Corporate Responsibility Report 2019 Series, Part 6: Environmental Sustainability
West believes that, as a global organization, we have a duty and obligation to contribute to a sustainable future and that each of us, working together, can make a difference. While we know that sound environmental practices make good business sense, the underlying reasons behind our commitment are the many benefits these practices provide to our communities, now and for future generations. As a company with the mission to improve patient health, it stands to reason that we are equally committed to a sustained investment in creating a healthier environment.
Our Sustainability Program is designed to target reductions in areas where we feel we can make the greatest impact: CO2 emissions, waste and increased recycling, as well as energy and water usage. Although we manage our Program at a global level, each of West’s manufacturing sites are also working hard to make improvements in areas where they can make a difference in their community. Each West facility collaborates and shares the ideas, methods and lessons they've learned, from energy efficiency projects, to Kaizen energy events to the measurement and verification of savings. This collaborative effort has shown improved results in all areas of our Program.
In late 2019, we entered a partnership to begin a test recycling program with the goal to implement this program in multiple West U.S. manufacturing sites in 2020. Our Jersey Shore, PA site was the first to begin recycling 100% of its rubber scrap, and by 2021, we plan to expand this initiative across our network of manufacturing sites. West’s six Contract Manufacturing sites recycled 98% of their waste in 2019. All of these efforts have resulted in a 15% recycling improvement over 2018, decreasing our waste-to-landfill total to 48%, which is in line with the reductions we need to obtain to achieve our 5-year goal set for 2023.
In 2019, we realized a 3.03% improvement in energy efficiency over 2018—on target against the goal of improving energy efficiency by 15% over 5 years. Our absolute CO2 emissions have also improved. West has a goal of reducing our absolute CO2 emission by 10% over 5 years. We reduced our absolute CO2 emissions 1.46% in 2019 compared to 2018. We have improved our Carbon Disclosure Project rating by no less than 500 basis points each year since we began reporting in 2013 and achieved our highest ever rating in 2019. We have also increased our environmental score with ISS (Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc.), a leading provider of governance and responsible investment solutions to the global financial community. In addition, in 2019, we maintained our Gold Standard from EcoVadis, a leader in sustainability ratings, placing us in the top 5% of reporting companies.
As a testament to our continued commitment to sustainability, in 2019 West was honored to achieve several accolades, including being named as one of Newsweek’s America’s Most Responsible Companies as well as a Top 50 ESG Company by Investor’s Business Daily.
Click here to view the full 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report.