Organic solvents and surface treatment

ASSA ABLOY has reduced the consumption of chlorinated organic solvents in production thanks to investments in new cleaning technologies. ASSA ABLOY uses perchloroethylene (PER) and trichloroethylene (TRI) for surface treatment of metals. These are both identified as environmentally hazardous chemicals and ASSA ABLOY has initiated a gradual phase out of those chemicals in production.

Phasing out

The commitment to reducing the use of chlorinated organic solvents will continue with the aim to exclude them from production processes. These chemicals will, step by step, be replaced by more environmentally adapted solutions. Alternative processes are being identified and evaluated.

ASSA ABLOY measures its use of different organic solvents. Perchloroethylene (PER) has been identified as the most environmentally hazardous chemical.


The total consumption of chlorinated organic solvents was reduced by 79 percent in 2015 compared with 2014, resulting from significant investments made in 2015. Improved reporting practices have disclosed more types of organic solvents within the Group, primarily in recently-acquired entities. In 2015, the total consumption of other types of organic solvents amounted to 1,068 (1,033) tons for comparable units. The target is to reduce the consumption by 50 percent by 2020. 

The work on reducing environmentally hazardous chemicals in production had led to:

  • the conversion of three surface treatment processes into less harmful processes
  • a reduction of the number of sites using PER
  • total consumption of chlorinated organic solvents has been reduced by 79 percent in 2015. 

Modern cleaning technologies for surface treatment

ASSA ABLOY uses modern cleaning technologies to streamline the process of surface treatment.
Products and their components need surface treatments to meet high standards of durability, corrosion resistance, quality and finishing.

In most cases, the surface treatment processes are highly complex and require accurate process controls. Parts are treated in sequential baths and cleaned in water tanks before each new sub process commences.

By using modern cleaning technologies, the waste water can be recirculated back into the process multiple times, thereby minimizing water consumption, saving energy and reducing costs. ASSA ABLOY has long established expertise in the surface treatment field, including processes such as passivation, anodization and plating.