Abbott has reduced its use of both fossil fuels and electricity by 35 percent as part of a company-wide effort to protect the environment and reduce energy costs across all of its global health care businesses.
In 2008, Abbott purchased 1.3 million megawatt hours of electricity, a 32 percent reduction from 2006 when normalized to sales, and an 11 percent reduction in absolute terms. Abbott also has increased its use of cleaner fuels, which has allowed the company to reduce its use of oil and coal. In 2008, Abbott used 4.2 million Btu (British Thermal Units), a 35 percent reduction from 2006 when normalized to sales, and a 15 percent reduction in absolute terms, even while sales increased.
The company has exceeded its goal to achieve a 12 percent reduction in both overall electricity purchased and fossil fuel consumption three years ahead of schedule by implementing a variety of co-generation, renewable energy and energy-efficient projects.
The company is using co-generation in locations where its plants require a significant amount of steam. Abbott facilities powered in part by co-generation include pharmaceutical plants in Campoverde, Italy and Ludwigshafen, Germany. For example, in Campoverde, 85 percent of the plant’s electric power demand is provided by co-generation.
Abbott also has invested in renewable power sources. As an example, rooftop solar panels have been installed at Abbott’s vascular product manufacturing facility in Temecula, Calif., commercial offices in Delkenheim, Germany and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in Campoverde and Ludwigshafen. In one location, solar energy supplies 7 percent of the plant’s electric power needs.
The health care company is also using energy-efficient equipment such as lighting systems that require less electricity in Casa Grande, Ariz. and Des Plaines, Ill. Other initiatives include high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and variable frequency drives in plant equipment that provide only as much power as needed.
Abbott says it continues to incorporate energy efficiency systems and use cleaner fuels in new building design, and is implementing more than 10 new major energy-saving projects per year at existing facilities.
Earlier this year, the company announced it had reduced its CO2 emissions and water use by 15 percent in 2008, and is in the process of launching more than 40 sustainable packaging initiatives across its nutrition, pharmaceutical and medical product businesses.