Less Power, Fewer Emissions
At Abbott’s Casa Grande, Arizona, manufacturing plant for nutritional products, we upgraded controllers and transformers on seven energy substations at the facility. Becoming the first U.S.-based facility to use a new technology that helps optimize power flows, the Casa Grande plant now saves on energy costs, while providing a model for upgrading electricity infrastructure at other Abbott facilities.
It’s that kind of investment in efficiency that has put Abbott at 42% less overall emissions for 2018, ahead of our 2020 goal of 40% (both compared to 2010 baseline and normalized for sales).
In Rio de Janeiro, we built a wastewater facility that processed 18 million liters of water for reuse, more than a third of the facility’s total water needs. The new reuse capability allowed the plant, which produces Abbott’s branded generic medicines, to increase production 11% in 2018 without requiring more water.
Other Abbott sites are pursuing additional water conservation projects, from reusing wastewater for gardening in facilities in India, to investing in smart new infrastructure in Donegal, Ireland, for the company’s diabetes business, where water use fell 8.1% through installation of new water tanks that conserve water.
With a 2020 goal of 30% less water use compared to 2010, Abbott sits at 27% for 2018 amidst strong growth across its core businesses in both established and developing markets. Along with cutting Abbott’s water use, we also engage our employees and suppliers about better water practices as well.
New Thinking Around Waste
Building on our longstanding work to minimize waste, we're transitioning to a circular economy approach for Abbott's manufacturing operations – cutting waste through preventive maintenance, improved manufacturing processes, better designs and by finding ways to reuse materials, among other steps.
Combined with recycling and other tactics, this new approach ensured that 88% of Abbott’s non-product waste was diverted from landfill in 2018.
These efforts helped the company approach the 2020 goal of cutting total waste by 50%. Abbott has reached a 44% reduction from 2010 levels to date, with 33 of our facilities globally achieving Zero Waste to Landfills certification.
Waste reduction extends to Abbott's products as well. We set an aggressive target to reduce the total weight of packaging by 10 percent by 2020, compared to a 2010 baseline. This goal was surpassed in 2017, and we continued this progress by increasing the reduction total to nearly 14% in 2018.
To find out more, see the Safeguarding Our Environment section of Abbott’s 2018 Global Sustainability Report.