Materials & Waste

Materials & Waste

The proper management of materials and waste from our facilities is important for the communities where we operate and is the focus of our environmental permits and other regulatory requirements.

Resources

 

In 2016, we sent 30 percent of our operational waste to landfills and incinerators (without energy recovery), which is in-line with our prior target of no more than 30 percent. We have established a new goal to send no more than 20 percent of our total operational waste to landfills and incinerators without energy recovery by 2025.

We have established a new goal to send no more than 20 percent of our total operational waste to landfills and incinerators without energy recovery by 2025.

To minimize our environmental footprint, we look for opportunities to avoid the use of hazardous materials, reuse or recycle materials, and prevent the generation of waste. When prevention, reuse and recycling are not practical, we apply controls and treatment technologies to prevent human health impacts and minimize environmental impacts.

Waste minimization begins with the upfront evaluation of our product designs and manufacturing processes. Through our Green and Sustainable Science program, we design processes that use safer chemicals; consume less energy, less water and other resources; and generate less waste. Our process-development biologists, chemists and engineers have the expertise to create more sustainable ways to make our products.

Additional information on our Waste Prevention and Management, Solvent Use and Chemical Management programs, as well as our performance in these areas, can be found below.

Programs

We continuously strive to decrease the amount of operational waste we generate, and maximize the use of environmentally beneficial disposal methods like recycling, composting and waste-to-energy.

The amount of waste we generate reflects the efficiency of our manufacturing processes. Our facilities track and report the amount of operational waste they generate and how it is managed.

We have adopted a new goal to have at least 50 percent of our facilities send zero waste to landfills by 2025.

Waste types are defined differently in various parts of the world. For this report, we have divided our operational waste into two categories:

Hazardous waste: Heavily regulated or high-risk waste streams that need to be neutralized, treated, or destroyed to address a particular hazard such as toxicity, flammability, corrosivity, radioactivity, pharmaceutically-active or infectious

Nonhazardous waste: All other operational waste

Our definition of operational waste does not include construction or demolition waste from projects, because the amount of project-related waste can vary significantly from year to year based on the number and size of projects.

The total amount of operational waste we generated increased by 4 percent from 2015 to 2016. This increase was due to slightly higher production rates at several of our manufacturing plants around the world.

In 2016, over 40 percent of our facilities sent zero operational waste to landfills. In addition, one of our largest vaccine manufacturing facilities located in Durham, North Carolina, diverted over 140,000 pounds of its operational waste from landfills to more environmentally-beneficial recycling facilities. We have adopted a new goal to have at least 50 percent of our facilities send zero waste to landfills by 2025.

To make sure that our hazardous and nonhazardous waste is managed in an environmentally responsible manner, we use only approved waste disposal facilities. Approved facilities demonstrate that they have the systems, technologies, and practices to manage our waste streams responsibly and in compliance with all applicable requirements. We routinely verify the systems and practices of these facilities.

SOLVENT USE

Solvents play a key role in the manufacture of our products, as well as in equipment cleaning. Because of their significance to our business and the life-cycle impact they represent, we focus on designing our processes to minimize or avoid their use where practical. Where we do use solvents, we maximize efficiency, and control them in our emissions, effluents and waste.

We have an active Green & Sustainable Science program to design our new processes using fewer solvents and other hazardous materials, and to reuse and recycle more of the solvents we do use. For cleaning our manufacturing equipment, we use water-based methods when they are equally effective as solvents. At each of our manufacturing sites, we have engineers who are responsible for identifying and driving process-improvement projects. When it is not practical to reuse regenerated solvents in our own production processes, we either work with suppliers who recover the spent solvents for resale to other industries, or safely burn them as a source of energy. For more information on this practice, please visit our Air Emissions page.

Emissions from solvent use are the primary component of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions to the air. To minimize emissions of VOCs into the environment, we employ treatment technologies and other controls such as conservation vents, carbon filters, thermal oxidizers, condensers and scrubbers. Any spent solvents that leave our site as hazardous waste are managed at off-site facilities that are on our list of approved waste management sites.

CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

A comprehensive and effective chemical management program is critical to the safety and protection of our employees, the communities in which we operate, and the environment.

