Medtronic Corporate Citizenship Report: Energy Use, CO2 Emissions Down 12%

by | Sep 3, 2010

Medtronic has cut its energy consumption and CO2 emissions (normalized to revenue) by about 12 percent in fiscal year 2009, according to the company’s 2010 Corporate Citizenship report.

In 2008, Medtronic announced a five-year plan to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) air emissions, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water use 10 percent by 2013. The company also said it would reduce regulated and non-regulated waste by five percent.

Here’s how the company progressed on those goals.

Medtronic generated approximately 12,200 metric tonnes of non-regulated solid waste in fiscal year 2010, which accounted for approximately 90 percent of the company’s total waste generation. This represents a 10 percent decrease normalized to revenue compared to fiscal year 2009. The company attributes this decrease to company-wide education efforts.

The medical company also generated approximately 1,400 metric tonnes of regulated waste in fiscal year 2010. This includes waste that is produced primarily by manufacturing facilities, such as scrap metal and solvents. This represents a 13 percent decrease normalized to revenue compared to fiscal year 2009 thanks to improvements in manufacturing processes as well as more efficient use of materials.

Excluding construction and demolition debris, Medtronic recycled nearly 7,000 metric tonnes of waste materials or 52 percent of its total waste generation (both regulated and non-regulated solid waste) in fiscal year 2010, normalized to revenue, compared to 49 percent in fiscal year 2009. The improvement is primarily due to expanded recycling programs within plants and at individual workspaces, which promote the recycling of manufacturing materials, plastics, metals, beverage containers, fiber (printing paper, newspaper, cardboard, etc.), ink cartridges, and batteries.

In fiscal year 2010, Medtronic generated 134 metric tonnes of VOC air emissions. This represents a 14 percent decrease from fiscal year 2009, normalized to revenue.

Medtronic used approximately 481,000 megawatt-hours of energy (electricity, natural gas and fuel oil) in fiscal year 2010. This resulted in corresponding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of approximately 225,000 metric tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2e). Normalized to revenue, the company’s rates of energy consumption and CO2 emissions were approximately 12 percent less than in fiscal year 2009.

Some of the company’s energy conservation measures include energy efficient lighting and ventilation systems and automated building controls.

Medtronic used approximately 1.2 million cubic meters of water in fiscal year 2010, representing more than a 10 percent reduction compared to fiscal year 2009, normalized to revenue.

In the area of manufacturing, the company’s Design for Reliability and Manufacturability program identifies ways to reduce manufacturing waste by analyzing and enhancing aspects related to mass production, such as materials selection and assembly.

The company also is strengthening the sustainability of its supply base by joining the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition in May.

Medtronic is also working to decrease shipments and related transportation, energy use and emissions by consolidating its domestic shipping through three U.S. centers located close to freight industry hubs.

Medtronic Operations also launched GreenBox shipping, a sustainable thermal management packaging system for shipping chemicals and pharmaceuticals. These packaging products can be reused and are biodegradable.

Medtronic was selected as one of the Global Green 100 companies by the Uptime Institute in 2009. The list highlights significant energy efficiency achievements of global corporations operating major data centers. The company was also chosen as one of the health-care leaders in Newsweek’s inaugural environmental rankings of America’s 500 largest corporations last year.

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