Environment

Because it’s up to all of us to halt the tide of climate change and protect the environment, we are cutting down our emissions, reducing our energy consumption and manage natural resources responsibly.

From A for Avoidance of Waste to Z for Zero Emissions

Environmental stewardship has many facets. From carefully separating trash and turning down the heating to buying sustainable products, we can make small changes in many aspects of our day-to-day lives to do something beneficial for the environment. This holds especially true for companies, which can have a major impact by making specific, targeted modifications to their processes and procedures. For this reason, we take a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. We know that our business operations affect the environment, generating greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater and waste. In addition, we use materials that can adversely affect the environment if not handled properly, so we closely monitor detrimental emissions into the air, water and soil and do our best to prevent them. Moreover, we strive to utilize natural resources such as energy, water and materials as efficiently as possible.  

From Paris to Darmstadt

Climate change is one of the major challenges facing us in the 21st century. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris in 2015, 195 of the world's nations adopted the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C. We, too, are doing our part to help stem climate change because we believe that climate protection and energy efficiency will pay off in the long run - for both the environment and our business.  

Our climate actions:

Executing energy efficiency measures, purchasing more electricity from renewable sources, and minimizing our process emissions are key elements in our climate mitigation efforts. To keep the greenhouse gases arising from the transportation of our products as low as possible, we ship our goods by boat rather than plane, when feasible.

Read more in our Sustainability Report
   

Our climate target until 2040

  • 2040

    is the year by which we aim to achieve climate neutrality.

Our climate targets until 2030

  • -50%

    We intend to reduce direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 50% (2020 baseline).

  • 80%

    We aim to cover 80% of our electricity consumption with renewables.

  • 1,500

    We plan to cut indirect emissions from value chain (Scope 3) by 1,500 metric kilotons of CO2 equivalents.

Global freight transport is responsible for 8%-10% of global CO2 emissions. As a major international company, we have the opportunity to make a real difference here, which is why we aim to transport 90% of our Healthcare products by ship by 2023. We can deliver goods by ship just as punctually as by plane, but with a far smaller carbon footprint. In 2020 alone, switching from air to sea freight helped us cut down our CO2 emissions by 5,000 metric tons.

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Less waste, more recycling

When it comes to waste, we firmly believe in prevention, recovery and recycling. We attempt to prevent waste by developing new production processes and optimizing existing ones.  However, it is not (yet) possible to avoid waste altogether, so we diligently separate the trash that we do generate. This allows valuable raw materials to be recovered and transformed into new products, thereby supporting a circular economy. We discard the unrecyclable waste in an environmentally sustainable manner in line with the strictest waste disposal standards. To track the amount of waste we produce, we have developed a Waste Score, an indicator that helps us identify the areas where we can accelerate our waste reduction efforts or step up material recycling and recovery.  

  • 5%

    We are working to reduce our Waste Score by 5% by 2025 (relative to 2016).

  • 69%

    is how much we recycled out of our total waste of 231 metric kilotons in 2020.

The goal: Less and less waste

We want to promote a sustainable and resource-efficient circular economy in all areas. This is why we have launched the “ProMec” (Progressive Material Economy) pilot project at our Darmstadt site. In a sub-project, solvents are recycled instead of being incinerated. Not only does this reduce the environmental impact to an absolute minimum, it also lowers costs in comparison with incineration. Thanks to the project, around 2,000 metric tons of solvent mixtures can be recycled each year. This corresponds to around 130 truckloads that no longer need to be driven to the disposal site.

Water: A precious resource

With water scarcity affecting more and more regions worldwide, responsible water management is of key importance to us, especially as we too depend on water to manufacture our products. Our wastewater may contain traces of substances such as heavy metals or active pharmaceutical ingredients, making it our responsibility to minimize the impact of our wastewater across all our sites. To us, sustainable water stewardship means not harming the aquatic ecosystems from which we obtain freshwater, or into which we discharge treated wastewater. Our water management practices comply with all applicable water protection laws, which are becoming increasingly stringent.  

We take a systematic approach to analyzing our water use data, utilizing tools such as the Water Risk Filter of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas of the World Resources Institute (WRI). These instruments help us determine whether a site is located in a water-stressed area, a situation that develops when more water is withdrawn than is renewed.

To boost our water efficiency, we have created a new Water Intensity Score in 2020 that reflects the amount of water withdrawn at a given site relative to the local availability of water and the number of man-hours worked.

Water Intensity Score

  • 10%

    We have committed to improving our Water Intensity Score by 10% by 2025 (2019 baseline).

Our water abstraction in million cubis meters

Until the end of 2020, we saved around 170,000 cubic meters of water at our sites Taoyuan (2006 baseline) and Hsinchu (2014 baseline) sites in Taiwan – this corresponds to a total volume of 89 standard-sized swimming pools. How did we do this? For example, we collected wastewater from heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as rainwater. In 2021, we will implement further savings measures in Hsinchu. Among other things, obsolete tanks for rainwater reclamation are to be used in order to fill cooling towers with water.

  • Sustainability by numbers

    Key figures help us to assess how sustainable our company is. They enable us to measure our progress.

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  • Metal-organic frameworks

    Human activity is having extreme consequences for our planet and researchers are battling to find solutions. MOF’s are one of today’s hottest fields of research.

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  • Smart and green

    We want to reduce the environmental and health impacts of our products across their entire life cycle.

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