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.

In 2017, we announced 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, to reuse or recycle materials, and to 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.

GOAL: By 2025, no more than 20 percent of our global operational waste will be sent to landfills and incinerators.

GOAL: By 2025, at least 50 percent of sites will send zero waste to landfill.

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, use 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.


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

To make sure that our 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 audit these facilities to verify the acceptability of their systems and practices.

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

In 2017, we managed approximately 72,400 metric tons of waste from our operations, which is less than a 1 percent decrease from 2016.

In 2017, 42 percent of our facilities sent zero operational waste to landfills, versus our goal of at least 50 percent.


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 in cases where they are 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. Any used solvents that leave our site as hazardous waste are managed at off-site facilities that are on our list of approved waste management sites.


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 the creation of safety data sheets.


Global Operational Waste20132014201520162017
Incineration (without energy recovery)16%14%13%20%19%
2025 goal ≤20%
Hazardous Waste (MT)20132014201520162017
Incinerated (without heat recovery)11,8369,7247,92813,18613,462
Energy recovery22,18115,77311,0899,8719,538
Non-Hazardous Waste (MT)20132014201520162017
Incinerated (without heat recovery)1,5477881,2431,361426
Energy recovery10,77610,4059,70610,3428,576
Hazardous + Non-Hazardous Waste (MT)20132014201520162017Reductions since 2013
Landfill + incineration 22,67818,48919,28221,86521,2651,413
Recycled, energy recovery, reused or composted70,60362,61447,97147,86448,52522,078
Total96,25683,73269,85672,59972,426 23,830

In 2017, we managed approximately 72,400 metric tons of waste from our operations, a less-than-1 percent decrease from 2016. Of this, 35,652 metric tons were hazardous waste.

Of the hazardous waste we generated in 2017, 53 percent was beneficially reused in some way. Approximately 22 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 27 percent was burned to generate power. Of the hazardous waste that could not be recycled or beneficially reused, 38 percent was incinerated. Approximately 2 percent was sent to hazardous-waste landfills.

We recycled, reused or composted 57 percent of the 36,774 metric tons of nonhazardous waste we generated in 2017. 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 (MT)20132014201520162017
Fresh solvents used 31,00024,00015,00020,00019,000
Recovered solvents used 11,00011,0007,0008,0007,300
Note: 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 2017, we used 19,000 metric tons of new solvents and 7,300 metric tons of recovered solvents in our production processes and cleaning activities. The decrease in total solvent use from 2016 to 2017 reflects efficiencies in manufacturing and less solvent-based activity, such as equipment cleaning, for production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. In 2017, we used recovered solvents for 28 percent of our manufacturing and cleaning needs.