How our Malaysia site has set up two initiatives to reduce its use of fresh water

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One of Johnson Matthey's seven sustainability targets is to halve its use of key resources by 2017. Water – a crucial part of many manufacturing processes – is one of these resources, and our Malaysia site has set up two initiatives to reduce its use of fresh water.

The first is a water recycling project to reuse industrial effluent. The site determined that none of the effluent would be discharged to either the environment or to the monsoon drains. Instead, all effluent generated by the production processes would be directed to an effluent treatment plant. After that, the water treated would be channeled to a wet scrubber – a piece of kit that removes pollutants and requires water for the procedure. Fresh water was once used for this operation but recycled water from the waste water treatment plant is now taking its place. Only if there is no water available from water treatment plant is fresh water used. The average volume of water received from production and channeled to the wet scrubber is around 50 cubic metres a month.

In the second initiative rainwater is harvested and used for production processes. Rainwater was previously channeled into gutters from the roof and conducted into site drains and finally to the main monsoon drain. Now rainwater is taken from the gutters into a rainwater tank. From there it proceeds to a process water tank, then deionized ready for use in production. The treated water is used mainly in the washcoat batching process.

Around 2 cubic metres, or 2,000 litres, of recycled water is used every day – meaning that in an average month approximately 44 cubic metres of rainwater is recycled, instead of flowing into the drains unused.

Together the two initiatives not only save on a key resource but are also saving the company money.