significant - 340 tonnes diverted from landfill since 2009 across the four sites, the equivalent of eliminating the waste of 420 Irish households per year,” he says. “The cost savings are not that high and indeed are not that important. More important is the fact that reducing the amount of non recyclable material sent to landfill supports Abbott’s global goal to be a leader in safeguarding the environment.” Zero-waste-to-landfill Strategy Abbott’s zero-waste-to-landfill strategy encourages sites to eliminate all waste sent to landfill and divert it to become a resource for other beneficial use. “We’ve embedded a zero-waste-to-landfill philosophy in our company culture. It influences our decision making at every level and we employ high performance waste management practices to ensure zero-waste-tolandfill criteria are met through our purchasing decisions, in our manufacturing operations and in our daily activities.” Conor Murphy elaborates: “We focus on the ‘Waste Hierarchy’ - looking at all the alternatives to disposal that can be incorporated into our facility. Reuse, recycle and most importantly waste reduction and prevention initiatives are now an integral part of business. All non-recyclable waste is sent for ‘Waste to Energy’ where the heat generated on incineration is captured to produce electricity.” To achieve zero-waste-to-landfill, Abbott’s diagnostic facility in Sligo developed a zero-waste-to-landfill team who completed a waste stream analysis quantifying and qualifying waste. Subsequently a colour coded and lab-elled waste manage-
ment system was introduced to areas within the facility that were appropriate and easy to use. Segregation of waste at source was key to the success of the project. Employee awareness and training was instrumental in ensuring correct segregation and to ensure only non recyclable material went waste to energy. The segregated waste streams are bulked on site prior to collection thus reducing transport costs. “Site Leadership Teams are instrumental in maintaining zero-waste-to-landfill by including it in site strategic plans, while Business Excellence Teams play a critical role in finding efficiencies and more opportunities to reduce waste,” he adds. In addition to waste reduction targets, other key global goals set by Abbott for 2015 (against a 2005 baseline) include: A 15 percent absolute reduction in direct emissions and purchased electricity and a 50 percent reduction in water use – adjusted for sales growth.
identify and develop innovative practises and procedures. They are assisted in their efforts by a Global EHS & E Management team which defines EHS & E standards which each facility works to. They also identify goals to reduce waste generation, water usage, carbon dioxide emissions and energy usage throughout Abbott’s global operations.” The ADD Sligo Site Director continues: “The teams are critical to the strong track record in Environmental, Health & Safety enjoyed by Abbott Diagnostics' Sligo site, but it must be said that every employee plays their role in helping the facility to achieve excellence in EHS & Energy Performance. There is a strong EHS culture which in 2011 saw zero lost time accidents and zero recordable accidents cases.”
Aoife Conway (left) and Karen Craig, two members of the EHS Team at Abbott Diagnostics Sligo. Global Award Being named Abbott Manufacturing Large Pl-ant of the Year Lessons For Others 2011 within the Abbott Environ-mental So what lessons are there to be learned for Health Safety and Energy (EHS&E) other Irish companies from Abbott Ireland’s Awards Programme is recognition of the experience? commitment of all employees at ADD “The first lesson that we learned was that Sligo to the global health care group’s significant reductions in waste disposal Environment, Health & Safety standards. could be achieved simply by doing some Abbott’s diagnostic site at Longford, basic things very well,” he replies. which like ADD Sligo achieved zero-waste- “Awareness campaigns ensure employees to-landfill in 2010, won the Abbott and contractors (catering, cleaning and conManufacturing Small Plant of the Year struction) contribute to achieving zero2011 award. waste-to-landfill and awareness programmes The Abbott EHS & E Plant of the Year encourage greater participation and influawards is an internal recognition process, ence employees’ behaviour.” based on the concept of continuous EHS The Abbott Ireland experience also highimprovement whereby Abbott Global out- lights that moving to zero-waste-to-landfill lines the pathway and key performance requires robust administrative practices to areas for achievement to all sites. continually assess and manage the zero“The Abbott EHS & waste-to-landfill programme, including full E Plant of the Year waste inventories and opportunity assessAward is open to all 90 ments, waste stream evaluations and inspecAbbott manufacturing tions etc. sites worldwide, which “However, through well managed site coputs the achievements of ordination and planning, existing structures the Irish facilities into can be leveraged.” Conor Murphy conperspective,” Conor cludes: “Another lesson learned, is the value Murphy comments: of ‘knowing your waste’. ADD Sligo has “Dedicated teams of seen the value of analyzing all raw material Environmental Health packaging and partnering with vendors, to and Safety specialists identify opportunities to change packaging work in each of our to allow for better waste management solumanufacturing sites to tions for the packaging.” I
ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY MANAGEMENT, SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012