Water Management

Lexmark is focused on efficiently managing water usage at our facilities. Water management data is reported for all Lexmark owned and some leased facilities. Lexmark owned facilities include corporate headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky; the Juarez, Mexico facility for manufacturing printer cartridges and toner, final printer assembly and operating the recycling and reuse processes of the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program; and the Cebu, Philippines research and development and shared services facility.  Lexmark reports water management data for leased facilities in Boulder, Colorado; Budapest, Hungary; Shenzhen, China; and Kolkata, India. In 2023, water withdrawal was 44% less than the 2015 baseline. With early achievement of our 35% goal from 2015 to 2025, a revised 2030 goal was established. Lexmark strives to maintain efficient water usage practices in all operations.Lexmark engaged KERAMIDA to conduct an independent verification of water withdrawal data.

Water is used as part of Lexmark operations for three primary purposes: manufacturing and development; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; and sanitation. Our water usage can vary due to the need to control temperature. As external temperatures rise, more water is needed to cool our facilities. While we cannot control the water usage related to external temperature, we can aggressively monitor, control and reduce water withdrawal where opportunities exist.

Water stress in areas of Lexmark facilities was assessed using the World Resources Institute Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. Based on this tool, Lexmark has identified three of our reporting facilities to be high or extremely high risk for overall water risk. This information encourages us to focus on the regions highlighted as having the highest risk and work to reduce or maintain low consumption. Click here for detailed water management data. 

Water management program

Through the years, Lexmark has followed our corporate water plan which concentrates on multiple methods of conserving water. As Lexmark assesses site water requirements and reporting boundaries, changes may occur on site; for example, designating new contacts for water management, utilizing fresh approaches to awareness of site water usage, and pursuing alternate water sourcing or conservation techniques.


Water history

Lexmark has a long history of water projects that have helped reduce water usage in our operations by over 75% when compared to 2005.

  • Cebu City, Philippines
    Lexmark focuses on preventive and corrective maintenance of the water system and works to engage employees in awareness activities to conserve water and report leaks. Over the years, major water projects have included the installation of sensor-operated faucets and toilet bowls and the interconnection of the water supply between the two buildings on site to reduce water waste. In 2020, a 1,000-liter capacity rainwater catchment tank was installed on site to provide water for mopping, maintaining plant life and vehicle cleaning. In 2023, the catchment tank harvested 14 cubic meters of rainwater which was used to maintain plant life and clean janitorial tools and equipment. 
  • Juárez, Mexico
    Lexmark continues to refine processes related to water use on site. Lexmark's Physical Chemical Wastewater Treatment Plant is one of the largest installed in the industrial sector of Juárez City, and includes three processes: solids separation, filtration and distillation. The plant has a processing capacity of 80 gallons per minute. Over the years, the water reuse infrastructure has grown on campus. Water used in HVAC equipment, as well as toilets in Laser Cartridge Assembly operations and LCCP production is reused. Cooling tower basins are isolated to help prevent water loss from evaporation. Restrooms located on the production floor and other areas have been retrofitted with waterless modes. 
  • Kolkata, India
    At Lexmark's Kolkata site recycled water is used by the landlord for the central air conditioning system and contributes to sustained water efficiency at the Lexmark facility.
  • Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
    At Headquarters, many actions over the years have contributed to water conservation. Some of these actions were: more efficient HVAC systems, installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures, upgrades to piping, reduction in the number of fire pumps, site building reductions, and a successful partnership with Suez services. In recent years, Lexmark has also reduced impermeable surfaces on site by 1,475,000 square feet through multiple activities, including building demolition, property sale and conversion of 256,665 square feet of parking space to green space. In 2023, the utility plant cooling towers used 24.5 megaliters of rainwater collected through the rainwater harvesting system.


 

 
Click here for detailed water management data.

 


 


 

Water harvesting and reuse

Lexmark values water reuse and harvesting and has found ways to implement projects with this focus at multiple locations. 

Infrastructure upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant continued to provide great results at Lexmark’s campus in Juárez, Mexico. The system generated 29.2 megaliters of water for reuse in other areas, including irrigation, representing 28% of the total water used at the facility.

In 2022, a low conductivity discrimination system implemented in the Deionized Water Plant allowed a significant portion of the reverse osmosis' rejected water to be captured and returned to the initial filtration system, avoiding the usage of freshwater in this process step. A second phase on this initiative, to be completed by the end of 2024, is to capture the remainder of the rejected water (high conductivity) at the clarification step of the solids separation process. Upon this strategy implementation, 100% of the rejected water will be captured, avoiding discharging it to city sewer, with subsequent elimination of one of the two process discharge points on the campus. 

