Air conditioners are now only switched on when the weather is very hot and are not run constantly as they used to be. “As long as we have decent ventilation, as is usually the case, our air conditioners remain turned off,” says Tiede. Two open water systems were also closed, meaning they were transformed into a water circuit and all the leaks in production were found and repaired. Behavior also adjusted: Training courses and workshops were held to teach employees about how to save water in their daily routines, such as carefully turning off water taps or not cleaning machines by running a hose over them for minutes at a time but by simply using a bucket of water and a rag.
“The practical tips have had big impact, because the employees follow them,” says Tiede and the numbers prove it: In 2019, monthly water consumption was 426 liters or 68 percent less than in 2016. There is still room for more improvement: A system for collecting and filtering rainwater will soon be installed, which will then be used for cleaning and in toilets. And a few thousand kilometers away in Chennai, India, similar plans are in the works - thanks to the communication and sharing of ideas within the Freudenberg Performance Materials network.