- EHS Program
- Environmental Performance
- Environmental Financial Statement
- Health and Safety
Sustainability Priority Addressed on this PageBaxter Will Drive Reductions in its Natural Resource Use
- GRI Items:
Baxter has prioritized minimizing waste since establishing its first waste reduction goals in 1996. Early waste reduction efforts focused on decreasing potential risk and liability. Since the early 2000s, the company’s efforts in this area have also been motivated by potential financial gains and process efficiency.
Baxter performs detailed tracking and analysis of waste data from each major facility. This enables the company to assess progress toward waste-reduction goals and identify opportunities to improve the efficiency of processes that generate waste. Baxter’s new environmental, health and safety (EHS) information management system deployed in 2010 enables the company to track waste performance monthly, which shortens reaction time when issues arise. Facilities also are implementing more robust means of measuring waste at the point of generation, which helps to immediately identify significant sources. These and other waste reduction activities help to reduce expenses related to raw materials, waste handling and disposal. Waste minimization also reduces environmental impacts due to waste disposal and recycling.
Because Baxter sites generate different types of waste, the company’s total waste goals , which combine non-hazardous and regulated waste, encourage each site to focus on the type of waste most relevant to its own operations. Baxter has committed to reduce waste generation by 20% indexed to revenue by 2015, compared to 2005. Baxter identifies its leading opportunities to decrease waste based on factors including the highest volume waste streams across the company, facilities that produce the most waste, and sites with particularly strong potential to improve.
Total Waste Performance
During 2011, Baxter's operations generated 70,700 metric tons of total waste, up 26% from 2005 in absolute terms and an 11% decrease indexed to revenue.
In absolute terms, total waste increased by 21% during 2011 compared to 2010. Baxter faced the following challenges during the year in this area:
- A product recall in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region resulted in approximately 9,400 metric tons of total waste in 2011, 13% of the 2011 global total. Excluding this waste, Baxter would have experienced a 9% increase in waste generation in absolute terms and a 23% decrease indexed to revenue compared to 2005.
- Continuing collection and disposal or recycling of Baxter’s COLLEAGUE pump from customers as well as upgrading of certain Renal products generated approximately 600 metric tons of waste in 2011, about 1% of the total waste generated during the year.
- Baxter continued to consolidate and relocate certain office operations during 2011. These activities, which continued into 2012, increased office-related waste streams in 2011.
Counteracting some of the challenges listed above, Baxter increased its use of methodologies and management tools such as Lean and Six Sigma to help reduce total waste generation at several facilities. For example, Baxter’s Sesto, Italy, facility generates several types of regulated wastes that can be costly to dispose. Using the Six Sigma DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve and control) waste-reduction methodology, the site identified a clear correlation between certain activities at the site and certain waste streams, and implemented actions to reduce waste generation at the source. In 2011, the site reduced total waste generated by 18 metric tons compared to 2010, a 4% reduction in absolute terms, despite increasing production by 9%.
Non-hazardous Waste Performance
During 2011, Baxter's operations generated 65,000 metric tons of non-hazardous waste, 25% more than in 2005 in absolute terms and an 11% decrease indexed to revenue.
Plastic scrap continues to be Baxter’s largest waste stream, generating roughly one-third of the company’s non-hazardous waste. Baxter’s Corporate Environmental Engineering group started an initiative in 2010 to identify opportunities to reduce plastic waste generation at the source through a systematic approach that emphasizes continual improvement and draws on Lean and Six Sigma tools. The company is already beginning to see the success of these efforts.
- Australia - Baxter’s Toongabbie facility, using a DMAIC approach to plastic scrap reduction, organized five teams to work on opportunities related to manufacturing: bag sealing, extrusion, packing, filling and bottles. The teams reduced plastic scrap per unit of production by 1% during 2011 and expect more significant savings in 2012.
- Costa Rica - Baxter’s Cartago facility strengthened existing plastic scrap measurement systems in its manufacturing and finished product packing areas. Through these efforts, the facility achieved significant reductions in plastic scrap generation. Compared to 2010 the facility reduced plastic scrap waste by 2% in 2011, equivalent to 13 metric tons, despite a 5% increase in production.
