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Water is one of the most precious resources of our planet and it is also one of the main auxiliary materials for the chemical industry. Foremost, it is used as a coolant and as process water in production.

Water requirements, especially at our large production sites, are primarily sourced from rivers. Before it flows into the piping system at each site, the river water is cleaned using various filter systems according to the intended purpose. Approximately 70% of the water withdrawal is used for cooling purposes in production. The so-called »pass through cooling water« is carefully monitored for pollution and only discharged to the environment if it is free of pollution. Around 10% of Clariant’s water withdrawal is used as a product component. Only about 20% of water withdrawal is used for production processes or sanitary purposes and is subject to special treatment and purification.

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Clariant reports the volumes of water withdrawn, discharged and consumed (intake) in its Annual Integrated Report 2020 and GRI Report 2020.

Water used during the production of chemical products becomes partly polluted and requires careful management and treatment before being released back into the environment. At each site, production wastewater is first subject to multistage chemical-physical pre-cleaning before being routed to, by enlarge, biological wastewater treatment plants where it is micro-biologically cleaned. The wastewater discharged by Clariant has been subjected to a very high level of wastewater treatment and water purification.

Clariant has also set targets to reduce its water intake, without pass through cooling water, and wastewater volumes, by -20% and -25% respectively from 2019 to 2030. Both targets are set as intensity targets, measured by m3 water or wastewater per ton of production. For the wastewater indicator, all wastewater streams linked to soil or groundwater remediation activities are excluded.

In addition, Clariant puts specific focus on all sites that are in areas of high water stress or risk, as determined by the World Resource Institute (WRI) Aqueduct tool and we have therefore set ourselves a target to implement an advanced water management in all these sites in areas of high water stress by 2030

»Clariant pledges to reduce intensities of water intake and wastewater between 2019 and 2030.«

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Clariant continuously steers emission reduction in its operations. The company targets ambitious intensity reductions for important air pollutant emissions, namely nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

Nitrogen oxide emissions contribute to the formation of smog, ground level ozone, acid rain, and other hazards. The effect is significant and harmful to the environment, wildlife and human health. Combustion of fossil fuels is by far the dominant source of NOx emissions together with a few production processes. Setting clear targets on NOx allows us to measure our success on the basis of clearly defined objectives.

Learn more about our sustainability targets ( and our environmental performance (Integrated Report).

»Clariant pledges to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) between 2019 and 2030.«

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Sustainability is an integral part of the innovation process and a fundamental prerequisite for all new major product developments. Through Clariant’s Portfolio Value Program (PVP), screening is systematically carried out not only for the entire product portfolio but also for Clariant’s innovation project pipeline.
Clariant offers products to reduce the potential exposure of shipment handlers, merchants, and consumers to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from enclosed manufactured products.
The Clariant Production System (CPS) embraces sustainable production as a driver for cost savings by optimizing chemical yield and reducing emissions, while simultaneously saving energy.


At Clariant, the prevention of waste takes priority over recovery or disposal. Generating waste means wasting natural resources. Therefore, every effort is made during the development and manufacturing of products to ensure that as little waste as possible is generated. Unavoidable production waste is recycled or disposed of responsibly. Each type of waste is recorded, precisely analyzed and described. Waste disposal must be authorized and documented. Clariant has waste inventories for all sites.

Clariant has set targets to reduce hazardous waste intensity by -25% from 2019 to 2030, as we consider the former of high risk to the environment. For non-hazardous waste, Clariant has particularly high volumes, which we are working hard to reduce in terms of their intensity, measured by tons of waste per ton of production.

»Clariant pledges to reduce hazardous waste and land-filled non-hazardous waste between 2019 and 2030.«

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Environmental Performance1

Learn more about our environmental performance in our annual Integrated Report and GRI Report.
Continuing Discontinued Total 20202 20193 Change in %
Total energy consumption (in m kWh) 2 512 555 3 071 3 2044 –4.2
Energy consumption (in kWh/t production) 597 2 820 758 7544 0.5
Total water consumption (in m m3) 24.1 15.6 41.0 44.3 –7.4
Total wastewater generation (in m m3) 6.5 3.3 11.4 11.9 –4.2
Total quantity of waste (in thousand t) 304 24 328 3374 –2.7
Total inorganic emissions (nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and other significant air emissions (in tons) - - 915 839 -
Total inorganic emissions (VOCs) (in tons) - - 413 543

1 First half-year 2020 data for Business Unit Masterbatches are estimated based on the last full reporting campaign in 2017.

2 The difference in the sum of continued and discontinued operations compared to the group total is due to the resource consumption of non-production sites.

3 Every three years, Clariant validates environmental data from all production sites. The last full reporting campaign was in 2017. In the interim years, including 2019, the reduced reporting scope comprises the larger sites responsible for 95% of total production.

4 2019 data has been restated in consideration of changes in estimates or discovery of errors in previous years’ data as part of the 2030 sustainability target setting activities (with 2019 baseline).


  • InspireWater:

    While 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered in water, less than 1 percent is freshwater available for use. With growing pressures on this finite natural resource, there’s a critical need for more innovative water management solutions. In Tarragona, Spain, a region that’s faced a critical water shortage, Clariant is part of an innovative project to test out sustainable wastewater solutions that can eventually be applied to sectors across the globe.

  • Clariant inaugurates a new Waste Water Treatment Plant in Bonthapally, India

    Clariant, a focused and innovative specialty chemical company, today inaugurated a new state-of-the-art Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) at the Industrial & Consumer Specialties (ICS) site in Bonthapally, India.

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Our Environmental Commitments

  • Sustainability Targets

    Clariant sets a strong focus on continuously steering its environmental performance towards increased sustainability and setting new environmental benchmarks through leading-edge operations and innovation. With our vision to become climate neutral by 2050, we have set ourselves ambitious targets that allow us to measure our success on the basis of clearly defined metrics.

  • Integrated Report

    Latest information on Clariant’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.

  • Climate Change

    The science is clear, global temperature rise is a reality. According to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we have just a short amount of time before climate change becomes irreversible and changes our world forever. At Clariant, we take our responsibility for the planet seriously. We rely on the environment’s resources and are steadfast in our commitment to sustainable growth.

  • 25 years of supporting change

    Like the cells in our body, chemical plants need energy and resources to make the countless useful products they provide – just in much larger amounts. Clariant has always worked to keep these amounts as low as possible, and is constantly finding new ways to downsize its environmental footprint.