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Baxter Sustainability Report: Water Use Down 9%, GHG Emissions Drop 5%

Baxter International has decreased water use by 9 percent in absolute terms and by 29 percent indexed to revenue compared to 2005, and has reduced net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operations by 5 percent on an absolute basis and 26 percent indexed to revenue compared to 2005, according to the company’s 2009 Sustainability Report — Our Priorities for a More Sustainable Future.

Baxter also claimed the first medical product to receive Carbon Trust certification in 2009. The company’s FLEXBUMIN product is said to be the first and only albumin therapy in a flexible, plastic container. It features a 55 to 77 percent smaller carbon footprint that BUMINATE, depending on product size and geography.

The sustainability report highlights Baxter’s 2015 goals and progress on those targets. Here’s a look at some of those environmental performance goals and progress made in 2009.

–Reduce the carbon footprint of Baxter’s U.S. car fleet by 20 percent from 2007 baseline.

In 2009, Baxter’s U.S. car fleet emitted 10,331 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions, 1.5 percent more than the 2007 baseline. Baxter is in the process of replacing the majority of its fleet from six-cylinder to more fuel-efficient four-cylinder vehicles by 2012.

Other initiatives include the use of inland waterways instead of ground freight to transport goods to and from the ports of Antwerp, Belgium, and Rotterdam, Netherlands, and the company’s Lessines, Belgium, facility, which saved the company 40 percent on freight costs and decreased fuel use and associated emissions by 80 percent on those routes.

–Incorporate green principles into Baxter’s purchasing program with its top 100 suppliers (by spend).

Baxter launched its Global Supplier Sustainability Program in 2009, which includes an initiative to procure products and services that help the company reduce its environmental impact. Baxter incorporated 20 green criteria into its purchasing procedures to evaluate its suppliers’ sustainability initiatives.

–Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent indexed to revenue from 2005 baseline.

In 2009, the company’s GHG emissions from operations equaled 751,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), a 26 percent reduction indexed to revenue compared to 2005, and a 5 percent absolute decrease.

Energy use represents 96 percent of Baxter’s net GHG emissions from operations. Energy-conservation projects helped Baxter save $6.7 million in energy costs in 2009.

Baxter also purchases electricity generated from renewable power, carbon credits and carbon offsets. These equaled 49,000 metric tons of CO2e reductions in 2009. The company purchased 74,100 megawatt hours (MWh) of 100 percent certified renewable power in Austria and 29,500 MWh of certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) in the United States, making Baxter the 28th largest corporate purchaser in the country.

Baxter has achieved carbon neutrality related to on-site electricity usage and fuel consumption at several sites, including its corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, United States.

–Increase facility energy usage of renewable power to 20 percent (of total).

In 2009, 17 percent of Baxter facilities’ energy use was from renewable energy sources, which was unchanged from 2008. The company says low project paybacks are a challenge to its onsite renewable energy projects.

–Reduce total waste generation 30 percent indexed to revenue from 2005 baseline.

In 2009, Baxter generated 61,290 metric tons of waste, 16 percent less than in 2005, indexed to revenue, but an absolute increase of 7 percent due to business growth and expansion.

Baxter has initiated packaging reduction projects for shipments between facilities by replacing one-way disposable containers with reusable ones. Recent projects in the United States and Puerto Rico have reduced packaging waste by more than 400 metric tons. In 2009, more than 15 facilities worldwide recycled more than 90 percent of their non-hazardous waste.

–Reduce energy use 30 percent indexed to revenue from 2005 baseline.

Baxter’s primary energy uses in its facilities are electricity to power lighting, critical systems and manufacturing equipment (41 percent of the total), and fuels to generate steam for heat, water purification and product sterilization (59 percent). The company used 8,572 trillion joules of energy in its facilities in 2009, 21 percent less than in 2005, indexed to revenue, and an absolute increase of 1 percent.

Since 2005, Baxter has realized $27.6 million in savings through these energy conservation efforts. Baxter’s European headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland uses nearly 80 percent less energy than a typical office building of its size thanks to green-building design elements such as natural lighting, roof-top solar panels and other innovative features.

–Eliminate 5,000 metric tons of packaging material from products sent to customers from 2007 baseline.

During 2009, the company implemented projects that achieved an annualized reduction of 933 metric tons of corrugated cardboard consumption, exceeding the interim target of 800 metric tons. Total annualized savings since 2007 equal 1,410 metric tons. As an example, in 2009, Baxter’s Medication Delivery business introduced a smaller carton for 5-liter intravenous solutions, saving 68 metric tons of corrugated material per year.

–Reduce water use 35 percent indexed to revenue from 2005 baseline.

Baxter’s main use of water is for manufacturing-related processes such as in cooling towers, sterilizers and steam boilers (80 percent of total use). In 2009, the company used 13.4 million cubic meters of water, 29 percent less than in 2005, indexed to revenue. Absolute water use decreased for the fourth consecutive year.

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