Sustainable Engineering

Water footprint for companies - Local measures in global value chains (WELLE)

Project description

Companies usually only measure and manage their water consumption at production facilities, although their upstream energy and material chains often conceal significantly higher water consumption. For this reason, we are developing a method for analyzing the entire company water footprint, which, in addition to looking at the value chains, also allows us to study potential local effects. In order to make this concept practically applicable, a water inventory database and a water footprint tool are provided. These are tested in case studies by the industry partners, and initial company water footprints are created for various industries. Building on the results of the water footprint, which identified relevant water uses in the global energy and material upstream chains, local water risks of suppliers are now analyzed. Building on this, a water stewardship process is initiated in order to reduce water consumption by suppliers and to find solutions to improve the situation in river basins in cooperation with local stakeholders (other companies, agriculture, local authorities, NGOs, etc.). Finally, industry-specific recommendations are given for a meaningful connection between the globally oriented water footprint and the local water stewardship approach.

The WELLE project network is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Project duration: April 2017 - March 2020

Project partners:

  • Technische Universität Berlin
  • Deutsches Kupferinstitut e.V.
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Neoperl GmbH
  • Thinkstep AG Volkswagen AG

M.A. Silvia Forin
Room Z 105
Tel: +49 (0)30 314-79502
Fax: +49 (0) 30 314-21720
E-mail: silvia.forin(at)