Water and Effluents
GRI 103-1,2,3; GRI 303-1,2,3 

Oerlikon’s operations do not require the use of significant amounts of water for production or processing. As a result, this is neither material nor an area of sustainability in which we can make a meaningful impact. Total water withdrawal slightly increased in 2021 compared to 2019 due to the newly opened sites.

For water discharged, we fully comply with local regulatory requirements and regularly perform compliance checks on effluent discharged when conducting our health, safety and environmental checks.

While water consumption is not material for us, we recognize that certain communities around the world grapple with water scarcity, and we can play a role in optimizing water management in such areas. With that in mind, we expanded our water assessments in 2021 to include an analysis of water stress. Using the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas tool, we have mapped out and assessed our operational sites according to the level of baseline water stress of the local watershed. Operational sites are all our production and major office sites, and include a few small offices that reported data. 

Out of 160 Oerlikon operational sites in 2021, 23 are located in areas facing extremely high levels of water stress and 22 are in high water-stress areas. 36 sites are in areas with medium-to-high levels of water stress and 79 sites are in low and medium-to-low water-stress areas. In terms of usage, around 58 600 m3 of water was consumed by our sites from extremely high water-stressed areas, and 131 900 m3 was withdrawn in high water stressed areas, representing 8% and 18% of our total water consumption worldwide, respectively.

The tool helps us identify which of our sites are in water stressed areas. With the data, we can monitor and take the necessary measures to better manage water consumption and mitigate water risk particularly in the high risk areas.


Water withdrawal Unit 20211
Third-party water withdrawal thousand m3 707.0 700.2
Surface water thousand m3 7.8 11.8
Groundwater thousand m3 2.6 4.1
Sea water thousand m3 0 0
Produced water thousand m3 0 0
Total water withdrawal   714.4 716.2
1 Excluding 2021 Acquisitions      


Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Head of Group Communications