In 2019, total waste generation increased slightly compared with 2018. Mitigating the increase, waste reduction projects implemented in 2019 resulted in an additional 129 metric tons (MT) of annual waste reduction to achieve a total of 1,426 MT since establishing our 2020 targets. We measure progress toward our targets by quantifying results of projects and initiatives independent of growth or contraction of the business. We do not count facility or building closures in our target progress. We have reduced annual waste generation through projects eliminating 2,520 MT, or 25 percent, since 2007.
Amgen is a multifaceted business operating in a complex global environment. As we assure compliance with applicable regulations, we diligently seek to reduce waste and increase recycling to reduce our environmental footprint. We strive for waste reduction as the most sustainable way to manage our business and minimize disposal to landfills.
Three of our sites have achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status with a strategy that includes incineration for energy recovery technology. Highlights of our waste reduction and recycling program for 2018 include:
- Expansion of our program to recycle plastics used in labs and manufacturing at our Cambridge, Massachusetts, research facility. Overall, this program, in place at three of our sites, diverted 468 metric tons (MT) of these plastics from the landfill and repurposed them for industrial uses, including benches in use at these sites.
- Expansion of our novel program to implement reusable shippers to 90 percent of our clinical shipments and began the program for commercial shipments of medicines. In 2018, our use of reusable shippers reduced solid waste by 98 percent compared to using disposable shippers associated with our clinical shipments. While this does not directly impact Amgen’s waste generation, it does help to reduce waste generated at locations where these medicines are shipped.
Additional projects we implement to fulfill our 2020 targets and drive waste reduction and recycling deeper into our business include:
- Composting of food waste, paper towels and landscaping waste where available in the various municipalities where Amgen operates
- Using recycled content in packaging and marketing materials
- Assessing packaging for opportunities to reduce waste
- Reusing used but still useful equipment and spare supplies through our robust surplus asset management program
- Providing a waste-to-energy-recovery program for materials associated with our combination products, ensuring that disposal of these products is managed in a safe and environmentally sound manner
- Implementation of hazardous materials and hazardous waste management programs