GHG Emissions from Operations

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to Baxter’s operations are due to facility energy use; company-operated sales, distribution and other business vehicles; and refrigerant losses.

Baxter’s approach to managing and reducing GHG emissions from operations includes 18 program and reduction strategies. Program strategies describe broader aspects of the company’s approach such as developing and refining an overall GHG emissions reduction strategy, setting GHG emissions reduction goals, measuring and reporting progress, and others. These are complemented by specific approaches to reducing GHG emissions such as fuel switching and cogeneration, onsite renewable energy systems, renewable power purchasing, and high-performance green buildings.

The company is committed to reducing GHG emissions from operations 45% indexed to revenue by 2015 compared to 2005. From 2005 to 2012, Baxter decreased net GHG emissions from operations by 12% in absolute terms and 39% indexed to revenue. Although the company is expanding its operations with business acquisitions and new facilities, Baxter projects it will meet its GHG emissions goal.

Baxter's Global GHG Emissions Footprint

Total net emissions from operations of 688,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2012 includes a subtraction of 101,700 metric tons CO2e, composed of the following: 86,700 metric tons CO2e of certified renewable energy and 15,000 metric tons CO2e of Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) carbon credits purchased from the IntercontinentalExchange.

This total is equivalent to 13% of total emissions from operations and represents approximately one-fourth of the company’s progress (39% reduction indexed to revenue) toward its 2015 GHG reduction goal. The following table describes the sources of GHG emissions from Baxter operations during 2012.

GHG Emissions from Baxter Operations, 2012*
Metric Tons CO2e Percent of Total Primary GHG Emissions Reduction Focus
Purchased Electricity and Steam 445,000 56.3% Energy conservation
Purchased Fossil Fuels 260,000 32.9% Energy conservation and switching to lower GHG or renewable fuels
Baxter Operated Sales, Distribution and Other Business Vehicles 53,000 6.7% Improved vehicle efficiency
Refrigerant Related Emissions 32,000 4.1% Switching to lower GHG potential refrigerants
Subtotal 790,000 100.0%
Purchase of Renewable Energy (Electricity) and Carbon Credits, and support of Carbon Sequestration Projects 102,000
Net GHG Emittions 688,000
* See the paragraph about biomass fuels below for detail about emissions from biomass-fired boilers at three Baxter locations. Since biomass is generated from a renewable energy resource, it is not included in Scope 1 GHG emissions or the table above.

View more detail about Baxter's energy usage and GHG emissions.

Energy usage accounts for 96% of Baxter's GHG emissions from operations, so the company focuses its efforts in this area. Baxter’s approach includes adopting innovative technologies such as low energy light emitting diode (LED) lighting, switching to lower carbon fuels (such as from fuel oil to natural gas), using boilers powered by sustainably sourced biomass fuels, and implementing cogeneration systems. For more detail, see below, the Energy page, and Case Study: Employees Drive Innovative Environmental Initiatives.

In 2012, Baxter used biomass fuels to generate energy in boilers at three Baxter locations: Marion, North Carolina, United States (wood byproducts from furniture manufacturing); Alathur, India, (coconut shells, rice husks and sugarcane remnants) and Waluj, India (residual biomass from sugarcane and cotton). During the year, emissions from these boilers equaled 187,000 metric tons CO2e. Following the Greenhouse Gas Protocol1, the company reports CO2 emissions from biologically sequestrated carbon separately from its total emissions from operations (Scope 1 and 2) and does not include these emissions in progress toward its 2015 GHG emissions reduction goal. See Baxter's Energy Usage and Greenhouse Gas Emissions for more detail.

In 2012, Baxter’s Lessines, Belgium, facility completed the first full year of operation of its new cogeneration system. The company also uses cogeneration at its Castlebar, Ireland and Sabiñánigo, Spain manufacturing sites.

