The increase in the human population and of urbanization is causing water usage to increase in all sectors, but especially in agriculture and industry. To thrive in a finite world and provide better access to all society, water must be managed effectively. The first step should be to innovate products and services that minimize freshwater consumption and reduce/reuse water in production processes.
Arçelik conduct works to reduce water consumption in its production processes, and designs processes focused on the recovery of used water. Water resources are at major threat in its current use; this makes it compulsory to put into practice more effective studies for water which is a basic natural source. Arçelik’s integrated water management comprise of targets such as developing intelligent and holistic water strategy, promoting innovation, strengthening cooperation and supporting campaigns that raise awareness of conscious consumption.
In line with this approach Arçelik continuously reduces both water consumption and the amount of wastewater discharged.
At Arçelik, we strive to fulfill our responsibility as a leading company by respecting water and by developing and using the most advanced technologies in our production and products. We invest in new production technologies to increase water reuse and efficiency in all operations. Apart from minimizing our water usage in production, reducing the overall water footprint of our consumers plays a key role in our product development strategy. Over the course of 11 years, we have saved 1.98 million m3 of water with water efficiency and rainwater harvesting projects implemented in the reporting scope countries. This amount is equivalent to the daily water consumption of approximately 2.5 million Turkish households.Over the past 10 years, we reduced -almost halved- the total amount of water withdrawal in manufacturing in our Turkey operations by 48%.
With the water efficiency and rainwater harvesting projects we carried out in 2020, we saved a total of 352,844 m3 of water in our manufacturing plants in Romania, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, and Thailand. Through water efficiency projects implemented in different operations, we have achieved a 18% reduction in water withdrawal in Turkey, 13% in Romania, 9% in Russia, 29% in Thailand, and 13% in South Africa operations compared to 2019.
We recycled and reused the wastewater from the function test system on the assembly line and the final rinse wastewater in the paint shop. In addition, we recovered and reused the effluent water of a biological wastewater treatment plant and rainwater in the Arçelik Washing Machine Plant in Istanbul, Turkey. Thanks to these water efficiency projects and rainwater harvesting, we saved a total of 172,128 m3 of water.
At the Arçelik Cooking Appliances Plant in Bolu, Turkey, we saved 91,130 m3 of water through water efficiency projects such as an increase in the equipment efficiency adjusting the water level, minimization of the number of nozzles used in the enamel process, and adjustment of pump pressure.
We recovered and reused 56,509 m3 of water by increasing the capacity of the oil separator, decreasing the cleaning period of rinsing baths, and preventing water leakage in the water softening system in the Arçelik Refrigerator and Compressor Plants in Eskişehir, Turkey.
At Beko LLC Refrigerator and Washing Machine Plant in Kirzhach, Russia, we saved 616 m3 of water thanks to reusing the water by eliminating oil and grease in the paint shop.
At the Arctic Washing Machine Plant in Ulmi, Romania, we saved 15,416 m3 of water by recycling and reusing wastewater and rainwater.
In addition to water usage, we treat discharged water according to its characteristics in chemical and biological treatment plants in all the regions where we operate, ensuring that discharged wastewater remains below legal discharge limits in order to protect water resources and biodiversity in the regions, and we periodically check compliance with these standards. No surface water is used for the operations.
The Environmental Coordination Working Group carries out water risks management and water efficiency activities in accordance with the Arçelik strategy and reports them to the Sustainability Board. The Sustainability Board monitors and evaluates water risks, strategies, and impact on business objectives quarterly. Risks and opportunities are prioritized by the Sustainability Board according to the Arçelik scoring methodology. According to this methodology, risks and opportunities are scored based on financial, reputational, production, human, and legal impacts, and the highest score is defined as the point of impact. Environmental risks and climate related physical risks are considered in the evaluation criteria of new joint ventures/acquisitions added to Arçelik Global group of companies. Internally, water risks are determined by the WWF Water Risk Filter and WRI Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, and the analysis results of these tools are reviewed annually.
In a potential scenario where the global warming cannot be reduced to “well-below 2°C” and eventually to “1.5°C”, companies will face financial and operational risks arising from physical risks in relation to excessive global warming, which is expected to vary between 2.6°C to 4°C based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), greenhouse gas concentration trajectories, RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. Based on Arçelik’s internal analysis as well as using S&P’s TruCost Methodology, water stress risks were determined as the most significant risks for Arçelik in terms of physical climate risks, and therefore, long-term action plans were created according to the results of water risk analysis.
In 2019, 17 manufacturing plants located in Turkey, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, and Pakistan were compared to the industry’s best practices in Europe in the International Finance Corporation (IFC) database as part of the IFC Water Efficiency Project. With IFC, we prepared the Water Efficiency Report for Arçelik manufacturing plants and identified areas for improvement in water efficiency. In line with the project’s output, we set our water target for 2030. In the scope of our risk adaptation plans, we have also set our 2030 target to increase the water recycling ratio* to 70% in all manufacturing plants aiming to achieve a closed loop water system in production.
We use Internal Water Price (IWP) to determine the real price of water and encourage investments in water infrastructure. In the IWP calculation, we identified the water stress in the basins where we operate and completed three different scenario analyses and water stress projections for 2020-2030-2040.
* Water recycling ratio = Total recycled water/Total water withdrawal
Arçelik Water Policy is availabile here.
Arçelik CDP Water Reports are available here.
AA1000 verification statement of Arçelik water withdrawal data of Turkey, Romania, Russia, South Africa, and Thailand operations is shared in our 2020 Sustainability Report.