Environmental Protection Costs

Klaus Böttcher – Operations Manager, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Nünchritz Plant (photo)

“We use water sparingly and purify our wastewater optimally.”

Klaus Böttcher
Operations Manager, Wastewater Treatment Plant,
Nünchritz Plant

Environmental protection, just like safety and health protection, is a core component of all processes at WACKER. The focus is not so much on remedial measures but on prevention – evaluation begins as early as the product-development and plant-planning stages. In accordance with the core ideas of the Responsible Care® initiative, our environmental protection measures often go beyond what is legally required. We continuously work on improving our production processes to conserve resources. By closing material cycles and recycling by-products from other areas into production, we are able to prevent or reduce waste.

Our environmental indicators revealed divergent trends during the period under review. Water consumption fell thanks to a new recooling unit for the cooling-water system at Burghausen, our largest site. At the same time, the amount of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) rose, due to higher production-capacity utilization and plant start-ups in China. Overall, our environmental figures showed a positive trend.

In some areas, we have expanded the breadth of data on which our environmental indicators are based; this has enabled us to gain a clearer understanding of the actual environmental impacts. For example: since 2010, we have included internal and external wastewater treatment for all Group sites.

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Environmental Protection Costs1







€ million















In 2009, we changed the way we calculate costs/investments. The costs for 2008 were determined retrospectively using the new method, which explains why these figures differ from those cited in our 2007/2008 Sustainability Report.

Operating costs





















Investments in Environmental Protection







Water pollution control







Waste management







Air pollution control







Climate protection






Soil remediation





Since 1995, WACKER has been a member of the Bavarian Environmental Pact. We are also participating in the new Pact, which runs from 2010 to 2015 under the slogan “Sustainable growth balanced by environmental and climate protection.” The Environmental Pact is an agreement between the Bavarian government and Bavarian industry, in which both parties have declared their belief that natural resources can be better protected through voluntary, responsible cooperation between industry and state rather than by laws and regulations alone. The pact serves as a catalyst to promote climate protection and energy conservation, sustainable mobility, environmental engineering and resource efficiency. Its primary aim is to avoid environmental pollution.

Our sites regularly inform the public about our environmental-protection activities, including annual community meetings at Nünchritz (Germany), as well as similar events with neighbors or “open houses” at Adrian (Michigan, USA), and Zhangjiagang in China. Our Burghausen, Freiberg and Nünchritz sites publish annual environmental reports containing environmental-protection and safety-related facts and figures.