Processing Magazine

Abbott saves one billion gallons of water annually

November 3, 2009
In a press release, Abbott announced that it is saving 1 billion gallons of water annually since launching a comprehensive, global effort in 2004 to preserve natural resources through reducing use of water in the production of its nutrition and other health care products. In 2004, the company set out to achieve a reduction in water use compared to its 2004 baseline by the end of 2011. Abbott has nearly reached its goal of a 40 percent reduction in water use two years ahead of time as its manufacturing water use has decreased 37 percent. The company has also achieved a seven percent reduction in absolute terms, while at the same time increasing production at many of its plants as demand for its products has grown. Abbott''s global water use policy includes a commitment to: increasing water use efficiency at its manufacturing sites worldwide; understanding and mitigating risks of water stress and scarcity; and educating communities where it operates on water conservation. Abbott is incorporating water-saving design and technology into new and existing facilities, for example: by utilizing more efficient water scrubbers to control dust emissions; by installing water-efficient fixtures, low water use landscaping and implemented a "Leak Tag" program; and by returning some water to the community for uses such as in landscaping and golf course irrigation. Abbott is using the World Business Council for Sustainable Development''s "Global Water Tool," which is helping its 40 major manufacturing plants throughout the world assess their local water needs. It compares Abbott''s water uses with external data, creates performance metrics and geographic mapping, facilitates communications with internal and external stakeholders on water challenges, and fosters water conservation and efficiency.