Fresenius Kabi

Fresenius Kabi continued with the certification of its environmental management according to the international standard ISO 14001 in 2010. It was for instance extended to the production of oncologically active ingredients by Fresenius Kabi Oncology in India. Toxic substances are involved in the manufacturing process, so environmental safeguards and occupational safety for our employees are of utmost importance.

In Europe, the recycling rate at our production sites in Friedberg and Bad Homburg, Germany, was about 97% in 2010, which was above the previous year’s level of about 95%. Approximately 5,600 t of waste were recycled (2009: about 5,200 t). The volume of waste rose by about 8% in Friedberg and by about 10% in Bad Homburg. This was due to the higher production volume compared to the previous year.

We continued to implement measures in 2010 to reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and the consumption of natural resources: An analysis conducted at the Friedberg site in 2009 had revealed energy-saving potentials, which we then implemented incrementally in 2010. This included the installation of a solar thermal energy plant for process water and heating. In another project we optimized the lighting at the site and reduced energy consumption by about 70,000 KWh per year. We also invested in modernizing supply lines such as compressed air systems or refrigerating machines used in production.

All these activities not only serve the primary purpose of environmental protection, but also helped to reduce energy costs in 2010.

At the production site in Graz, Austria, a certified environmental management system has been in place since 2008. This defines various performance indicators, such as the recycling rate. The aim is to guarantee and continuously improve the efficiency of the plant’s environmental management over the long term.

In 2010, the recycling rate was held stable at about 70%. The remaining 30% serves as a source of energy, and is used for this purpose in thermal waste treatment plants. A basic prerequisite for proper recycling is sort-clean waste separation. Other environmental indicators are, for instance, energy consumption − by type of energy − and water consumption, both of which are relative to production output. In 2009, we had analyzed the energy and resource consumption at the site and in 2010 implemented numerous projects in response to the findings. To reduce energy consumption, we reset the cooling temperature for the autoclaving. Steam autoclaves are used at the Graz plant to sterilize products for infusion therapy. We optimized the cooling temperatures for the autoclaving cycle on a product-specific basis, resulting in shorter throughput times. We are also successively switching over the lighting at the site to LED technology. We achieved significant improvements in noise emission levels thanks to the installation of silencers and sound-dampening measures, e. g. fitting enclosures around plants.

The environmental management system at the production site in Linz was certified to ISO 14001:2004 in 2010. Internal audits were conducted in all areas to verify that the requirements of the standard were fully implemented.

The Linz plant is one of the biggest producers of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) and lactulose in the world. Lactulose is produced from lactose through processes of chemical conversion. It is primarily used as a laxative, thanks to its probiotic as well as osmotic effect. A further indication is the treatment of diseases of the liver, due to its detoxifying effect. Energy and resource conservation potentials had already been realized in production in 2009. Further measures were implemented in 2010. As a result, the consumption of activated carbon in HES production was reduced by 30% for instance.

Energy consumption was reduced by 2,000 MWH/a (megawatt hours per year) by using a waste water heat exchanger system. Thanks to this system, the waste heat is returned to the production process. Other long-term measures are planned that will save energy and other resources in future in the interest of successful environmental management.

At our plants in Uppsala and Brunna, Sweden, the total volume of waste rose to about 4,073 t in 2010 (2009: 3,337 t). This was mainly due to the higher production volume. We were able to reduce both energy and water consumption further in 2010 through selective measures. For instance, we have combined energy-intensive processes, such as compressor cooling and feed water pre-heating, to produce water for injection (WFI). The compressors used in production are cooled with drinking water. In the process the water temperature rises to over 50 degrees Celsius. This energy is used to preheat and condition water for the production of WFI. By combining these two processes we cut energy costs and reduced water consumption. At the same time, we were able to improve the distillation and purification processes for the production of WFI.

Other measures were aimed at improving the control of performance parameters in production. This includes the resources used, e. g. energy and water, but also process consumables such as WFI and nitrogen. We further reduced emissions and thus saved costs. In 2010, we focused on cooling and nitrogen consumption and were not only able to improve their performance parameters, but also to reduce energy consumption. The performance parameters in the production process are recorded by a standardized system so as to be able to detect, analyze, and act on any deviations promptly. In 2011, we will concentrate on improving performance parameters in heat consumption, steam generation, and WFI production.

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