Environmental sustainability tends to be associated with the color green, but it is equally important to remember "blue" — as in clean, fresh water. Economically feasible water conservation is incorporated into the planning of every new facility and, once operational, our water usage is managed with a goal of continuous improvement. Nowhere are these efforts more critical than at our facilities located in some of the world's most water-stressed areas.
In Australia, Holden Vehicle Operations is integrating water-saving technologies in new projects to upgrade facilities and processes. Among them are a water recycling plant in the general assembly plant car wash, a state-of-the-art water re-use process in a new paint pretreatment facility and recirculation of humidified booth air in the bumper paint shop. These actions, combined with other measures, are expected to reduce municipal water usage by 190 megaliters per year.
In South Africa, another drought-plagued area, water conservation initiatives already are integrated into our two plants in Port Elizabeth as part of our ISO 14001 certification. We are investigating further opportunities in order to meet Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's call for a 25 percent reduction in industrial water use due to ongoing intense drought in the region. Two full-day workshops with engineers and managers have identified 7,360 kiloliters of water-withdrawal savings to date.
The situations in Australia and South Africa are excellent examples of why we approach water management at the facility level. Because water issues vary considerably by region, each of our operating regions establishes annual internal goals for reductions of water intensity, while also sharing global best practices. Recent examples of initiatives to improve water quality and reduce consumption include:
As a result of these and other conservation measures, we reduced our water intensity by 3.2 percent during 2011 as compared to 2010. This progress puts us ahead of our glide path toward our 2020 goal to reduce water intensity by 15 percent.
2020 Commitment: Protect water quality and reduce water intensity by 15 percent.*
Our 2012 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Water Disclosure Information Request includes a detailed discussion of our global water reduction initiatives, as well as water-related risks in water-stressed areas of the world.