Water management

GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3, 303-1, 303-2

MRS understands that its impact on water as a shared-use asset is mainly a result of its use in washing locomotives and maintaining their components, in facilities along the railway network, in permanent way maintenance machines, in polymer sprinkler operations and for consumption by employees. Water is withdrawn from underground sources, surface sources, and through concessionaires, and the potential social impacts linked to the notion of shared use of water are monitored due to possible over-drawing, decreasing its availability for other users.

In order to minimize these impacts, MRS has been effectively improving the internal management of water resources, by investing in new technologies, dissemination of internal knowledge on the subject and implementation of good practices for the use of water, thus encouraging the conscious use of the resource. Since 2018, work has been carried out to assess consumption of the units, which has already identified and addressed several deviations, resulting in a reduction of around 4 thousand m³ of monthly water consumption throughout the Company.

Among the actions in search of the reduction of water consumption by MRS, the following stand out:

  • Collection and use of rainwater for use in washing locomotives at the P1-07 complex, located in Jeceaba, Minas Gerais;
  • Also in the P1-07 complex, there is the practice of reusing the effluent treated by ETEI for the purpose of humidifying the site’s way, thus reducing water consumption.
  • Total reuse of the effluent treated by ETEI from the Polymer Sprinkler, where approximately 9.7% of the volume of water used in the process is reuse water from the local ETEI. As a result, the unit stopped releasing the effluent into the environment and used, annually, around 2,700 m³ of natural resource collected from the well. Learn more here.

In 2020, the total volume of water withdrawn for the development of MRS activities amounted to around 125 thousand m³, of which 50 thousand m³ through underground water abstraction, 5 thousand m³ of surface water, 59 thousand m³ of water supply by the concessionaires and, finally, 11 thousand m³ from water trucks for the operation of the track grinder, primary activity in railway maintenance.  

In line with social and environmental responsibility and environmental standards, MRS performs the proper management of industrial and domestic effluents produced by the units that support railway operation activities and the maintenance of locomotives, wagons and components. For this purpose, the company relies on ETP (Industrial Effluent Treatment Plants) and CSAO (Water and Oil Separating Boxes) for the treatment of industrial effluents and filter pits for the treatment of domestic effluents in places where there is no collection network or a municipal effluent treatment plant.

Thus, liquid waste is collected, treated and disposed of in compliance with the relevant legislation. In addition, the internal management of this program includes the monitoring and assessment of the performance of the treatment devices, ensuring the system efficiency and the continuous improvement of these processes. In 2020, the ETPs located in MRS workshops treated around 8,000 m³ of industrial effluents.

For 2021, the company plans to proceed with adjustments for the improvement of its processes, such as the installation of more efficient control systems, and is evaluating initiatives for the reuse of water in the facilities.

TOTAL WATER WITHDRAWAL PER SOURCE

GRI 303-3

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