Material resource efficiency

Waste generation

The amounts of hazardous and other waste that our activities have generated in recent years are shown in the table below.

Overall, the amount of waste produced has reduced from last year. This represents good progress towards our sales indexed hazardous waste reduction target but limited progress towards our employee indexed non-hazardous waste target due to more significant employee reductions than anticipated. We have made good progress in 2013 towards our targets to increase the amount of waste sent for reuse, recycling and material recovery and to reduce the amount of non-hazardous waste sent to landfill.

A number of projects are being implemented by our facilities to ensure progress towards our waste reduction targets. For example, a solvent recovery unit was brought into operation at our Avlon site in 2013 that will significantly reduce hazardous waste volumes and reduce consumption of solvent in manufacturing.
 

Waste disposal20092010201120122013Change
Hazardous waste (ktonnes) 26.8 24.8 26.8  22.5 13.1 -42%
Index (kg/$million sales) 860 750 800  800 510 -36%
Other waste (ktonnes) 23.2 22.1 22.7  21.2 19.6 -7%
Index (kg/$million sales) 740 670 680  760 760 +1%
Index (kg/employee) 600 560 600 620 600 -2%
Total waste (ktonnes) 50.0 46.9 49.6  43.6 32.8 -25%
Index (tonnes/$million sales) 1.6 1.4 1.5  1.6 1.3 -18%
Waste sent for material recycle, recovery or reuse (%) 36 40 44  47 47 +1%
Non-hazardous waste sent to landfill (%)  22  26  22  13 9 -27%

The reference point for change is 2012. The figures in the table above have been rounded. Please note that percentage changes have been calculated using the data prior to rounding. This data includes our biologics capabilities’ contribution to waste amounts and sales from 2010 onwards.

Waste disposal routes for our hazardous and other waste in 2013 are shown in the chart below. It should be noted that these figures do not include the very large amount of material reused and recycled within our facilities, such as solvent recovery and reuse, since this material is excluded from our definition of waste.

Waste disposal


Construction waste

AstraZeneca recognises that waste also arises as the result of construction and demolition activities at our sites and we aim to dispose of this in a sustainable way. Annual data for construction/demolition waste has therefore been collated and this shows that 4.9 thousand tonnes were generated during 2013 of which 84% was sent for material recovery or reuse. The vast majority of all the construction waste generated (98%) was non-hazardous.

Solvent use and emissions

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are released to air primarily from the use of solvents in manufacturing processes and research and development activities. Reporting of our consumption and emission of VOCs is divided into two categories; non-halogenated VOCs that account for the majority of our use and halogenated VOCs that are generally considered to have a higher environmental impact.

We minimise emissions to air by using VOC abatement equipment including technologies such as catalytic oxidation, low-temperature cryogenic condensation and adsorption of pollutants on activated carbon.

During 2013 our facilities used 6.3 thousand tonnes of solvents, a decrease of 41% from 2012.
Emissions of VOCs over the same period totaled 360 tonnes, an increase of 5% from 2012. Our emissions represent a very small fraction (6%) of the total amount of consumed solvent.
Halogenated solvent use (150 tonnes) and related VOC emissions (3 tonnes) make up a small portion of these totals.
 

Volatile Organic Compounds20092010201120122013Change
Total VOC use (tonnes) 17000 11000 13000  11000 6300 -41%
Index (kg/$million sales) 550 320 390 380 250 -36%
Total VOC emission (tonnes) 244 343 313   343 360  +5%
Index (kg/$million sales) 7.8 10.3 9.3   12.3 14.0  +14%
The reference point for change is 2012. The figures in the table above have been rounded. Please note that percentage changes have been calculated using the data prior to rounding. This data excludes our biologics capabilities’ contribution to solvent use, emissions or sales.

Other air emissions

NOx, SOx and particulate (PM10) emissions, which contribute to acid rain and local air pollution, have been calculated from the data on all fuel used at our sites and in our vehicle fleet (see carbon footprint for details), using published emission factors obtained from the UK NAEI Emission Factor Database. Emissions of NOx were 205 tonnes in 2013. Similarly, SOx emissions have been calculated as 11 tonnes and PM10 15 tonnes. NOx and PM10 have decreased by 5% and SOx has increased by 7% from 2012.

Emissions of other air pollutants are monitored locally at our sites where this is relevant. Quantities are not tracked globally because emission of these pollutants from our activities is insignificant at a company level.
 

Other air emissions20092010201120122013Change
NOx (tonnes) 279 276 264  215 205 -5%
Index (kg/$million sales) 9.0 8.3 7.9  7.7 8.0 +4%
SOx (tonnes) 46 24 17 10  11 +7%
Index (kg/$million sales) 1.5 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.4 +16%
PM10 (tonnes) 22 20 19 16 15 -5%
Index (kg/$million sales) 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6  0.6 +3%
The reference point for change is 2012. The figures in the table above have been rounded. Please note that percentage changes have been calculated using the data prior to rounding. This data includes our biologics capabilities’ contribution to emissions and sales from 2010 onwards.

What's next in this section

Biodiversity

Read details of our 2013 performance.

Read more