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Pfizer Exceeds Emissions Reduction Goals, Misses Clean Energy Target

GHG-VOCemissionsPfizer has achieved three of its four public environmental goals to reduce emissions, according to the company’s 2009 corporate responsibility report (PDF). The pharmaceutical company exceeded its goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35 percent on a relative basis from 2000 to 2007, cutting emissions by 43 percent in 2007 and an additional 20 percent over 2007 to 2008.

To reduce its carbon and energy footprint, Pfizer has implemented a number of projects including equipment retrofits, combined heat and power systems, and renewable energy installations. The company says its largest manufacturing facility in Michigan is also the company’s most energy-efficient, cutting energy bills by 10 percent despite rising energy costs.

Pfizer is also actively working to reduce the release of emissions from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone depleting compounds (ODCs). The company set a goal to reduce VOC emissions to air and water by 40 percent from 2002 to 2008, which it exceeded in 2007, reducing emissions by 43 percent. The company has reduced an additional 35 percent from 2007 to 2008.

The pharmaceutical company also exceeded its goal to reduce ozone depletion potential (ODP) emissions by 80 percent from 2002 to 2007, cutting ODPs by 82 percent in 2006 and an additional 28 percent from 2007 to 2008.

Pfizer is on track to meet its internal goal to reduce GHG emissions from its fleet by 5 percent (absolute) annually, which the company attributes to the introduction of more hybrids and dual-fuel vehicles and the transition to mid-size vehicles.

Although Pfizer announced a goal to obtain 35 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2010, it doesn’t expect to meet its goal due to several reasons including the closure of some plants with cogeneration capacity and the financial viability of current clean energy technologies. In 2008, the company gets 17 percent of its electricity from clean energy, with projections to reach 21 percent by 2010.

Other environmental highlights from the report include reduced waste generation (14 percent from 2007-2008), increased recycling rates (46 percent from 2005 to 2008) and decreased water use (16 percent from 2007 to 2008).

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