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A roundup of developments in global health and sustainability from the bio/pharmaceutical industry, its suppliers, and other public and private organizations.
Baxter released its 2012 sustainability report. Some key highlights include the company exceeding its goal of using 20% renewable power in its facilities by 2015. In 2012, 22% of Baxter's total energy use for operations was from renewable energy sources due in part to several on-site renewable energy projects. These included installation of a photovoltaic (PV) system at Baxter's Toongabbie, Australia, facility that produces sufficient electricity for the office complex with the exception of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and installation of a comprehensive geothermal cooling system at Baxter's Orth, Austria, facility that uses the relatively constant temperature of the groundwater for cooling and heating the building, as opposed to traditional HVAC chiller systems. In late 2012, Baxter's Malta facility began installation of the company's largest on-site PV system that will provide approximately 23% of the site's electricity and reduce the site's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 1100 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent annually.
Since 2005, Baxter has reduced GHS emissions by 12% on an absolute basis and 39% indexed to revenue, placing the company on track to exceed its 2015 goal to reduce GHG from operations 45% indexed to revenue. This is due in part to adoption of technologies such as Baxter's Malta facility converting 95% of its lighting to high efficiency light emitting diode (LED) technology, and three facilities using boilers powered by sustainably sourced biomass fuels.
In other developments, the company created a human rights policy and updated its ethics and compliance standards for supplier to follow human rights practices. Baxter evaluates the sustainability performance of its suppliers, including related to human rights, through a survey to learn about each supplier's sustainability programs and identify opportunities for best-practice sharing and collaboration to improve the performance of both Baxter and its suppliers. Baxter routinely conducts quality audits of its suppliers and joined the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative in 2012, a group of pharmaceutical companies that seek to achieve better social, economic, and environmental outcomes for all those involved in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Save the Children have launched a $1- million Healthcare Innovation Award to identify and reward innovations in healthcare which have proven successful in reducing child deaths in developing countries. From June 27 to August 26, 2013, organizations from across the developing world can nominate examples of innovative healthcare approaches they have discovered or implemented. These approaches must have resulted in tangible improvements to under-age-five child survival rates, be sustainable, and have the potential to be scaled-up and replicated. Co-chaired by Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK, and Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children, the judging anel, made up of experts from the fields of public health, science and academia, will award $250,000 to the best healthcare innovation to further progress their work. An additional $750,000 is available for runners-up awards. The award will also provide a platform for winning organizations to showcase their innovations and share information to enable others with an interest in improving healthcare to adapt and replicate successful interventions and create more positive change for children in their own country and beyond.
Sanofi and GDF SUEZ, an energy firm, have signed an agreement to strengthen their collaboration for implementing projects in the field of energy at Sanofi industrial sites. The five-year contract includes mainly renewable energy production and distribution systems. Building on an initial agreement signed in March 2012 for Europe and Turkey, the two groups have expanded their collaboration to include sites in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, and Singapore. All Sanofi’s production lines will be included: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology, and animal health. The initial three-year term contract is extended to five years.