- Switzerland - Baxter’s San Vittore facility adopted an innovative new technology to extrude plastic film that will be capable of reducing extrusion plastic scrap inherent to the machine design from 40% to less than 4%. The site projects that it will reduce plastic scrap by more than 50% for plastic film used in select products in 2012 as it continues to refine the process and as production increases.
Other facilities have reduced waste by focusing on manufacturing efficiency. During 2011, Baxter’s Lessines, Belgium, Cuernavaca, Mexico, and Singapore, facilities implemented efforts that reduced plastic waste by a combined 140 metric tons compared to the prior year.
In 2011, Baxter also implemented projects focused on reducing packaging waste. The company’s São Paulo, Brazil; Cali, Colombia; Castlebar, Ireland, and Cuernavaca, Mexico, facilities reduced cardboard waste by a total of 166 metric tons. In addition, facilities including Lessines, Belgium; Grosotto, Italy; Guangzhou, China; Cali, Colombia; and São Paulo, Brazil, implemented projects to reduce other packaging materials such as bags, overpouches, inserts and bottles, saving 91 metric tons. See Packaging for details.
|1||"Other" includes all other recycled non-hazardous waste streams such as ink cartridges, protein paste waste, Styrofoam and metal drums.|
|2||Regulated waste streams sent for recycling including batteries and chemicals and solvents|
Baxter has consistently increased its recycling rate since 2007. Of the 65,000 metric tons of non-hazardous waste generated in 2011, Baxter recycled approximately 45,000 metric tons, or 69%. Baxter also recycled 1,600 metric tons of regulated waste in 2011, for an overall recycling rate of 66%. The increased rate is partly due to changes in how Baxter facilities report waste recycling and disposal. The company’s new EHS information management system enables facilities to indicate if a waste stream is incinerated or incinerated with energy recovery, of which the latter is considered recycling.
Recycling activities at Baxter generated approximately $5.1 million in revenue in 2011. Although some recycled waste streams do not generate revenue, even in those cases, recycling typically costs less than disposal. Recycling revenue in 2011 decreased by 14% compared to 2010 due to lower prices paid for recycled materials.
Regulated Waste Performance
Baxter reports the category of “regulated waste” rather than “hazardous waste.” This includes a broader array of materials that would otherwise be classified as non-hazardous in certain countries, which helps harmonize Baxter’s waste reporting across countries with varying waste regulations. In addition to wastes typically considered hazardous in most countries (such as toxics and corrosives), the company also includes oils, biohazardous or infectious materials, batteries, fluorescent lamps, asbestos and other materials that may not be defined as hazardous waste by national legislation at the point of origin. Regulated waste represented about 8% of the waste Baxter generated in 2011.
Baxter's global operations generated 5,700 metric tons of regulated waste in 2011, 39% more than in 2005 in absolute terms and a 2% decrease indexed to revenue. The company increased regulated waste by 6% on an absolute basis compared to 2010, principally due to continued collection and disposal or recycling of Baxter’s Colleague pump from customers and increased activity at several of the company’s Bioscience plasma related operations.
Over the years, Baxter has reduced regulated waste such as solvents to the point that many of the company’s large facilities no longer generate significant quantities. A substantial remaining regulated waste stream is biohazardous or medical waste, including plasma waste. Operations that manufacture products derived from plasma, including plasma processing plants, generate wastes that present fewer opportunities for source reduction or reuse. Over the past year, Baxter’s EHS team in Los Angeles, California, United States, has worked with a waste management service to develop a comprehensive waste management program for the site. Through combined efforts they have identified innovative technologies to recycle and reuse certain challenging waste streams, including plasma waste. See Case Study: Baxter’s L.A. Facility Turns Production Waste into Electricity.
Additional Waste Streams
To more closely reflect production efficiency, Baxter excludes certain non-routine, non production-related waste streams from its total waste performance data and progress against its 2015 waste goal. The company reports these waste streams separately as shown in the following table, which allows for more consistent evaluation of facility performance and trends over time.
Construction and demolition debris waste increased in 2011 compared to 2010 primarily due to several large expansion projects. The data also reflect improvements in the tracking and reporting of these waste streams.
|Non-production Waste Streams Not Included in Total Waste Performance (metric tons)|
|Construction and Demolition Debris||900||0||900||6100||0||6,100||14,000||0||14,000|
|Wastewater Treatment Sludge||1,300||20||1,320||1,400||10||1,410||1,900||100||2,000|