Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) is incorporating innovative technologies and has recently established new partnerships in its commitment to environmental sustainability and increasing access to healthcare. Recently the company initiated installation of a trigeneration unit at its Toongabbie, Australia manufacturing facility, and developed strategic partnerships to decrease barriers to care in rural China and optimize environmentally responsible product transportation. The company also announced its 2012 charitable giving figures and community support initiatives.
Baxter’s Toongabbie, Australia Facility Initiates Installation of Trigeneration Unit
Baxter’s Toongabbie, Australia manufacturing facility recently began installation of a trigeneration unit at the facility to improve energy efficiency while reducing total facility energy cost. Trigeneration is an industrial-scale process where a single fuel source is used to generate electricity and thermal energy for both heating and cooling. Trigeneration reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) related to electricity consumption, improves power reliability by protecting the facilities from manufacturing interruptions that may occur from local utility outages, and allows the facility to use the byproduct heat (thermal energy) from electricity generation for other plant operations, further reducing facility energy cost. Several other Baxter sites use cogeneration to generate electricity and thermal energy for heating, including facilities in Castlebar, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; Lessines, Belgium; and Sabiñánigo, Spain.
Baxter estimates that the trigeneration unit will reduce electricity-related GHG emissions 38 percent annually and expects system completion by year end 2013. The facility received a $2.2 million clean energy grant from the Australian Government’s Clean Technology Investment Program as incentive for investing in cleaner energy. Baxter’s Toongabbie headquarters has also incorporated environmental features such as double glazing windows to reduce heat load, placement of 150 solar panels on the roof for electricity and reuse of rainwater for toilet use.
Baxter China Partners with Government to Increase Access to Renal Therapy
Baxter China has partnered with the Chinese National Institute of Hospital Administration under an endorsement from the Ministry of Health to develop and deploy a sustainable care and delivery model for peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or irreversible kidney failure, living in rural areas of the country. Peritoneal dialysis is a home-based therapy in which patients infuse a solution through a surgically implanted catheter in their abdomen into their peritoneum, or abdominal cavity, where it draws waste products across the peritoneal membrane (which serves as a natural filter) into the solution.
The program, named “Flying Angel” for its intent to address the barriers to access for dialysis therapy in rural areas, piloted in six provinces beginning in early 2012. The majority of ESRD patients in rural China have limited access to care and therapy due to low awareness levels of the disease and limited hospital infrastructure and personnel. China’s Ministry of Health ranked ESRD among the country’s top eight critical diseases in 2012. Currently only a minority of the estimated one million patients in China with ESRD receive regular treatment.
The program will focus on establishing a logistics distribution model, standards of care, public education programs, training for healthcare professionals and improving affordability for patients.
Environmentally Responsible Product Transport Partnerships
Baxter uses several approaches to decrease the environmental impact of its product transport. Different modes of transport, such as air, ocean, river barges, trucks and rail, have varying levels of environmental impact largely because they use different amounts of fuel per ton of product shipped. Given Baxter’s product mix and global reach, combining multiple modes of transport for a single shipment offers the greatest opportunity for the company to save costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). To this end, Baxter has developed innovative strategic partnerships with companies in varying industries to create transportation synergies and decrease GHG emissions.
For example, Baxter has been co-loading transports between Belgium and Ireland since August 2012 with Donaldson Company, Inc., a global manufacturer of filtration systems, through the synchronization of shipments. By using fewer containers and higher capacity utilization, the initiative reduces GHG emissions by approximately 14 percent per shipment while also reducing transportation costs for both companies. Since 2011, Baxter has been co-loading with another global healthcare company on multiple destinations to central and eastern Europe.
In Canada, Baxter arranged a shipment optimization process with Mohawk Shared Services Inc. (MSSI), a healthcare procurement shared services organization, which has reduced transport and transfer costs, fuel and gas emissions by shipping products directly from Baxter’s manufacturing facility to the MSSI warehouse. Prior to this agreement, Baxter products were shipped to an intermediary warehouse for processing before shipment to the MSSI warehouse and customers.
Baxter and its Foundation Invest in Local Communities
Baxter and its philanthropic arm, The Baxter International Foundation, make financial and in-kind donations to address critical community needs globally, including increasing access to healthcare, improving education and helping developing nations and countries in crisis. In 2012, combined giving from Baxter and its Foundation totaled more than $56 million, comprised of:
$28 million from donations of Baxter products through donor partners and the company's U.S. patient assistance programs. Product donations helped 63 countries in need, including proactive donations of intravenous (IV) antibiotics and other IV solutions that were used in response to Hurricane Sandy that affected the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States in 2012. Pre-positioning product helps Baxter ensure its critical products are first on the scene following disasters and tragedies, and that the company is contributing the most needed products to stabilize supply in developing economies and meeting ongoing needs in underserved communities.
$25 million from Baxter’s businesses and facilities to address critical local needs in more than 45 countries. For example, employees in Italy volunteered with and donated funds to ABIO Italy, a non-profit dedicated to the care of hospitalized children.
$3 million from The Baxter International Foundation, including grants to increase access to healthcare worldwide, prize programs that recognize excellence in community service and healthcare research, a scholarship program that contributes to the education of Baxter employees’ children, and support of employees' philanthropic efforts through the Foundation’s Dollars for Doers and Matching Gifts programs. A full listing of The Baxter International Foundation grants awarded in 2012 is available at www.baxter.com/grants.
Baxter Volunteers Globally Make a Meaningful Difference
In 2012, more than 6,500 Baxter employees volunteered in their communities, helping to address local concerns such as healthcare, the environment and education. Employee involvement takes many forms, including volunteering at a local school or blood drive, serving at a hospital or food pantry, participating in community park clean-up days, or joining a local non-profit organization board or committee. Employees at each Baxter site select volunteer activities and organizations to support, as they can best determine the most relevant and highest impact projects.
For example, each year employees in the Asia Pacific region coordinate volunteer efforts in October during its Making a Meaningful Difference Month. Now in its fourth year, employees in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam volunteered and raised funds for worthy causes, focusing primarily on issues affecting children, the economically disadvantaged and the disabled. In one initiative, employees in the Philippines collected children’s books and funds for the Special Children’s Educational Institute. As a result of employee efforts, Baxter Japan was recognized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Social Welfare Council for enhancing social welfare in the city, and Baxter China won the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Project Award at the 2012 China Charity Festival for its culture of volunteerism.
Also, to commemorate Baxter Canada’s 75th anniversary in late 2012, employees in the country participated in more than 20 team volunteer opportunities during 75 Days of Caring. Events included environmental education, gardening and horticulture, socializing with senior citizens, and packing physician kits for overseas medical missions.