Abbott: Green Efforts Also Good For Business

Abbott's 2020 Environmental Goals are ambitious – and they're helping the planet while reducing costs around the globe.

Sustainability at Abbott (No. 10 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) isn't a destination, but an ongoing journey. By focusing on the areas where business opportunities intersect with positive social impact, it's also an important way we strengthen the company.


Our ambitious 2020 Environmental Goals drive our efforts around the globe. These goals – highlighted in the newly released 2016 Global Sustainability Report – help us protect the planet while boosting efficiency and reducing costs.

We've identified three environmental priorities – and for each, have set goals for reducing our impact by 2020 (all compared to 2010 levels and adjusted for sales):

  • Reducing Carbon Emissions: A 40 percent decrease in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions associated with our business operations. Through 2016, we've reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent.
  • Conserving Water: A 30 percent reduction in total water intake. We've reduced our water use by 18 percent through 2016.
  • Reducing Waste: A 50 percent reduction in total waste. By the end of 2016, we reduced waste by 39 percent by reducing it at the source and identifying more opportunities for reuse.

Taken together, in 2016 we launched more than 130 environmental projects around the world to improve waste, water and energy efficiencies. These efforts also are delivering financial benefits to the business, with anticipated 2017 savings of more than 12 percent compared to the company's 2016 environmental expenses.

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

Michael Kearney is manufacturing shift lead at Abbott's diabetes care facility in Donegal, Ireland. He grew up on the Inishowen Peninsula, a picturesque part of Donegal located at the most northerly point of Ireland. Donegal's natural beauty, pictured above, has inspired National Geographic Traveller magazine to name it the No. 1 location to visit in 2017.

As an 11-year-old student, Kearney developed a love for the environment when he learned about recycling from a schoolteacher. On his family's farm, he encouraged neighbors, friends and family to begin sorting waste and to compost. He's carried this mindset with him to his work at Abbott.

"While it is not part of my core job description, everyone here knows they have a part to play in protecting the environment," he said. "I try to lead by example."

Thanks to Kearney's and his fellow employees' initiative, the Donegal facility received Abbott's "High Performance Award," which recognizes efforts that reduce materials used in production, deliver cost savings and reduce waste. In 2016, the facility team identified opportunities that reduced overall waste generated by 7 percent, and will increase the facility's waste recycling rate to 86 percent in 2017. A further reduction in waste volume also is anticipated in 2017.

"Reducing waste actually makes our day-to-day jobs easier," says Kearney, "and has benefits beyond work to our homes and community. Reducing waste saved our facility alone nearly US$11 million over five years. The small changes we're making add up to a big impact for Abbott and our environment."

Kearney also shares the Donegal facility's environmental best practices outside Abbott's walls. Drawing on his personal experience, he led a waste management awareness program to engage local elementary school students through fun and games. Students took a quiz to test their knowledge about disposing of common household waste through recycling and composting. Through this outreach program, students learned how to better manage waste – and protect their local environment.

Driving Results Across the Business

The work in Donegal is just one example of Abbott's broader approach to protecting the environment. The 2016 Global Sustainability Report shares the broader story and many additional examples, including:

  • Zero Waste Facilities

    Materials sent for reuse now exceed the total waste the company generates globally. As a result, 29 Abbott sites now send zero waste to landfills.

  • Utility Cost Reduction

    We slashed utility costs at our global nutrition business in half, which also reduced energy demand and carbon emissions – achieving our four-year goal ahead of time.

  • LEED Certification

    LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is one of the most respected global benchmarks for environmental efficiency. Taken together, space at Abbott's 14 LEED-certified locations equals nearly 3 million square feet – which is slightly bigger than the landmark Empire State Building in New York City.

In recognition of this work and the company's broader efforts to advance sustainability, Abbott was named the leading company in the Health Care Equipment & Services industry group by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the fourth consecutive year in 2016. This marks the 12th consecutive year DJSI recognized Abbott for sustainability leadership, with inclusion on both the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and North America Index. Abbott also achieved an A- on its CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) Climate Change score, placing the company in the "Leadership" Category.

Abbott is all about helping people live their best lives, with good health as the foundation. Helping to protect a healthy environment is an integral part of achieving this mission, while we strengthen our business, every day around the world. To learn more about Abbott's sustainability initiatives, visit www.abbott.com/sustainability.

Abbott: Connected Devices Turn Data Into Better Health

Abbott's Robert Ford Joins a Panel Discussing the Potential for Connected Medical Devices to Improve Patient Care and Drive Better Outcomes.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Today's medical devices are creating terabytes of information that gives patients, doctors and health providers real-time insight into someone's vital statistics, heart health and even bloodwork.

But can all this new information really make someone healthier?

Read More Show Less

Abbott Introduces the Afinion™ 2 Analyzer Rapid Test System for Diabetes Management

State-of-the-art multi-assay test system helps people with diabetes get the HbA1c results they need within three minutes — allowing more time for consultation and care during a single healthcare visit.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Abbott announced the launch of its Afinion™ 2 analyzer in the U.S., the newest generation of the Afinion test system. The Afinion 2 builds on Abbott's heritage in diabetes care by empowering patients with information about their health that they can discuss with their providers during a single visit.

Read More Show Less

Abbott's Xience Sierra Heart Stent Receives National Reimbursement in Japan to Treat People with Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease, which is the second leading cause of death in Japan.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Abbott announced that Japan's Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare (MHLW) granted national reimbursement for XIENCE Sierra™, the newest generation of the company's gold-standard XIENCE everolimus-eluting coronary stent. XIENCE Sierra improves upon previous versions of XIENCE with an enhanced stent design, a new delivery system, and unique sizes to help doctors treat challenging cases.

XIENCE Sierra was designed to help doctors more easily treat people with difficult-to-treat blockages that involve multiple or totally blocked arteries or complications such as diabetes. Complex cases are increasingly prevalent as people with coronary artery disease are living longer.

"Extensive clinical data and 10 years of real-world experience with the XIENCE family of stents provide doctors with confidence that they are treating their patients with one of the safest stents available," said Chuck Brynelsen, senior vice president of Abbott's vascular business. "National reimbursement of XIENCE Sierra will provide people in Japan with greater access to this life-changing technology that can help them live their best lives."

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease, which is the second leading cause of death in Japan. National reimbursement in Japan will enable doctors to treat more patients with XIENCE Sierra through the country's health insurance plans. XIENCE Sierra was approved in Japan on April 4, 2018, received CE Mark in Europe late last year, and is under review with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

XIENCE has been studied in over 100 clinical trials and in 10 years of global real-world experience. Its safety profile is unprecedented with consistent low rates of stent thrombosis, even in complex cases. More than eight million people worldwide have received a XIENCE stent since its initial regulatory approval.