Environment, Health and Safety Excellence = Competitive Advantage
By Elizabeth Girardi-Schoen, Vice President of Global Environment and Sustainability
TAPI, as a unique, vertically integrated business unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., is committed to business practices that promote safe and environmentally responsible economic growth. This commitment and its resulting benefits are added indicators not only of our high-quality products, but also of a responsible company that appeals to and seeks out responsible customers.
Our company invests in environment, health and safety (EHS) excellence because we care, governments care, communities where we operate and sell care, employees care, and, based on collaboration across the industry, we strongly believe that our customers care.
UN Global Compact and Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative
Our commitment to EHS excellence is more than just words in a mission statement. Teva has long been a signatory to the UN Global Compact, making a commitment to its principles of corporate sustainability in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. The company is also part of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative(PSCI), a coalition of pharmaceutical and healthcare companies worldwide who share a vision of better social, environmental and economic outcomes.
I helped form the PSCI more than10 years ago while working at another large pharma company, and I continue promoting the PSCI’s vision today as a member of its governance working group. In fact, several Teva colleagues actively participate in PSCI working groups.
Leading by Example
To put our words into action, the company has developed an EHS management system across our organization with state-of-the-art procedures, engineering controls and accountability measures that goes above and beyond what’s required by law and standard in the industry. Because TAPI is the leading API supplier in the industry, we have a larger environmental footprint and, therefore, an opportunity to make greater impact through the entire supply chain compared to our competitors. As part of Teva and as the leading international supplier of APIs, we draw from our rich history of implementing industry good practice across all Teva, we apply our global expertise and we dedicate substantial resources to set benchmarks in environment, health and safety performance.
From an EHS standpoint, TAPI is on a journey to “Target Zero”. This means no injuries, illness, or releases, and where continuous effort is applied to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and greater waste efficiency.
Specifically, we aim to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020 (with 2012 statistics as the baseline). I’m proud to say that Teva and TAPI have just about hit these targets already, and we are now re-evaluating our goals in light ofthe Actavis acquisition.
Regarding waste, we are working to increase “beneficial use” (i.e., turning our waste into someone else’s product) by 10 percent, which is a substantial amount in our industry. This doesn’t just impact Teva, either; it affects the entire industry since pharma companies are API customers, and the API process is where greater than 80 percent of Teva’s waste is generated.
Regarding safety, TAPI monitors injuries and incidents and actively implements corrective action and tracks closure. Thus far our percentage of quickly addressing and closing these items is higher than 90 percent.
We are well on our way to our Target Zero because of the strong internal commitment and the cross-organization efficiencies that are now built into our corporate culture. Similar to other large pharma companies, we have our own robust EHS management system to support and track everything being done across the organization. There are teams of experts who work to design -- and redesign, where needed -- our operations to reduce, reuse and recycle materials. This is not only good for the environment, it reduces our cost of goods and, ultimately, the cost we pass on to our customers. TAPI also has sophisticated control equipment to manage air emissions and wastewater.
Investment in EHS
TAPI invests in its API development so that its commitment to being a responsible company is reflected through its controls, behaviors, systems, –and more. Being responsible is incredibly important to us, to our customers and, frankly, to the communities in which we all operate and sell.
At the other end of the EHS spectrum, we understand that some API suppliers may have few controls, or none whatsoever. The long-term effects on the environment, worker safety, community health, human rights, and other critical issues in such case may have a negative impact on the pharmaceutical industry, its employees, and even the patients we exist to support.
Join TAPI and Take Action
I invite all our customers to sign the UN Global Compact and join the PSCI initiative. Each company in our industry can create better healthcare products in a responsible and efficient way, and our impact collectively has the potential to be enormous. Considering how large and far-reaching the pharmaceutical supply chain is, we are talking about major EHS impacts across the globe. That’s the rare situation where everyone wins.
Elizabeth Girardi-Schoen is Vice President of Global Environment and Sustainability. She has more than 30 years of environment, health, safety and sustainability experience in different roles for pharmaceutical (and other industries) industries and as a consultant. Elizabeth is located in New Jersey and works across TEVA’s global business units.
To learn more about Teva’s EHS commitment and the benefits it has for customers and their communities please contact us.