Renewable Energy and Carbon Neutrality

In 2007, Baxter committed to increasing facility usage of renewable energy to 20% of total energy use by 2015. By year end 2012, 22% of Baxter’s energy use for operations was from renewable sources. Of this amount, 8% was biomass fuel for boilers at three company locations and 14% was the combined total from the renewable energy component of purchased electricity (11%) and renewable energy certificates (RECs) (3%). A small amount was from onsite geothermal systems and onsite solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar hot water systems.

During 2012, Baxter purchased 207,100 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity generated from 100% certified renewable power. This included 111,000 MWh in Europe (Austria, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), 13,100 MWh in South America (Brazil) and 83,000 MWh of certified Green-e renewable energy certificates (RECs) in the United States. Baxter was recognized as the 19th largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the United States in 2012.2

Beginning in 2007, Baxter has maintained carbon neutrality at its headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, United States, and its facility in Cartago, Costa Rica, through electricity generated from certified renewable energy, carbon credits, and carbon offsets. In both cases, the company offsets facility-related emissions from purchased electricity as well as fuel combusted on site. Beginning in 2012, all electricity purchased by Baxter in Illinois, United States, was 100% wind-generated, Green-e certified renewable energy. This equaled 83,000 MWh last year.

The following table summarizes energy sources used by utilities to generate electricity for Baxter globally in 2007 and 2012. During that period, renewable energy sources increased from 22.5% to 35.5%.

Energy Sources that Generated Electricity Used by Baxter*
Non-renewable Energy Sources 2007 2012
Coal 31.8% 27.0%
Natural Gas 22.5% 19.5%
Nuclear 14.2% 10.8%
Oil 8.5% 6.8%
Waste 0.5% 0.4%
Subtotal 77.5% 64.5%
Renewable Energy Sources
Biomass 1.5% 3.2%
Geothermal 0.5% 0.5%
Hydroelectric 16.2% 19.4%
Solar 0.0% 0.3%
Wind 4.3% 12.1%
Subtotal 22.5% 35.5%
Total 100% 100%
* Based upon the most recent country data available from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the additional renewable energy purchased by Baxter. Unlike Baxter’s 2015 renewable energy goal, this table does not take into account onsite renewable energy systems.

Baxter also has recently implemented several on-site renewable energy projects. The capacity of the company’s total on-site solar PV and solar hot water systems at year-end 2012 was approximately 1.0 MW. Examples include the following:

  • 2012 – Baxter installed solar hot water and PV systems at its Rieti, Italy, facility. In 2012 Baxter began to install an 840 kWp3 solar PV system (the company’s largest) at its Marsa, Malta, facility, completed during the second quarter of 2013.
  • 2011 – Baxter installed solar hot water or PV systems at its Orth, Austria; Vienna, Austria; São Paulo, Brazil and Cuernavaca, Mexico, facilities.
  • 2010-2011 – Baxter installed geothermal systems at its locations in Orth, Austria, and Marsa, Malta. (Baxter previously had installed a geothermal system at its office in Munich, Germany.
  • 2010 – Baxter installed solar PV systems at its Los Angeles, California, United States, and Aibonito, Puerto Rico, facilities.

As world energy prices rise and carbon constraints intensify, Baxter will continue to adopt renewable energy and alternative lower-carbon fuels, where feasible.

Additional Approaches to Reduce GHG Emissions

High-performance green buildings provide many benefits that enhance employee productivity and reduce operating expense. Baxter has incorporated green building design principles and has achieved or is working toward U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at several sites (see EHS Management Systems and Certifications).

Baxter has used a market-based approach (carbon cap-and-trade) to gain experience in the voluntary U.S. emissions trading market, to offset some of its GHG emissions, and to meet obligations for one facility that is subject to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

1 The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standards (Corporate Standard).
2 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership Fortune 500 Partners List, January 9, 2013.
3 Kilowatt-peak (kWp) refers to the maximum electricity generation capacity of the system.

Sustainability Priority Addressed on this Page

Baxter Will Drive Reductions in its Carbon Footprint