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 and include 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 tactics to reduce GHG emissions such as energy efficiency initiatives, fuel switching, cogeneration, onsite renewable energy systems, purchasing renewable power, and high-performance green buildings.

Baxter’s goal is to reduce GHG emissions from operations 45% indexed to revenue by 2015 compared with 2005. From 2005 to 2013, Baxter decreased net GHG emissions from operations by 10% in absolute terms and 40% indexed to revenue. As the company continues to expand with new facilities and production operations, Baxter projects it will be challenging to meet its 2015 goal.

Baxter's Global GHG Emissions Footprint

Total net emissions from operations of 714,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2013 includes a subtraction of 101,000 metric tons CO2e for the following:

  • 76,000 metric tons CO2e of certified renewable energy;
  • 16,000 metric tons CO2e of Chicago Climate Exchange carbon credits purchased from the IntercontinentalExchange; and
  • 9,000 metric tons CO2e of carbon credits purchased to meet emissions reduction requirements for one Baxter site subject to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

This total is equivalent to 12% of total emissions from operations and represents approximately one-fifth of the company’s progress toward its 2015 GHG emissions reduction goal.

The following table describes the sources of GHG emissions from Baxter operations during 2013.

GHG Emissions from Baxter Operations, 2013*
Metric Tons CO2e Percent of Total Primary GHG Emissions Reduction Focus
Purchased Electricity and Steam 468,000 57.4% Energy conservation
Purchased Fossil Fuels 267,000 32.8% Energy conservation and switching to lower GHG or renewable fuels
Baxter Operated Sales, Distribution and Other Business Vehicles 58,000 7.1% Improved vehicle efficiency
Refrigerant Related Emissions 22,000 2.7% Switching to lower GHG potential refrigerants
Subtotal 815,000 100.0%
Purchase of Renewable Energy (Electricity) and Carbon Credits 101,000
Net GHG Emissions 714,000
* 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, related emissions are not included in Scope 1 GHG emissions or the table above.

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

In 2013, Baxter used biomass fuels to generate energy in boilers at two Baxter locations: Marion, North Carolina, United States (sawdust and scrap wood chips from lumber operations and the hardwood flooring and furniture industries) and Alathur, India (coconut shells, rice husks and sugarcane remnants). Additionally, Baxter’s facility in Waluj, India, purchases steam from a biomass-fueled boiler (residual biomass from sugarcane and cotton) owned and operated by a third party. During the year, emissions from the Baxter operated biomass boilers equaled 187,000 metric tons CO2e, and 8,000 metric tons CO2e from the third party-operated biomass boiler. 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.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions

Energy usage accounts for 97% of Baxter's GHG emissions from operations, so the company focuses its emissions reduction efforts in this area. In 2013, Baxter facilities completed 120 energy conservation projects that reduced annual GHG emissions by 8,600 metric tons CO2e. For more detail, see Energy.

In 2013, Baxter’s Toongabbie, Australia, facility began use of a new trigeneration energy system, which produces heating and cooling, generates electricity, and reduces site greenhouse emissions by almost 5,000 metric tons per year. The company also uses cogeneration at its Lessines, Belgium; Castlebar, Ireland; and Sabiñánigo, Spain, manufacturing sites.

Renewable Energy

In 2007, Baxter committed to increasing facility usage of renewable energy to 20% of total energy use by 2015. In 2013, 22% of the company’s energy use for operations was from renewable sources. Of this amount, 9% was biomass fuel for boilers at three company locations and 13% was from the renewable energy component of purchased electricity. A small amount was from onsite geothermal systems and onsite solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar hot water systems.

During 2013, Baxter purchased 209,100 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity generated from 100% certified renewable power. The company was recognized as the 25th largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the United States in 2013.2

Beginning in 2012, all electricity purchased by Baxter in Illinois, United States, was 100% wind-generated, Green-e certified renewable energy. This equaled 83,600 MWh in 2013.

The following table summarizes energy sources used by utilities to generate electricity for Baxter globally in 2007 and 2013. During that period, renewable energy sources increased from 22.9% to 35.7% of the total.

Energy Sources that Generated Electricity Used by Baxter*
Non-renewable Energy Sources 2007 2013
Coal 31.2% 25.6%
Natural Gas 22.6% 21.1%
Nuclear 14.1% 10.4%
Oil 8.7% 6.6%
Waste 0.5% 0.6%
77.1% 64.3%
Renewable Energy Sources    
Biomass 1.6% 3.0%
Geothermal 0.5% 0.5%
Hydroelectric 16.4% 19.1%
Solar 0.0% 0.7%
Wind 4.4% 12.4%
22.9% 35.7%
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 2013 was approximately 1.0 MW. Examples include the following:

  • 2013 – Baxter installed a 836 kWp3 solar PV system (the company’s largest) at its Marsa, Malta, facility.
  • 2012 – Baxter installed solar hot water and PV systems at its Rieti, Italy, facility.
  • 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.

Carbon Neutrality

Since 2007, Baxter has maintained carbon neutrality at its headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, United States, and its manufacturing 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.

Green Buildings

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).

Carbon Markets

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 8, 2014.
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