Waste Management

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

Highlights
  • The percentage of our operational waste sent to landfill and incineration (without energy recovery) decreased from 33 percent in 2018 to 26 percent in 2019
  • Of the hazardous waste we generated in 2019, 58 percent was beneficially reused in some way (reused, recycled, composted or sent for energy recovery), up from 46 percent in 2018
  • We beneficially reused 83 percent of the 35,826 metric tons of non-hazardous waste we generated in 2019

Our approach

Our waste management standard requires our facilities to to comply with applicable generation, management and disposal regulations and standards.

To minimize our environmental footprint, and align with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 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.

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 such as recycling, composting and waste-to-energy.

Governance

Waste management is overseen globally by the Waste and Dangerous Goods Center of Excellence (CoE). This CoE reviews waste data to monitor sites’ progress, and provides assistance as needed to support the sites’ work towards these goals.

Each site is responsible for the management of its waste. In many cases, we partner with our third-party Integrated Facility Management (IFM) partners to manage site waste and work toward the corporate waste goals.

For information regarding our environmental management and governance, please see our Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Management & Compliance page.

GoalsProgressIndicator
By 2025, no more than 20 percent of our global operational waste will be sent to landfills and incinerators (without energy recovery).26% to landfills and incinerators (without energy recovery)
On Track
By 2025, at least 50 percent of sites will send zero waste to landfill.46% of sites
On Track

Programs and initiatives

Waste reduction and minimization

Waste minimization begins with the upfront evaluation of our product designs and manufacturing processes. Through our Green & 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.

To ensure 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.

Non-hazardous waste: This includes all other operational waste. The amount of construction project related waste can vary significantly from year to year based on the number and size of projects. Therefore, our definition of operational waste does not include construction or demolition waste from projects.

Over the past year, a number of countries in Asia have passed legislation restricting the acceptance of solid waste from other countries. Historically, a large percentage of recyclable waste collected in the United States has been shipped to Asia for recycling, so this change had and continues to have the potential to affect the percentage of our non-hazardous waste sent for recycling. However, this change did not negatively impact our recycling rates in the past year. The percentage of our non-hazardous waste sent for recycling increased from 38 percent to 40 percent from 2018 to 2019.

Performance data

Global operational waste20152016201720182019
Landfilled15%10%10%9%7%
Incinerated (without energy recovery)13%20%19%24%19%
Total28%30%29%33%26%
2025 goal ≤20%
Hazardous waste (MT)20152016201720182019
Incinerated (without energy recovery)7,92813,18613,46217,63914,035
Landfilled1,6521,492745731938
Recycled5,9446,1357,9796,8278,034
Energy recovery 11,0899,8719,53810,30013,655
Reused1,4282,1321,5056951,147
Composted5 5 0 0 0
Other2,2992,4252,4232,2211,865
Total30,34535,24635,65238,41339,674
Non-hazardous waste (MT)20152016201720182019
Incinerated (without energy recovery)1,2431,361426374477
Landfilled8,4595,8266,6335,6844,603
Recycled15,81114,63615,18812,97514,188
Energy recovery9,70610,3428,5769,27310,030
Reused9709721,0712,204660
Composted3,0183,7714,6684,7984,843
Other3044452122091,025
Total39,51137,35336,77435,51735,826
Hazardous + Non-hazardous waste (MT)20152016201720182019
Landfilled + Incinerated (without energy recovery)19,28221,86521,26524,42820,053
Landfilled10,1117,3187,3786,4155,541
Incinerated (without energy recovery)9,17114,54713,88718,01314,512
Recycled, energy recovery, reused or composted47,97147,86448,52547,07252,557
Other2,6032,8702,6352,4302,890
Total69,85672,59972,42673,93075,500

In 2019, we managed approximately 75,500 metric tons of waste from our operations, a two percent increase from 2018. Of this, 39,674 metric tons were hazardous waste.

Of the hazardous waste we generated in 2019, 58 percent was beneficially reused in some way (reused, recycled, composted or sent for energy recovery), up from 46 percent in 2018. Approximately 20 percent of our hazardous waste was sent offsite for recycling and was either returned to us for reuse or sold to other industries. Another 34 percent was burned to generate power, up from 27 percent in 2018. Regarding the hazardous waste that could not be recycled or beneficially reused, 36 percent of the total hazardous waste generated was incinerated without energy recovery, down from 46 percent in 2018. Approximately two percent was sent to hazardous-waste landfills.

We beneficially reused 83 percent of the 35,826 metric tons of non-hazardous waste we generated in 2019. We are evaluating and refining the programs in place at our manufacturing, research and office sites to reduce waste generation and increase recycling.

An evaluation of the method we had been using to calculate the number of our sites that were zero waste to landfill determined that our definition was not aligned with the majority Zero Waste to Landfill certification programs, which make allowances for small amounts of waste that have no legal alternative to landfill disposal. To be consistent with these certification programs, we revised our definition of zero waste to landfill in 2019 from no shipments of waste to landfill to less than one percent of waste, by weight, going to landfill. As a result of this alignment of our definition of zero waste to landfill, 46 percent of our facilities sent zero operational waste to landfill in 2019, up from 38 percent in 2018.

We continue to work to identify alternate methods of waste management that will reduce the amount of waste sent to incinerators (without energy recovery) and landfills.