Fresenius Medical Care

Fresenius Medical Care is committed to promoting environmental awareness and protecting the environment through a wide range of initiatives and projects at its sites. We are continuously improving our operational efficiency, for instance through saving energy or by reducing the amount of raw materials needed in production.

Our environmental management in the regions Europe, Middle East and Africa is an integral part of the quality management system and is TÜV-certified. It encompasses eco-controlling at production sites and dialysis clinics and gathers environmental data like emissions, water, and electricity consumption. Our activities include:

  • formulating environmental goals and strategies
  • coordinating internal and external environmental audits
  • providing training and further education to environmental managers within the company
  • raising employees’ awareness of environmental issues, and expand our environmental management efforts

Fresenius Medical Care already established an environmental program in these regions. It was launched in 2007, identifying environmental goals to be achieved by 2010.

Our five largest production sites in Europe are already certified to ISO 14001 environmental standards. In 2009, we rolled out the environmental management system at another production plant in Germany and at a production plant in Vrsac, Serbia. We expect these two sites to receive ISO 14001 and TÜV certification in 2010. We also continued with the implementation of the EU chemicals directive REACH at our European plants. In 2009, we drew up internal guidelines for compliance with REACH requirements.

In Poland, we carried out a project for developing a set of environmental guidelines for dialysis clinics in 2009. The purpose of these guidelines is to support responsible environmental management officers to further improve the efficiency of the dialysis clinics, for instance with regard to water, electricity, and acid concentrate, and in waste management. In a first step, all the environmental-relevant processes are analyzed. The environmental managers then compile a catalog of environmental targets on the basis of the results.

At the production plant in St. Wendel, Germany, we saved about 400,000 m3 of natural gas through energy efficiency projects in 2009. That is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of about 170 households. As the production buildings were largely switched over to low-energy lighting, the site was commended as a partner of the European Commission’s “Greenlight” program. This project reduced the plant’s electricity consumption by over 40 %. In 2009, we also invested in environment-friendly processes and systems for the site. For instance, older steam boilers were replaced with modern, low-emission boilers. This has reduced nitrogen oxide emissions and energy consumption.

At a German plant for dialysis concentrates, we introduced a system for monitoring and controlling the production processes and implemented a new packaging process for our pallets in 2009. These measures will enable us to reduce the consumption of raw materials, water, energy, and packaging materials in future.

In North America, we have established a formal, certified program for monitoring environmental and safety standards which reviews all the production processes at our US plants each year. At our largest production site in North America, Ogden, we have been undertaking process optimizations with the aim of reducing energy consumption, like natural gas or electricity. In the coming years we have set ourselves the target to reduce energy consumption by a further 5 % annually. We also launched a recycling program at the Californian site in Walnut Creek, aimed at reusing parts from our dialysis machines.

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