Our goal is to prevent water pollution. We keep the use of the natural resource ‘water’ as low as possible, especially in countries with dry climates.
The great majority of our plants do not channel their waste water directly into lakes and rivers, but only after pretreatment in local effluent treatment plants via the public sewage system. Detailed information on the various wastewater parameters is provided in the environmental declarations of our EMAS-certified plants.
To protect the valuable resource water and make allowance for the special challenge posed by water management in this region, our new plant in Chennai in southern India pursues a “zero discharge” policy. Every drop of water is channeled through a complex system of pipes, pumps, filters, and evaporators in a closed loop and is continually reconditioned. Not a single drop leaves the plant via a sewer line.
Along with “zero discharge” our objective in Chennai is also to keep the natural water cycle intact as far as possible. Most of the water required for production comes from company-owned wells. To make up for the water taken from the wells, we have connected the downpipes from the roofs to dry wells, so that unpolluted rainwater is fed directly back into the groundwater. The large volumes of water falling on the plant grounds in the monsoon season are collected in an artificial pond. Moreover, special retainer systems ensure that in the event of a fire, contaminated firefighting water cannot get into the groundwater or surface water.
Environmental statements of the plants
The environmental statements of the Daimler plants
In addition to obtaining ISO 14001 certification for their environmental management systems, all Daimler production locations in Germany, as well as the EvoBus GmbH plants in Neu-Ulm and Mannheim, the smart production facility in Hambach, France, and the new plant in Kecskemét, Hungary, voluntarily participate in the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).
The environmental statements issued by the production locations are validated by independent experts and disclose all important environmental data, goals, and measures (and their state of implementation) for the facility in question.
Environmental statements are published every three years. In the interim we issue “Updated Environmental Statements” for the annual environmental statistics, which are also used in reporting on the level of implementation of the environmental program and any changes in environmental management. The environmental statements are released at different times by the various locations.
You can find all environmental statements of the plants here (in German only).
Water quality control through ground filters
Plant bed filters purify surface water
Harmful residues can accumulate in the rainwater which drains over roofs and roadways of industrial sites. To ensure that soil and waters don't suffer, the more stringent limits of the new Water Framework Directive must be observed from 2015 on. That is why our Bremen plant has launched a research project, in which our specialists study the effectiveness of rainwater purification through innovative soil filters together with experts from the Center for Environmental Research and Sustainable Technologies of the University of Bremen.
Initially, this involved the construction of a 100-square-meter soil filter in late 2012. The area was then planted with wetland flora and colonized with mycorrhiza fungi, which live in symbiosis with the plants. Inside the filtration system, the water flows through different layers of sand, colloidal silica, and wood compost, where it is mechanically and physicochemically purified while the plants boost the biodegradation of pollutants.
In order to test the effect of vegetable charcoal, it was also added to a part of the system. Vegetable charcoal increases the soil’s ability to store water. In addition, it encourages the growth of fungi, absorbs many harmful substances, supports the microflora, and improves the aeration of the soil. The second phase of the project began in March 2014. This involved the installation of three lysimeters, each with a capacity of one cubic meter, with a structure corresponding to that of the soil filter. With the help of this measuring equipment, the researchers want to research by 2016 whether the addition of vegetable charcoal can actually lead to greater filtration of pollutants. This is to be supplemented by laboratory analyses of constant water and soil tests at different sites inside the plant – from the inlets and outlets of the soil filter and the lysimeters to the retaining basins and ponds and the drainages of the roofs and roadways.
The findings of the research project will be suited for application at other similar industrial locations and are to be published in professional journals.