We recognise that, as a result of our activities, we create negative impacts on the environment through our manufacturing, research and development, logistics, administrative and marketing operations, and understand that a damaged environment has consequences for the health and wellbeing of society more broadly.
Human development can only be sustainable if we remain within environmental limits relating to the quality and quantity of natural resources on which we rely. This requires society to reduce the amount of pollution that is present in the air, in our water supplies, and in the soil, particularly where this relates to compounds not easily recycled by nature and which accumulate. It also requires a halt to the degradation of the earth’s natural cycles by not over-abstracting water, over-consuming natural resources (such as fertile soil and forests) at rates beyond which they can be replenished, or by emitting levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to an extent which causes damaging climate change. Scientific opinion is clear that there is an urgency to ensuring natural resources and systems are conserved and restored in order to secure a more sustainable future.
In addition to the environmental impacts of our own operations, we recognise the impacts of our ‘upstream’ supply chain in creating our products, as well as those in their ‘downstream’ distribution, use and final disposal. Our impacts may have indirect, but global, environmental consequences – such as our emission of greenhouse gases – or they may be very local, such as in noise nuisance from our manufacturing plants, or solid waste being sent to landfill.
We also recognise the commercial benefits of taking proactive action on our impacts. In addition to ensuring we avoid fines and reputation damage from breaching environmental regulation, we also see that increased efficiency in our energy and raw materials use can reduce production costs both within our own facilities, but also throughout the value chain. Whilst we see only low risk of direct, financially material impact on our business in relation to climate change, it is possible that indirect effects through impacts on global economic performance could feed through to already strained healthcare budgets and put pressure on reimbursement.
We have an environmental policy statement which sets out our position, and this reflects a more detailed internal environmental policy document which provides direction to major facilities on how to structure their environmental management programmes. Our overall approach can be summarised as:
––Understanding, quantifying and minimising the environmental impacts of our own operations, and our partners who operate upstream and downstream of our business
––Understanding, quantifying and minimising the environmental impacts of our products and services across their whole life cycle – adopting a precautionary approach
––Setting appropriate objectives for improving our performance and the development of more environment-friendly products
–– Implementing appropriate management systems and programmes to support achievement of our objectives
––Reporting progress to our stakeholders.
We are working to improve our performance across all of these activities and our progress is detailed in our Corporate Responsibility Report.
Our larger manufacturing facilities have a dedicated Environment, Health and Safety Manager, and are developing environmental management systems in line with corporate requirement and referencing ISO14001. Two of our manufacturing sites, Deeside and Rhymney (both in the UK) have achieved certification to that standard. Our Global EHS Team conducts audits of the effectiveness of system implementation.
Our most significant impacts are:
––Emissions to air – in particular, greenhouse gases associated with energy consumption
––Generation of waste – hazardous and non-hazardous
––Management of water
––Consumption of raw materials in our products.
These impacts and the performance of our own operations in 2017 are covered in detail in our Corporate Responsibility Report.
As well as the environmental impact of our own operations, the delivery of our products to end users also creates impacts along the value chain, relating to the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, logistics and transport. We aim to address these impacts through two main approaches:
––Assessing the overall environmental performance of our key suppliers
––Analysing the ‘cradle to grave’ life cycles of our key product groups.
These topics, and our programmes in 2017, are covered in detail in our Corporate Responsibility Report.