Borealis and Uponor launch first water footprint initiative in the plastics industry

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August 20, 2008
Borealis and Uponor launch first water footprint initiative in the plastics industry

Borealis, a leading provider of innovative value creating plastic solutions and Uponor, a leading supplier of plumbing and heating systems, have announced at the World Water Week in Stockholm a joint initiative to pilot for the first time the concept of water footprint to the manufacturing of a plastic application.

Co-founders of the Stockholm water prize (SWP), awarded this year to Pr. John Anthony Allan for his work on water footprint and virtual water, Borealis and Uponor have applied the concept to assess the amount of water needed to equip a typical home with a modern plumbing and underfloor heating system.

Water footprint is spearheaded by leading academics and environmental NGOs and pilots are starting in the food and drink industry. Borealis and Uponor findings will be shared with researchers to align approaches and make validated methodologies available for other products or value chains.

The initiative will investigate water uses across the entire plastics industry value chain from raw materials extraction to a full system installed at home. Initial findings show that a typical under floor heating and tap water plumbing systems for a 100 m² apartment using 500 metres of PEX pipe require some 29 m³ of water from “cradle to home”. The plastics material and pipe production account for a third of the total footprint of the system once installed.

Speaking at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Borealis Executive Vice-President Lorenzo Delorenzi said “This initiative is part of Borealis and Borouge Water for the World commitment to contribute to making a difference to a global challenge. We believe such a pioneering partnership can really advance sustainability across the value chain.”

Tarmo Anttila, Uponor Communication Vice-President added “As part of our environmental approach, Uponor is constantly developing products and processes that help people and industry save resources. Water Footprint is an excellent way of turning into action our long-term sponsorship of the Stockholm Water Prize. Understanding our footprint can be a key tool to further guide the development of more water-saving products”.


For further information please contact:

Borealis: Kerstin Meckler, Borealis Group Media Relations Manager,

Tel. +43 1 22 400 389,

Uponor: Tarmo Anttila, Tel +358 (0)20 129 2852

SIWI: Stephanie Blenckner, Acting Communication Director, Tel. +46 73 914 39 86

Borealis and Borouge are leading providers of innovative, value creating plastics solutions. With more than 40 years of experience in polyolefins and using our unique Borstar® technology, we focus on the infrastructure, automotive and advanced packaging markets. We have production facilities, innovation centres and service centres across Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific and work with customers in more than 170 countries around the world to provide plastic materials that make an essential contribution to society and to sustainable development. We are committed to the principles of Responsible Care® and to leading the way in 'Shaping the Future with Plastics.’
Water for the World™

Committed to addressing global challenges with innovative, value creating plastics solutions, Borealis and Borouge's Water for the World™ initiative fosters local knowledge and partnerships throughout the value chain to deliver sustainable solutions for the availability of safe water and sanitation around the world.

Uponor is a leading supplier of plumbing and heating systems for the residential and commercial building markets across Europe and North America, and a prominent supplier of municipal infrastructure pipe systems in the Nordic countries. Uponor’s key applications are underfloor heating, tap water systems and infrastructure solutions. The Group employs 4,700 people globally. Uponor Corporation is listed on the OMX Nordic Exchanges in Helsinki, Finland
About water footprint

The water footprint of a product (a commodity, good or service) is the volume of freshwater used to produce the product in the various steps of its production chain. The 'water footprint' of a product is the same as its 'virtual water content' .Typically, one cup of coffee will have required 140 litres of water for its production while one kilogram of beef will "embed" 16 m³ of water (16000 litres). The water footprint of a business is the total volume of freshwater used directly and indirectly to run and support a business including the water use in the supply chain).

The Stockholm Water Prize

First presented in 1991, The Stockholm Water Prize is the world’s most prestigious prize for outstanding achievement in water-related activities. The annual prize, which includes a USD 150,000 award and a crystal sculpture, honours individuals, institutions or organisations whose work contributes broadly to the conservation and protection of water resources and to improved health of the planet’s inhabitants and ecosystems.

Founders of the Stockholm Water Prize are Swedish and international companies in co-operation with the City of Stockholm.

H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is the Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize.

SIWI - Independent, Leading-Edge Water Competence for Future-Oriented Action

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a policy institute that contributes to international efforts to combat the world's escalating water crisis. SIWI advocates future-oriented, knowledge-integrated water views in decision making, nationally and internationally, that lead to sustainable use of the world’s water resources and sustainable development of societies.

For more information on Borealis and Borouge, a joint venture between Borealis and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, visit and
For more information visit
For more information on Uponor visit
For more information on Water footprint visit
For more information on SIWI visit


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