We are determined to reduce the use of water in all our activities.
In the course of its activities, Eni has for many years registered a reduction in the consumption of drinking water, not the least thanks to the fact that it uses seawater (over 90%) for thermal cooling of its plants. The fresh water used (approximately 117 Mm3, -1.7% vs. 2017) is mainly attributable to the Chemicals and downstream sectors, while only a small portion (16%) is used in Upstream. In a more global framework and with a view to the circular economy, we are investing to increase the groundwater treated and reused for civil or industrial purposes and, likewise, to launch initiatives for the use of low-quality water to replace freshwater.
In line with our policies, we conserve natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity.
Every year, Eni maps and monitors water risk and drought scenarios to define long-term actions that prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change. In the Upstream sector, where almost all withdrawals are concentrated in water stressed areas, specific water management plans are implemented to reduce consumption. Eni confirmed this commitment in 2017 by joining the Italian Business Alliance for Water and Climate promoted by the Ministry of the Environment with the aim of developing strategic guidelines for managing water and encouraging adaptation to climate change. Furthermore, in 2018, initiatives to reduce impacts in water-stressed areas and freshwater withdrawals continued, as did projects in the upstream sector to give access to water to the populations in areas where Eni operates. In Italy, Eni is committed to increasing, over the period of the four-year plan, the amount of polluted groundwater treated and reused for civil or industrial purposes, to launching initiatives and assessments for the use of poor quality water (waste water or water from polluted groundwater, as well as rainwater and desalinated sea water), replacing fresh water, and reducing the water intensity of production. Considering the potential risks of possible water crises, as noted by the annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum and the growing demand for information by stakeholders, for the first time, in 2018, a public response was provided to the CDP water to increase transparency on these issues.
Eni operates in very different geographical contexts that require extremely specific assessments of their environmental aspects. Our goal is to minimise the impact of our operations on the environment. To ensure a uniform approach in keeping with the best international technologies and practices, Eni adopts a Health, Safety and Integrated Environment Management System in all its plants and production units. This system enables us to monitor and manage sustainability and environmental performance objectives on a half-yearly basis. In this context, on 6 June 2018 the second edition of the Safety & Environment Day was held to highlight Eni's excellence and innovation in the field of safety and the environment – as of 2017 this event has replaced the historic "Safety Day" first held in 2012. To spotlight positive examples and stimulate emulation among our personnel, 22 prizes were awarded during the day to the people who developed the best projects for safeguarding the ecosystem.
In 2018, 92% of water withdrawals were from sea water, 7% from fresh water and the remaining 1% from brackish water. About 54% of water withdrawals are related to chemical processes, while only 8% are related to the E&P sector. In line with the trend recorded in recent years, in 2018 Eni reduced its total fresh water withdrawals by 2% compared to 2017. This result was made possible thanks to new steam generators installed at the Porto Marghera petrochemical plant, which made it possible to reduce the amount of fresh water used in the cooling cycles. In 2018, as a complement to interventions on plants, Eni achieved a fresh water reuse rate of 87%. In the E&P sector, production water re-injected reached 60% both for the maintenance of good performance of the fields in Egypt and Ecuador and thanks to the commissioning of the Ebocha field (Nigeria) and Zero Water Discharge in the Loango and Zatchi fields (Congo).