ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today that it has significantly reduced its use of both fossil fuels and electricity as part of a multi-faceted, company-wide effort to safeguard the environment and reduce energy costs across all of its global health care businesses.
In 2007, the company identified energy reduction as one of its corporate environmental priorities and set goals to measure its progress. Abbott set out to achieve a 12 percent reduction in overall electricity purchased worldwide and a 12 percent reduction in fossil fuel consumption compared to 2006 baselines by the end of 2011, when normalized to sales. Just two years later, Abbott is exceeding those goals, three years ahead of schedule.
In 2008, Abbott purchased 1.3 million megawatt hours of electricity, a 32 percent reduction from 2006 when normalized to sales, and an 11 percent reduction in absolute terms, even as Abbott's business grew during that period of time. Abbott also has increased its use of cleaner fuels, which has allowed the company to reduce its use of oil and coal. In 2008, Abbott used 4.2 million Btu (British Thermal Units), a 35 percent reduction from 2006 when normalized to sales, and a 15 percent reduction in absolute terms, even while sales increased.
"Abbott's ongoing commitment to conserve electricity and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is now an integral part of the way we do business," said Corlis Murray, vice president, Global Engineering Services, Abbott. "Our businesses have employed a variety of approaches that are economically as well as environmentally sustainable based on the many different products we market, various manufacturing needs and opportunities that exist at different plant locations around the world."
As a global company with dozens of plants around the world manufacturing pharmaceuticals, nutritional products and medical products, Abbott's opportunities to save electricity and utilize cleaner fuels vary based on the location and needs of its various manufacturing plants, as well as local availability of alternative energy sources. As a result, the company has exceeded its goal through a variety of projects including:
- Co-generation -- In locations where its plants require a significant amount of steam, Abbott has invested in technology that produces both electricity and recycles waste heat to make steam. Abbott facilities powered in part by co-generation include pharmaceutical plants in Campoverde, Italy and Ludwigshafen, Germany. For example, in Campoverde, 85 percent of the plant's electric power demand is provided by co-generation.
- Renewable energy -- Abbott has invested in renewable power sources, such as solar energy. Rooftop solar panels have been installed at Abbott's vascular product manufacturing facility in Temecula, Calif., commercial offices in Delkenheim, Germany and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in Campoverde and Ludwigshafen. In one location, solar energy supplies 7 percent of the plant's electric power needs.
- Energy efficient equipment -- Abbott is utilizing energy efficient equipment, such as lighting systems that require less electricity in Casa Grande, Ariz. and Des Plaines, Ill. Initiatives at other locations include high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and variable frequency drives in plant equipment that provide only as much power as needed.
Looking to the future, Abbott continues to strive for reductions in electricity consumption and use of fossil fuels. Abbott businesses around the world are incorporating energy efficiency and use of cleaner fuels into new building design, and are implementing more than 10 new major energy-saving projects per year at existing facilities.
Safeguarding the environment is an important part of Abbott's mission to improve people's health and the company's efforts to be a leader in global citizenship. In addition to increased use of cleaner and renewable energy, Abbott has identified reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, water conservation and limiting the impact of product packaging as environmental priorities. The company has set measurable goals in each of these areas to track its progress. All of Abbott's various health care businesses are examining their manufacturing processes and needs, as well as their product packaging, to develop environmentally friendly and sustainable approaches to help the company meet or exceed these goals.
Abbott was recently named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the fifth consecutive year. Abbott was one of just two U.S.-based pharmaceutical companies to be listed on both indices. The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index ranks Abbott among the top 300 of the world's largest 2,500 companies, based on an assessment of economic, social and environmental performance.
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs 72,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.
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