Further improvements in Juárez include development of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which enhances the accuracy of the wastewater treatment process and allows the wastewater treatment plant to be operated in remote mode during weekends. These improvements assure enough treated water supply is available to be reused in the CPT process, thereby minimizing the need to use freshwater in this intensive water consumption process.

Lexmark employees in Cebu, Philippines, continue to make an impact on water usage in their community through the rainwater harvesting systems that they have designed and installed. The first system collects water that can be used by Lexmark Gawad Kalinga locals for watering plants and cleaning. The second 1,000-liter tank capacity rainwater catchment system supports at least 20 families in Cantipla Barangay, whose water source is a spring located 300 meters away by vehicle. The tank and meter for the Cantipla Barangay rainwater catchment system was damaged by Typhoon Odette in December 2021 and is being repaired.

Rainwater harvesting system

Lexmark maintains an award-winning bioretention and rainwater harvesting system in Lexington, Kentucky. The system installation was a joint effort of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), EcoGro, Ridgewater, Stantec and the University of Kentucky. 

While larger in scale than the three traditional rain gardens at the Lexington site, the rainwater harvesting system acts in much the same way as these smaller rain gardens. The bioretention basin collects rainwater and filters it through a layer of sand. Water not needed for immediate use is stored for later use. The naturally soft water is used in Lexmark's cooling towers, reducing the need for chemically treated water. 

The bioretention basin in Lexmark’s rainwater harvesting system has some bioremediation value and acts as a retention pond in slowing rainfall runoff in conditions when excess flow is discharged to the creek. In the vein of sustainable resource consumption, the pavement, rock and soil removed for the project was reused or recycled. Existing pipes and tanks already in place were recommissioned for use in this project to gain further savings.

Lexmark received the 2021 International Green Apple Award - Environmental Best Practice for the Lexmark rainwater harvesting system. Prior awards for the project were a Manufacturing Leadership Award in Sustainability in 2020 and a 2019 Grand Conceptor Award in Waste and Storm Water from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Kentucky (ACEC-KY). 





 

How rainwater harvesting works

Water Quality

Lexmark has long supported  creek cleanup  efforts, realizing the impact that trash and waste in a creek has on the quality of water in the watershed. 

Lexmark, together with EMB7, regularly monitored the progress of the Guadalupe River quality and the employees participated annually in a coastal cleanup during the International Coastal Clean-up Day. 

Water withdrawal

Lexmark is concerned with the origin of our sourced water and where it ends up. We understand that access to clean, abundant and affordable water is a critical issue. We also understand that our commitment to responsible use of our water resources and protection of local watersheds helps to ensure that our local communities have access to these water resources. Most Lexmark facilities withdraw water exclusively from municipal water supplies and other water utilities.

 

Water sources

Lexmark Facility

Utility Provider

Original Sources of Water*

Lexington, Kentucky, United States

Kentucky American Water

Kentucky River, Jacobson Reservoir and Lake Ellerslie

Boulder, Colorado, United States

City of Boulder Utilities Division

Barker Reservoir, Lakewood Reservoir, Boulder Reservoir and Carter Lake via the Boulder Feeder Canal

Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Junta Municipal de Agua y Saneamiento de Juárez

Hueco Bolson, underground aquifer

Cebu, Philippines

Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD)

Luyang River

Kolkata, India

DLF IT Park via local municipality

Ganges River processed through osmosis water treatment plant

Budapest, Hungary

Fövárosi Vízmüvek

Multiple sources, but water from the Danube River (from wells located near the river) dominates the supply

Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen Water Company

Pearl River—the biggest river in south China

* To the best of our knowledge, none of these bodies of water are recognized by professionals to be particularly sensitive due to their relative size, function or status as a rare, threatened, or endangered system. In addition, none supports a particular endangered species of plant or animal, or is considered a nationally or internationally proclaimed conservation area. None of these water sources is significantly affected by Lexmark water usage.

Water discharge

Wastewater from Lexmark operations is primarily discharged to local utility systems for treatment. Water used for landscape maintenance purposes is absorbed into the soil. Water is also evaporated from on-site cooling towers. 

Lexmark reported no significant spills in 2023. In an effort to continually improve our processes, we record and investigate all spills—regardless of size or impact—as directed by site ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 management systems and other corrective and preventive action programs. Water discharges (whether planned or unplanned) that are destined for the local utility or nearby bodies of water are closely monitored by site facilities and environmental teams in accordance with applicable government permits.
 


1 Input data is based on site meter readings and utility invoices.