At Avient, we recognize the importance of natural resources like water and biodiversity. In comparison to other industrial sectors, Avient’s operations are not water intensive. Normal manufacturing processes are “dry” and water use is limited to sanitary applications and process cooling, with closed loop recycling process cooling dominating. The vast majority of Avient sites are generally comparably smaller scale and located in urban or suburban areas. While water and biodiversity do not reach the threshold of materiality compared to other industrial sectors, we manage both responsibly, and in accordance with applicable laws.
Avient recognizes that water is vital to human life and healthy ecosystems across the globe. It is also a natural resource we depend on. We must pay attention to ensuring responsible water consumption and management. Avient almost exclusively utilizes water from public sources in our operations. A vast majority of our process water is reused, with the remaining water discharged to publicly owned treatment facilities. We have a responsibility to minimize our direct impacts from these activities. Therefore, we seek to conserve water across our operations and ensure that wastewater discharges are properly treated. We look to develop applications for our products that help conserve and protect water resources, including the use of our materials in durable water piping and water conservation applications.
Our approach to water management focuses on the use of water for production, and our overarching strategy includes tracking water use, monitoring water risks, tracking legal requirements, assessing water management costs, and prioritizing water efficiency projects where they will have the most benefit. Responsibility for water resource management predominantly resides at the facility level. Discharge of water is typically governed by state and local water permits. We strive for full compliance with our obligations under these permits. We also look for additional opportunities to increase water efficiency and recycle wastewater where feasible. We evaluate our water management by reviewing data on water use intensity, water discharge, and recycling rates. This allows us to evaluate our water usage for each of our operating locations. We have been monitoring annual water use and discharges at our manufacturing facilities since 2012 to better understand where our water sources, what our withdrawal rates are, and the volume, quality and destination of water discharged from our facilities. We have completed a water risk evaluation of our manufacturing locations to identify which of them may be impacted by future water scarcity issues. 28% of facilities are in areas currently classified by the World Resources Institute Aqueduct Water Risk Tool as being extremely high or high for baseline water stress.
Information on water withdrawal, recycling/reuse, and discharge is provided in the Metrics section of this report.