Environmental Sustainability

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Sustainability in Manufacturing 

B. Braun continually looks for innovative, sustainable manufacturing methods. B. Braun recycles nearly 100 percent of all recyclable materials using manufacturing processes that save energy and re-circulate and re-use cooling water. Find out how much B. Braun saves our landfills every year by recycling at our Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania offices and our Irvine, California office.

Our Pennsylvania manufacturing facility utilizes the services of local WTE (waste to energy) and EFW (energy from waste) facilities to incinerate waste and non-recyclable materials for the purpose of energy recovery. These companies may use B. Braun's material as an alternate solid fuel source in the cement manufacturing process or for the purpose of steam generation for the production of electricity. Both methods offer a safe, technologically advanced means of waste disposal while also generating clean, renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the dependency on fossil fuels while supporting aggressive landfill avoidance goals.

Learn more about our initiatives towards reducing our enviromental footprint

Annually, B.Braun saves our landfills by recycling an average of 50,000 gallons of glycol. and 1.45 million pounds of paper materials — the equivalent of 12,325 trees3

  • B. Braun IV containers produce up to 30 times less hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas than PVC products and release zero dioxin when incinerated
  • When empty, B. Braun’s EXCEL® IV containers and overwraps weigh 28%-49% percent less than comparable PVC containers with overwraps, ultimately contributing less waste to landfills2.
  • The B. Braun Irvine, California facility has won a WRAP award for waste reduction efforts more than 11 times in the past 15 years
  • An employee-led “Green Team” is responsible for embracing, employing and elevating the company’s sustainability objectives. Among their successful initiatives include reducing plastic bag usage as well as recycling trays in thermoforming and kits manufacturing
  • B.Braun’s Allentown, Pennsylvania, facility reuses waste water from its IV tubing manufacturing operation, saving 4 million gallons of water each year and diverting this amount of water from sewage treatment facilities.

 

Our Pennsylvania manufacturing facility utilizes the services of local WTE (waste to energy) and EFW (energy from waste) facilities to incinerate waste and non-recyclable materials for the purpose of energy recovery. These companies may use B. Braun's material as an alternate solid fuel source in the cement manufacturing process or for the purpose of steam generation for the production of electricity. Both methods offer a safe, technologically advanced means of waste disposal while also generating clean, renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the dependency on fossil fuels while supporting aggressive landfill avoidance goals.

Recycling Initiatives

B. Braun continually looks for innovative, sustainable manufacturing methods. B.Braun recycles nearly 100 percent of all recyclable materials using manufacturing processes that save energy and re-circulate and re-use cooling water. B.Braun recycles glass, can,  plastic, soft plastic (LDPE), scrap plastic, ethylene glycol, food waste and old corrugated cardboard.

B.Braun Recycling Facts:

  • Annually, B. Braun reduces landfill waste by recycling an average of 1.45 million pounds of paper materials — the equivalent of 12,325 trees.
  • Each year, B. Braun recycles about 50,000 gallons of glycol. Instead of going to waste, the glycol is used to create automotive-grade antifreeze.
  • Other companies may use B. Braun's  waste as an alternate solid fuel source in the cement manufacturing process or for the purpose of steam generation for the production of electricity.
  • The Allentown, PA and Bethlehem, PA sites recycled 3,710,600 lbs., or 1,855 tons, of waste in 2014. Click here  for more information on the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania recycling results. 
  • The Irvine, CA site recycled 7,346,400 lbs., or 3,332 tons, of waste in 2014.

1 EPA 2008 Research

Going Green

For B. Braun, going green is not a new trend, but a core value we’ve embraced throughout our history. In fact, B. Braun is a worldwide leader in the research and development of green manufacturing processes in the U.S. and around the world.

Fast Facts:

  • The B. Braun Irvine, California facility has won a WRAP award for waste reduction efforts 15 times.
  •  A dedicated Environmental Health & Safely team coupled with enthusiastic and integrated employee education focuses on embracing, employing and elevating the company’s sustainability objectives.
  • In 2014, all B. Braun facilities in Pennsylvania and California achieved land-fill free status, meaning all manufacturing related waste (non-hazardous) generated from routine manufacturing operations is reused, recycled or converted to energy.
  • Between the Pennsylvania and California landfill-free sites, it is projected that over 5,600 metric tons, or 12,528,000 pounds, of waste will be recycled or converted into renewable energy each year. This will reduce approximately 12,100 metric tons of harmful carbon dioxide from entering Earth’s atmosphere.

DEHP & PVC Awareness in Healthcare

More than four decades ago, B.Braun recognized the environmental and patient risks posed by products containing PVC and DEHP. Medical devices containing these chemicals pose potential health hazards to people during medical care and to the environment during waste disposal. As a result, B.Braun was the first medical device manufacturer to remove these harmful substances from many of its products, eliminating PVC and DEHP from IV solution containers and IV sets.

In the past five years, we’ve spent $500 million in developing innovative ways to offer PVC and DEHP-free product lines. Additionally, B.Braun actively supports policies calling for the industry-wide reduction of these chemicals in medical devices in an effort to raise awareness and encourage change. Today, we remain the industry leader in processes, products, and green manufacturing.

B. Braun continues to lead the way in offering the only full line of IV solutions in containers that are manufactured biologically inert using non-toxic plasticizers. 
Learn more about some of B. Braun’s infusion therapy products that are not made with PVC or DEHP. 

References:
1 Medical devices containing PVC and DEHP pose potential health hazards to humans exposed to them during medication administration. They can also cause significant environmental harm during waste disposal.
2 Data available upon request from B. Braun Medical Inc.
3 EPA 2008 research