In 2015, in order to further improve the sustainable management of water, Votorantim Cimentos has established measures in order to minimize our impact on this resource. These measures comprise a Water Management Plan of which is being implemented in Votorantim Cimentos’ units; this plan is part of our sustainability commitments for 2020. And will be primarily for units in water stress.
The methodology for assessing and identifying areas in stress was made through Global Water Tool and Aqueduct software’s, besides mapping the levels of the main hydro-energetic reservoirs in Brazil. Through this measure, 34 units in Brazil (VCBR) and 7 units in Europe, Asia and Africa (VCEAA) in areas of water scarcity were identified.
Votorantim Cimentos’ initiatives on behalf of water
Some initiatives are already on course. Initiative 01, for example, was implemented in all our units in Brazil, regardless of their water availability. In 2015, there was an investment with the acquisition of new water meters and water balance studies. Investments that contributed to an improvement in the water measuring system, which allows Votorantim Cimentos’ to have a correct assessment of when, where and how much water is used in the operations.
In addition, all of our units should ensure their compliance with applicable legal requirements, continuous improvement of the water monitoring performance, and the maintenance and calibration of measuring equipment.
Initiative 02 has also been disseminated in some of our plants, by mapping the water flows, identifying critical leakages and evaluation and optimization of water reuse opportunities. One of the best results is in Corumbá, where the unit had a 40% reduction in water consumption in 2015, in comparison to 2014 .Another example of efficiency was in Laranjeiras’ unit. Homemade flow reducers were installed in several taps of the factory where 80% of water was saved.
The recovery and conservation of water bodies and springs are necessary to protect this resource. In Brazil, this initiative’s already being applied by the Project Pró Nascentes in the units located in water stress areas. This project had the collaboration of the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve within the Technical Cooperation - RBMA- VC – BSS (Brazilian Speleology Society). The project is already showing significant results to Votorantim Cimentos, where all the springs in the units have been mapped and classified by their level of conservation. The next step is to initiate recovery procedures of degraded or partially degraded springs, through actions such as riparian forest replanting and other measures to promote the recovery of these areas, which are critical for groundwater recharge.