Environmental Protection

At WACKER, environmental protection is firmly anchored in all our processes. We place particular emphasis on integrated environmental protection. It begins as early as the product-development and plant-planning stages. In 2009, a good example of this was the expansion of our Eddyville (Iowa, USA) cyclodextrin facility – cyclodextrins (biotech sugar molecules) are used as stabilizers and carrier substances in the life-sciences, cosmetics, food and agricultural sectors. A considerable part of this US$ 21 million investment was spent on a new byproduct-processing plant that lowers the entire facility’s steam requirements by 35%. In 2009, WACKER spent €9.1 million on environmental investments. Environmental operating costs amounted to €65.2 million.

Expanded Cyclodextrin Facility at Eddyville (Iowa, USA) Cuts Steam Needs by 35%

At our Nünchritz site, preparations for a clean-up of contaminated groundwater started in 2009 and we have already finished preliminary remediation tests on groundwater springs. The groundwater is contaminated with solvents from production activities that predated WACKER’s acquisition of the site.

Our environmental indicators showed divergent trends in 2009. On the one hand, emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and waste declined groupwide due to lower capacity utilization rates. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) also fell significantly due to the closure of our South Brunswick site (New Jersey, USA). On the other hand, consumption of cooling water rose because we brought the “Expansion Stage 8” polysilicon facilities on stream at Burghausen. Overall, our environmental figures showed a positive trend. WACKER continuously strives to close its material loops, recycle byproducts from other areas into production and, thus, prevent or reduce waste.

  download table

Environmental Indicators in 2008 and 2009













Steam, district heating










CO2 carbon dioxide


969,000 t


976,041 t



NOx nitrogen oxides


963 t


997 t



Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs)


383 t


501 t



Water consumption


264,532,000 m3


241,286,375 m3



Chemical oxygen demand (COD)


2,730 t


4,782 t



AOX halogenated organichydrocarbons


6 t


7 t



Disposed of


80,860 t


87,293 t





63,430 t


74,327 t





100,860 t


108,458 t





43,430 t


53,161 t



Electricity consumption


2.7 TWh


2.4 TWh



Primary energy







Natural gas


5.4 TWh


5.4 TWh



Heat (supplied by third parties)1


0.2 TWh


0.2 TWh



Heating oil


0.01 TWh


0.01 TWh