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:

  • Minimizing our process emissions, executing energy efficiency measures and purchasing more electricity from renewable sources 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.
  • Our Supplier Decarbonization Program is another key element contributing to reduce our emissions. Through the program, we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with purchased goods and services as well as capital goods.
  • We joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and are thus meeting the requirements of the Paris Agreement. SBTi confirmed that our climate targets correspond to the current status of climate science. 

Read more in our Sustainability Report
   

Our climate target by 2040

  • 2040

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

Our climate targets by 2030

  • -50%

    By 2030, we intend to reduce our direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 50% (2020 baseline).

  • 80%

    We aim to cover 80% of our purchased electricity with renewables by 2030.

  • 52%

    We have pledged to lower our indirect emissions along the entire value chain (Scope 3) by 52% per euro value added (2020 baseline).

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 less than 10% of our healthcare products by air by 2023 and shift to ocean freight instead. We can deliver goods by ship just as punctually as by plane, but with a far smaller carbon footprint.

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.  

  • 69%

    is how much we recycled out of our total waste of 213 metric kilotons in 2021.

The goal: Less and less waste

Through our ProMec (Progressive Material Economy) initiative at the Darmstadt site, we are promoting a sustainable, resource-efficient circular economy by recycling solvents instead of incinerating them. Not only does this reduce the adverse environmental impacts to an absolute minimum, it also lowers costs in comparison with incineration. Thanks to the project, around 1,000 metric tons of solvent mixtures could be recycled in 2021. This boosted the recycling rate of our production waste in Darmstadt to around 16%.

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. We strictly adhere to government regulations and even go beyond: By 2030, we plan to reduce potentially harmful residues in our wastewater to below the no-effect threshold, a scientifically defined limit below which no negative environmental impacts are to be expected.

To boost our water efficiency, we defined a Water Intensity Score. The score relates the amount of water withdrawn at a given site to the number of hours worked, while taking the local availability of water into account.  

 

  • 10%

    We have committed to improving our Water Intensity Score by 10% by 2025 (2020 baseline).

Our water abstraction in million cubic meters

In Taiwan, we save over 87,000 cubic meters of water every year – this corresponds to a total volume of 46 standard-sized swimming pools. This is achieved even though our production output increases every year. How do we we do this? For example, we collect wastewater from heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as rainwater. We also use obsolete tanks for rainwater reclamation 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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