Abbott has reduced its CO2 emissions and water use by 15 percent in 2008, according to the company’s 2008 Global Citizenship Report. The report provides an update on the global healthcare company’s progress and results in 2008 in four key areas: innovating for the future, enhancing access, safeguarding the environment, and protecting patients and consumers.
Here are some of the company’s environmental achievements over the past year.
In 2008, Abbott set a new target to reduce CO2 from manufacturing operations by 30 percent in 2011, compared to 2006 levels. The company reduced its CO2 emissions in 2008 through several ways including cogeneration projects, alternative energy installations and system upgrades.
The Abbott Park, Ill.-based company is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). All CCX members commit to a six percent absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction over four years from a calendar year 2000 baseline. During 2008, Abbott settled its carbon neutral fleet commitment for 2007 and 2008 by purchasing verified carbon credits on the exchange.
During 2008, the company also evaluated global manufacturing sites for local water stress and prioritized them for further action. The company’s goal is to reduce water use by 40 percent by 2011. The company saved 155 million gallons of water in manufacturing in 2008 through water reduction projects.
Abbott is also making significant investments in renewable energy sources, including the installation of a solar power system at a plant in Italy, and implementing environmentally responsible building practices at a new facility in Singapore.
Other energy management projects include a 500-kilowatt-hour solar power system installation at the company’s vascular plant in southern California, a first solar panel installation in the U.S. for the company. The 2,000 panels are expected to generate the amount of energy used annually by 100 average American homes, and will help the company avoid 1.3 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
Abbott also installed a cogeneration plant at a new manufacturing site in Tlalpan, Mexico, which will lower GHG emissions and produce electricity and thermal energy from the same fuel source.
Through its Green Fleet Initiative, the company has improved its average domestic vehicle fuel efficiency by nearly 20 percent over 2006, reducing gasoline usage by more than 400,000 gallons/year. The company’s 6,500-vehicle fleet represents approximately five percent of its overall global GHG emissions (12 percent of its U.S. GHG emissions).
Abbott estimates that its fleet miles-per-gallon has improved by 4.3 percent; greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 4.2 percent; and overall cost is down 4.1 percent.
During 2008, the company also began using only paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in U.S. office copiers and worked to eliminate paper catalogs for office supplies. These initiatives have helped the company avoid 100,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.
The company is also developing sustainable packaging guidelines. The company’s initial goal is to reduce the amount of packaging used in key products five percent by 2013. In 2008, the company reduced the amount of plastic used in its reusable infant formula container by 15 percent.
Abbott was included on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and North America Index for the fourth consecutive year in 2008, and ranked eighth overall in the global “100 Best Corporate Citizens List 2008” compiled by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine.