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A roundup of developments in corporate social responsibility and sustainability from the bio/pharmaceutical industry, its suppliers, and other public and private organizations.
BD, a medical-technology company, and Rady Children's Hospital–San Diego have implemented a pilot program at the hospital that is designed to safely divert from landfills a significant percentage of BD sharp waste, such as single-use disposable medical devices, and use the recycled materials. One approach BD is exploring to manage its disposable medical-device products is a cradle-to-cradle program for every stage of a product's life cycle. The process entails recycling waste materials and using them to manufacture new products rather than permanently disposing of them in a landfill. Approximately 38,000 pounds of sharp waste that might have been sent to a landfill will be recycled under the program with the hospital. Based on initial tests, BD believes that more than 70% of its overall sharps waste may ultimately be recovered and recycled for use in new products. The pilot program, developed in collaboration with Waste Management, a waste-management and recycling company, uses BD Sharps Containers as aggregation points for the collection of sharp waste. Waste Management collects filled sharp containers at the hospital, transports the material to a nearby Waste Management facility, safely treats the waste to eliminate any potential biohazard, and sends the treated material to a local recycling company for raw-material recovery. BD then incorporates these post-hospital recycled materials, along with recycled materials from other sources, into the making of new BD Recykleen container products. BD plans to sell excess recycled materials that cannot be used in BD products to other recyclers.
CSL Behring, a provider of plasma-protein therapies and a subsidiary of the Australian pharmaceutical company CSL, has contributed advocacy grants totaling approximately $100,000 to six patient organizations through the Local Empowerment for Advocacy Development (LEAD) program. LEAD grants support the grassroots advocacy efforts of organizations committed to helping people who use plasma-derived or recombinant therapies to manage rare and serious diseases. The following organizations were awarded CSL Behring LEAD grants: the Hemophilia Foundation of Maryland, Parkville, Maryland; the Immune Deficiency Foundation, Towson, Maryland; the New England Hemophilia Association, Dedham, Massachusetts; the Midwest Hemophilia Association, Kansas City, Missouri; and the Hereditary Angioedema Association, Honolulu.
Dow Chemical is donating $200,000 to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal to assist in emergency-relief operations for the floods in Australia. In addition to the donation of $200,000 to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal, Dow Australia will be working closely with its customers and industry to identify projects that support long-term recovery in the region.
Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical, and Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, an organization focused on environmental conservation, formed a collaboration to apply scientific knowledge and experience to examine how Dow's operations rely on and affect nature for the purpose of advancing the incorporation of the value of nature into business and to take action to protect the earth's natural systems and the services they provide people for the benefit of business and society. One of the major objectives of the collaboration is to share tools, lessons learned, and results, publicly and through peer-review, so that other companies, scientists, and interested parties can test and apply them. Dow and its foundation are committing $10 million to this collaboration over the next five years. The Nature Conservancy will provide strategic, science-based counsel and technical support to help answer questions about the value and benefits of natural areas on or near where Dow works, such as the benefits of a forest to ensuring clean water for towns and factories, and the role that natural wetlands and reefs play in preventing damage from storms. The collaboration will use scientific models, maps, and analysis for biodiversity and ecosystem services, or the benefits that nature provides for people, such as clean air, water, and food, and apply them to Dow's business decisions. It will inform Dow on setting new policies and approaches in the areas of land and water management, siting considerations, the benefits of natural resources on Dow lands and waterways, and more explicit management of biodiversity. Scientists from both organizations will implement and refine ecosystem services and biodiversity assessment models, initially, on at least three Dow manufacturing sites.
Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, part of Johnson & Johnson, has granted multiple nonexclusive licenses to generic-drug manufacturers, including two Indian companies, Hetero Drugs and Matrix Laboratories, and Aspen Pharmacare of South Africa to manufacture, market, and distribute the investigational non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor rilpivirine hydrochloride (TMC278), pending its approval for use with other antiretroviral agents for treating naïve HIV-1 infected adults. The generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in India will have rights to market the product in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), least-developed countries (LDCs), and India. Aspen will have rights to market the product in SSA, including South Africa. Under the agreement, the generic-drug manufacturers will be entitled to manufacture once-daily 25 mg TMC278 as a single-agent medicine and a fixed-dose combination product. The project is part of the Johnson & Johnson Global Access & Partnerships Program, which seeks to increase the availability of HIV medicines to patients in need. The program also is working through existing agreements with generic-drug manufacturers Aspen as well as Emcure Pharmaceuticals of India to broaden access to the medicines darunavir and etravirine in SSA and LDCs and to darunavir in India.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) expanded its renewable-energy portfolio by unveiling a wind turbine at P&G's pet-care plant in Coevorden, The Netherlands by installing solar panels at its beauty and grooming plant in Cologne, Germany. The Coevorden turbine is the company's first investment in wind energy and became operational in January 2011. The wind power will supply approximately 17% of the plant's annual energy consumption. The turbine is estimated to produce approximately 5500 megawatt hours of energy per year, enough to power up to 1500 houses in The Netherlands.