We have put procedures, systems and processes in place to manage the approval, procurement, inventory, receipt, transfer, storage, use, and disposal of chemicals at all of our sites. We provide our employees and others with information about the identities and potential hazards of the chemicals in our operations and final products through proper labeling of chemicals and creation of safety data sheets.

Learn more about how we manage the environmental fate and effects of our own compounds and products.

Performance

Global Operational Waste (% to landfill and incineration without energy recovery)

20122013201420152016
Landfill10%10%10%14%10%
Incineration (without energy recovery)18%14%13%13%20%
Total29%24%22%28%30%
Previously reported data have been restated per our methodology, which includes adding facilities that have been acquired and removing facilities that have been sold as operating sites.

HAZARDOUS WASTE (METRIC TONS)

20122013201420152016
Incinerated (without energy recovery)14,68111,8369,7247,92813,186
Landfilled2,7611,7721,6281,6521,492
Recycled14,79610,12712,1965,9446,135
Energy Recovery24,26722,18115,77311,0899,871
ReusedN/A2,1142,4081,4282,132
CompostedN/A4455
Other2,3072,7472,3872,2992,425
Total58,81250,78144,12030,34535,246
Previously reported data have been restated per our methodology, which includes adding facilities that have been acquired and removing facilities that have been sold as operating sites.

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE (METRIC TONS)

20122013201420152016
Incinerated (without energy recovery)5,3981,5477881,2431,361
Landfilled8,4627,5236,3498,4595,826
Recycled23,98620,07316,95215,81114,636
Energy Recovery9,07510,77610,4059,70610,342
Reused2321,478782970972
Composted3,3393,8494,0943,0183,771
Other166229242304445
Total50,65845,47539,61239,51137,353
Previously reported data have been restated per our methodology, which includes adding facilities that have been acquired and removing facilities that have been sold as operating sites.

HAZARDOUS & NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE (METRIC TONS)

20122013201420152016
Landfill & Incineration 31,30222,67818,48919,28221,865
Landfill11,2239,2957,97710,1117,318
Incineration20,07913,38310,5129,17114,547
Recycled, Energy Recovery, Reused or Composted75,69570,60262,61447,97147,864
Other2,4732,9762,6292,6032,870
Total109,47096,25683,73269,85672,599
Previously reported data have been restated per our methodology, which includes adding facilities that have been acquired and removing facilities that have been sold as operating sites.

In 2016, we managed approximately 72,600 metric tons of waste from our operations, a 4 percent increase from 2015. Of this, approximately 35,200 metric tons were hazardous waste.

Of the hazardous waste we generated in 2016, 23 percent was beneficially reused in some way. Approximately 17 percent of our hazardous waste was sent off-site for recycling and was either returned to us for reuse or sold to other industries. Another 28 percent was burned to generate power or as a fossil fuel substitute in industrial furnaces, such as cement kilns. Of the hazardous waste that could not be recycled or beneficially reused, 37 percent was incinerated. Approximately 4 percent was sent to hazardous-waste landfills.

We recycled, reused or composted 52 percent of the approximately 37,400 metric tons of nonhazardous waste we generated in 2016. Recycling and composting rates are increasing as more large-scale composting and recycling facilities are becoming available in the regions where we operate. We are evaluating and refining the programs in place at our manufacturing, research and office sites to reduce waste generation and increase recycling.

SOLVENT USE (METRIC TONS)

20122013201420152016
Total solvents used 46,00042,00035,00022,00028,000
Fresh solvents used 33,00031,00024,00015,00020,000
Recovered solvents used 13,00011,00011,0007,0008,000
Previously reported data have been restated per our methodology, which includes adding facilities that have been acquired and removing facilities that have been sold as operating sites.

In 2016, we used 20,000 metric tons of new solvents and 8,000 metric tons of recovered solvents in our production processes and cleaning activities. The increase in total solvent use from 2015 to 2016 is the result of increased production volumes of active pharmaceutical ingredients at some of our manufacturing facilities around the world. In 2016, we used recovered solvents for 29 percent of our manufacturing and cleaning needs.