Management and use of water resources​  

Climate change and particularly the increase in drought periods and related extreme weather phenomena affect the availability of fresh water, an essential resource for the survival of man and any economic sector, especially in geographical areas characterised by scarce water availability. The challenge faced by the institutions and companies that use the most water will thus be to manage water use fairly, so that it does not become a factor of disruption of business or harm to the natural cycles of ecosystems or social inequality. For this reason, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises the importance of water, mainly in its Goals 6 and 14 but also in all the other Goals, linked to water directly or indirectly. 

Brembo, whose production processes require water resources quantifiable as approximately 1,620 Ml, has defined a strategy acting in multiple directions: promoting the rational use of water, by gradually reducing its use in its production processes, and fostering the minimisation of possible pollutants that could have a negative impact on the environment, as well as the supply from alternative sources such as the recovery from other processes. In particular, Brembo uses water for cooling its plants, melting furnaces, surface treatments and the preparation of waste coolant emulsions – specific 7-10% oil emulsions needed for cooling and chip evacuation in mechanical processing. Brembo's manufacturing activity may thus generate material impacts in terms of the quantity of water used, contributing to depletion of the resource in areas with limited availability or also in terms of water contamination, albeit to a less significant degree. 

With regard to water performance, in 2023 a total of about 1,620 Ml of water were taken, a slight increase compared to the trend of recent years. The overall figure is mainly affected by the increase in production volumes recorded at almost all the Group's plants. 

The water mains still constitute the main source of supply (approximately 73%) which not only ensures suitable quality levels, but also a reliably constant supply over time. 

With reference to waste water, nearly all of it is destined for the local water consortium sewers to which the sites are linked. Only a tiny fraction (less than 1%) of waste water is destined to other types of release (e.g., released into surface water bodies or in the subsoil). In all cases waste water is subject to prior verification to ensure that the relevant local legal specifications on acceptability are met. 

Brembo's Environment and Energy Management System concerns not only energy consumption, but also water use. Within the system adopted by Brembo, the Water Management procedure sets requirements and restrictions for ensuring rational use of the resource and protection against all possible accidental contamination. The requirements defined are binding on all Brembo facilities, thus ensuring the procedure is uniformly applied. In the specific case of the risk of contamination of environmental matrices due to water discharge, the procedure's requirements are equally stringent: the limits to be observed are up to 60% lower than those set by local regulations. Accordingly, all sites are required to take every appropriate action to ensure that the concentration of pollutants in discharges remains consistently below this limit over time, for example by using products or substances with a lesser impact or discharge water treatment technologies. Within the Management System, each plant carries out a risk and opportunities assessment for each process and production phase that has an impact on water resources. The outcome of this analysis leads — for the areas identified as at high risk or with relevant opportunities — to mitigation or other actions that may help seize any opportunities. In parallel to the analysis, Brembo runs a yearly company-wide risk evaluation aimed at determining the exposure, for each Group’s site, to risk factors relating to water quality and availability in a specific area, specifically in current conditions and future scenarios. Such evaluation is conducted using the World Resource Institute’s (WRI) ACQUEDUCT methodology.


Responsible water procurement

For Brembo, achieving maximum optimisation in water use is a much-needed result, especially in highly water-stressed areas. This was the case of the plants in Mexico, where severe drought made rationing in water distribution necessary in 2022 and 2023. In response to this issue, Brembo launched at the cast iron foundry in Escobedo (Mexico) a water reuse project in which further chemical and physical processing by Brembo allows discharged water to be used in the municipal purifier instead of water from the aqueduct. Since December 2023, the Escobedo site has therefore been supplied with aqueduct water for civil uses only, while water withdrawal due to production processes, which amounts to about 300 m3 per day, comes entirely from purified wastewater. During the year, Brembo finalised a study aimed at identifying the priority sites on which the same water recovery process will be implemented in the coming years.