewage from the ABC Sewage Treatment Station to obtain industrial quality water and supplies it to companies located in the Petrochemical Complex in the ABC region of Greater São Paulo. Braskem consumes 65% of the water reuse capacity generated by Aquapolo, which allowed its plants to maintain normal production during the water crisis in Brazil’s Southeast in 2015, saving the company from financial losses of over R$200 million. The initiative freed up drinking water for residents of the ABC region in a volume corresponding to 10,000 Olympic pools and eliminated the discharge of treated wastewater into the Tamanduateí River. The project is highly replicable and Braskem has studied similar developments at other company units in regions with high potential risk of water scarcity.


Sewage treatment is essential for public health and for preserving natural resources, but, unfortunately, it is not yet within everyone’s reach. Braskem has been working to develop sustainable solutions through chemistry and plastics that have the potential to improve people’s lives, and the Gota project is an initiative aligned with this goal. In partnership with the Municipal Government of Mogi das Cruzes in São Paulo and Instituto Trata Brasil, Braskem has joined the “Mogi+Água” program, which involves installing mini household sewage treatment plants in ten locations in the municipality’s rural areas. The treatment plant is a high-efficiency, low-cost system developed in high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The project’s first phase, which involves the installation of plants at homes, already is underway and will be expanded to 60 homes. The project’s next step is monitoring the plants’ performance for 12 months so that, once results are available, the project can be expanded.

Plastic piping has proven an advantageous alternative for sanitation and water distribution networks. Solutions in polyethylene (HDPE) offer important advantages in reducing water losses, which enables more people to have access to treated water. PVC also is widely used in sanitation and distribution systems. A partnership between Braskem and Politejo, which offers solutions to the infrastructure sector, brought to Brazil “PVC O Biomundial,” a smart technology used widely in Europe that combines low weight and high strength. The solution offers positive results in sustainability, with reductions in time and energy consumption in the transportation and installation of the pipes.

The use of plastics in agriculture has proven important for ensuring the rational use of water. Through partnerships with clients, we work to develop and offer solutions such as plastic mulching films that eliminate the need for herbicides and keep the soil humid, as well as drip irrigation systems that transform arid soil into productive land and reduce water losses and consumption by up to 50% compared to other irrigation systems. To learn more about sustainable solutions in plastics for agribusiness, click here .

Braskem, in partnership with Sanasa and Schneider Eletric, lead the “Less Waste, More Water” movement of the Brazilian Network of the UN Global Compact. The goal is to join forces to develop solutions for preserving water and for the rational use of water, while increasing the efficiency of water management and reducing the number of people who suffer from water scarcity in Brazil. Companies participating in the movement have been engaging local governments, disseminating knowledge in the public and training managers. Some initiatives are carried out to serve as the foundation for and guide the actions of companies, governments and population related to water, such as the studies " Water Losses – Challenges for water availability and efficiency gains in basic sanitation " and " Water losses in distribution systems as an aggravating factor in the vulnerability of watersheds – case study of PCJ watersheds ".

The guide " Water Circular Economy " was developed by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS), with Braskem’s support, to help Brazilian companies implement a circular economy for water in their industrial processes with strategies that take into account the prevention of water-related risk situations. The guide also provides information on the 5R approach (reutilization, reuse, recycling, resource recovery and restoring environments).


Water-related indicators are rigorously monitored across all Braskem units, which help to identify potential areas for improvements so that the company can continue to maintain a consumption level below the average of the global chemical industry, while increasing the percentage of water reused. See below select figures from the last period (2018):

Investments in
water efficiency

R$ 280 million since 2002

Water Consumption (m³/ton)

2002 ... 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 TARGET
4.14   4.16 4.05 3.93 3.98 4.28 4.09
Source Surface Water Groundwater Saltwater Water produced Acquired water (Third Part)
volume (megaliters) 20.7 4.2 0 0 54.2

Reuse of water

Type of Reuse 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Process improvements¹ 17.2% 15.6% 16.2% 16.6% 16.0%
Inherent reuse² 11.0% 9.5% 8.3% 10.4% 10.3%
Total reuse 28.2% 25.1% 24.5% 25.8% 26.3%

¹Process Improvements include everything arising from modifications at current units and from implementing or improving processes.

²Inherent Reuse is everything associated with the construction of an industrial unit that is part of its original process. The value of the previous year is always adopted due to the complexity involved in generating a value.

generation (m³/ton)

2002 ... 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 TARGET
1.94   1.28 1.15 1.11 1.06 1.19 1.12
Surface water (megaliters/
Groundwater (megaliters/
Ocean (megaliters/
Third part
(for use) (megaliters/
Other¹ (megaliters/
7.3 0 9.5 0.1 4.1

¹Final disposal on the ground in the units of Southern Brazil


Process for study, development and approval of water safety projects


For more information, see

Braskem’s Annual Report