Nissan's strong commitment to sustainability includes a long history of taking action to conserve water. In honour of World Water Day, Nissan reflects on the importance of water resource development around the globe spotlighting proactive steps the employees of the Nissan plants in India and Mexico have taken to ensure that their consumption of local water is responsible and sustainable.
Nissan Aguascalientes Plant, Mexico
In Mexico, regulations require agriculture to account for roughly 60 percent of water use. Residential water use accounts for approximately 37 percent, leaving around 3 percent of the water available for industrial purposes and other uses. To overcome this problem, many companies have established large facilities to store rainwater and constructed systems to recycle sewage and wastewater.
Nissan's Aguascalientes factory in Mexico has a rainwater storage tank that can hold 19,000 m³ of water. This extensive storage capacity drastically minimises the amount of groundwater used at the plant and relies on rainwater for 40 percent of the water used.
Rainwater Storage Tank at Nissan Aguascalientes plant
The rainwater is filtered to remove sand and carbon before it is used in the manufacturing process. Water is particularly useful during the painting process – which accounts for around 50 percent of the plant's total water consumption – while rainwater is also used to remove paint residue and dust.
A2 plant at the Aguascalientes Plant in Mexico
Nissan Chennai Plant, India
Nissan controls the quality of the wastewater at all of its production plants, applying standards that are often stricter than local requirements. In fact, the Chennai plant was recognised by the Confederation of Indian Industries for the quality of its water resource management system in 2017.
National Award for Excellence in Water Management 2017
Water treatment process at the Chennai plant
The plant's water treatment process begins with separating sewage from wastewater i.e., kitchen and bathroom water. It is then divided into purified water and sediments. After passing through an ultrafiltration membrane, the water is directed to the toilet system, while the sediments are processed offsite. Through this process, wastewater is reused for small onsite agricultural projects and as part of the production process.
Water-conservation initiatives across Nissan offices and plants
The Nissan Green programme aims to reduce water consumption by 21 percent across Nissan plants and offices in 2022 and is driving water saving initiatives throughout Nissan's global production sites. These efforts are generally divided into three main categories:
- reduced consumption (minimising the amount of water used per product)
- recycling and reuse of plant wastewater
- increased use of innovative water sources (i.e., storage and filtration of storm and rainwater, etc.)
Since requirements vary from site to site, regional water-preservation facilities and expertise are often developed independently. By maintaining a cooperative environment in which best practices can easily be shared, Nissan is helping to spread this knowledge throughout its global operations.