Additionally, P&G is planning to have solar panels installed atop one of its plants in Cologne, Germany, with plans to extend solar installation to other sites in the region. An estimated 796 megawatt hours of energy per year will be produced by this initial installation, which is enough to power approximately 200 households in Germany and contribute to a reduction of 544 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Construction on the solar panels will begin in the spring of 2011 and is expected to begin producing electricity in the summer of 2011. The Dutch and German plants join other P&G sites in the US, Germany, and Mexico in making progress in renewable-energy use.
Recipharm (Jordbro, Sweden), a contract development and manufacturing organization, presented its annual International Environmental Award for best environmental performance or environmental innovation in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries and academia to the Wellcome Trust Genome Campu in December 2010. The award was established in 2008. Past winners include Apoteket, a Swedish pharmaceutical association in 2008, and Klaus Kümmerer, professor at Freiburg University in Germany. The Wellcome Trust Genome Campus was recognized for conducting several projects, including receiving ISO 14001 certification in 2009. For example, the organization's waste to landfill was reduced by 75%. Recipharm awarded Wellcome Trust Genome a monetary award of SEK 30,000 ($4,400) in December 2010.
The Stewardship Action Council (SAC), a new multi-stakeholder organization, was launched in January 2011, with the goal of promoting and improving sustainable and socially responsible business practices, providing a space for cross-functional collaboration, and developing a performance-based sustainability index. SAC is a coalition of industry, academia, the investment community, and governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Membership in SAC is open to industrial facilities, academic institutions, governmental organizations, NGOs, the investment community, and trade associations. Members will be designated as alliance or participating members, based upon their desire to set measurable goals and report upon them publicly. Alliance members, generally academic institutions, government organizations, and NGOs, will support SAC, but will not set goals. Participating members, generally industrial facilities, will set and report on goals. Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer are among the founding members of SAC.
The SustaiNext Summit, which is supported by the Sustainability Collaborative, a cross-functional coalition of representatives from industry, academia, government, and NGOs, will be held March 22-23, 2011, at Drexel University in Philadelphia. SustaiNext is a two-year initiative supported by the Sustainability Collaborative that was launched in December 2010 at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The goal of SustaiNext is to stimulate regional partnering to help organizations, companies, and individuals to integrate sustainability principles while realizing economic growth. In 2009, the Sustainability Collaborative was created to help move the process by stimulating partnerships across sectors by nurturing fresh connections between academia, business, government, nonprofits, and communities. It now has more than 500 participants. Participants in the Sustainability Collaborative network include representatives from business, which include representatives from companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Eli Lilly, Amgen, Wal-Mart, Kimberly Clark, Microsoft, DuPont, PepsiCo., 7th Generation, Lockheed Martin, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Terra Cycle. Participants in the Sustainability Collaborative network from academia include representatives from Drexel, Yale, Philadelphia University, Catholic University of America, Bard College, Penn State, University of Florida, Rutgers University, University of Maryland, and Ohio State University. Participants in the Sustainability Collaborative network from NGOs include representatives from the Environmental Defense Fund, National Science Foundation, Environmental Working Group, Beyond Benign, Second Nature, AASHE, and the Ecology Society of America. Information about the Sustainability Collaborative and the SustaiNext Summit on March 22–23 can be found here, or for further information, contact Joanne Gere, at jgere@biosciencecollaborative or call 609-203-6852.
The US Chamber of Commerce's Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) has embarked on a year-long US event series to improve the impact of corporate social involvement in local communities. The event tour, called "Community Speaks," kicked off in January 2011 in Los Angeles. One goal for the Community Speaks tour is to understand and address the key developmental issues communities across the United States are facing. The outcome of the tour is to provide a platform for companies with specific geographic or social-investment interests to form stronger partnerships, enhance local collaboration, and create more headway through their corporate-citizenship commitments. Future cities on the Community Speaks tour will be announced later this year.
In other news, the BCLC is partnering with the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-Pet) to examine the possible effects of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and virtual technology on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Through a number of focus forums, the “Emerging Technology and the Future of CSR” series will convene futurists, scientific writers, chief research and development officers, and leading CSR experts to discuss how these technologies might change the business, environmental, and political landscapes. The first forum entitled, "Ethical Concerns in Biotechnology and Health Care Advances," was held Jan.14, 2011, in Washington, D.C.