Water is vital to human life and healthy ecosystems around the globe. It is also a natural resource we depend on in our manufacturing processes, and we must pay close attention to ensuring responsible water consumption and management.
We seek to conserve water across our operations and to discharge wastewater that is properly treated to avoid degradation to the surrounding environment. We also look to develop applications for our products that help conserve and protect water resources, including the use of our masterbatch material in durable water piping and our activated carbon products in water purification systems.
In 2020, both production and absolute water use decreased due to the impacts of COVID-19. However, water use did not decrease at the same rate as production, primarily because many processes require a certain quantity of water to operate effectively regardless of our production level. Consequently, our water withdrawal intensity rate increased 9% in 2020 when compared to the 2019 rate. Going forward, we expect to reverse this trend as our water goal program matures and as production returns to normal levels.