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Abbott Labs Cuts CO2, Water, Waste

Abbott Laboratories cut its Scope 1 and 2 CO2e emissions by three percent in 2010, and its water intake rate by 9.7 percent, nearing 2015 goals for each.

According to its 2010 Global Citizenship Report, the $35 billion pharmaceutical company emitted 1.61 million tons CO2e in 2010, down from 1.66 million in 2009. It has a goal of 1.58 million tons, or 15 percent below 2005 levels, by 2015. This will require only another two percent reduction from current levels.

The company says it made these reductions through energy efficiency and use of low-carbon fuels, cogeneration and renewable energy. In 2010, Abbott reduced energy purchased by 1.3 percent, and generated electricity at seven of its manufacturing sites.

Last year Abbott earned its first LEED Gold certification for operation and maintenance, for a building at its Illinois headquarters. The building features high-efficiency water fixtures, a more efficient irrigation system, and conversion to environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals and equipment.

In 2010 Abbott’s water intake fell to 364 gallons per $1,000 sales, down 9.7 percent from 403 gallons per $1,000 sales in 2009. The company’s target is to cut water intake, adjusted for sales, by 50 percent from 2005 to 2015.

Abbott is using the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Global Water Tool to help its major manufacturing plants around the world assess their local water needs and develop contingency plans. The tool predicts that by 2025, the locations surrounding 15 of its manufacturing facilities will be classified as “water scarce,” and the areas surrounding ten plants will be considered “high water stress”, with five sites on both lists. Abbott says it is focusing its water conservation efforts on these 20 sites.

Efforts to reduce water use so far include the installation of new tanks and piping at Abbott’s Casa Grande, Ariz., and Campoverde, Italy, facilities, projected to save 5 million gallons of water per year, and replacement of turf grass with native landscaping at its Temecula, Calif., and Lake County, Ill., plants.

Discharge of impaired water was up 9.3 percent from 2009 to 2010, but down 4.4 percent when normalized by sales. Discharge of non-impaired water was up 0.4 percent in absolute terms, and down 12.1 percent relative to sales.

Another Abbott goal is to cut total waste by 50 percent, adjusted for growth, to 2.8 tons per $1 million of sales, and make at least five of its plants zero waste-to-landfill. From 2009 to 2010 the company found a six percent relative waste reduction, from 3.6 to 3.4 tons per $1 million of sales – a 39.2 percent reduction since 2005.

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