During 2015, our water intensity decreased 5.54 percent. This represents a reduction of almost 100 million gallons from 2014. Even with continued growth of the Company, we have realized a cumulative 23.75 percent reduction against a 2010 baseline, thanks to ongoing efficiency initiatives. We are very pleased with our progress toward our 2020 goal to decrease water intensity by 25 percent — a goal that we expect to realize well ahead of schedule.
*These numbers have been restated to reflect the integration of IVC and KAI environmental data.Click to View
This notable decrease in water consumption is helped by a marked increase in the amount of water recycled throughout our operations. In 2015, across our Company, 1,243,892 cubic meters, or nearly 329 million gallons of total water, was recovered and reused. This is a 50 percent increase in the amount of water recycled since 2014. Specifically, these savings stemmed from our ceramic operations. With 16 out of 24 global ceramic plants recycling all of their waste water, our ceramic operations recovered nearly 33.22 percent of its total water needs in 2015, increasing the Company total to 9.48 percent recycled water.
Increased wastewater capture has been possible through the installation of new water- saving equipment. At the Castellon plants in Spain, for example, new Tintometers® enable reused water to clean raw materials before processing. Previously, plants had to clean raw materials in a glaze in a mill, which is a highly water-intensive process. Similarly, in our automated dyehouse at our Dalton, Georgia, plant, we replaced six inefficient and dated manual water vats with new, automated equipment that will use 3.3 million fewer gallons of water and 145,000 fewer kWh than the manual ones.
As with energy reduction, our Glasgow, Virginia, plant has implemented process improvements to reduce water consumption. By reevaluating the plant’s production system, we were able to eliminate two extremely water-inefficient processes without altering the final product. This led to a 16 percent reduction in plantwide water use. Additionally, on a larger scale, the installation of advanced controls on our plant water system resulted in reductions of over 30 percent in withdrawals from an on-site well.