Natural resources are growing ever scarcer, which makes it imperative for us to use raw materials as efficiently as possible and contribute to waste reduction. By conserving energy, water and materials, we are not only mitigating our impact on the environment, but are also lowering our costs.
We work continuously to reduce the environmental footprint of our products and even help our customers lower their own resource use, thus improving our competitive advantage.
Holistic approach to resource efficiency
Our holistic approach to resource efficiency helps us minimize our consumption of energy, water and materials while also maximizing resource reuse. Because we utilize the majority of resources for the manufacture of our products, resource efficiency is a critical factor in product development and production processes. The measures required to accomplish this are an integral component of our approach to environmental stewardship and are organized by Environment, Health, Safety, Security, Quality (EQ).
Reducing resource use
Our manufacturing operations consume a great deal of energy, but our buildings likewise require energy in the form of electricity and heat. We are working to improve our energy efficiency through a wide array of initiatives. Under our Edison program, for instance, we are investing in measures to boost energy efficiency, which form just one part of our commitment to the climate.
We use water primarily for cooling, as process water and for exhaust air purification. Our water management approach combines water use reduction with wastewater treatment. Alongside climate impact mitigation, water management is a key focus of our environmental stewardship efforts.
We primarily use chemical and pharmaceutical raw materials for our manufacturing operations. Additionally, we also employ operating supplies and packaging materials such as folding boxes, glass bottles and ampules. Our waste and recycling management approach helps us efficiently utilize materials and maximize reusage.
Higher material consumption
We utilized 330.6 metric kilotons of material in 2015 (excluding Sigma-Aldrich) and 798.1 metric kilotons in 2016 (including Sigma-Aldrich). We only track the weight of materials that are directly used in our pharmaceuticals and chemicals.