Total water usage company-wide in 2019 increased slightly from 2018. Water conservation projects implemented in 2019 resulted in an additional 6,000 cubic meters (CM) of annual water reduction to achieve a total of 284,000 CM since establishing our 2020 Targets in 2013. We measure progress toward our targets by quantifying results of projects independent of growth or contraction of the business. We do not count facility or building closures in our target progress. We have reduced annual water usage through projects eliminating 970,000 CM, or 30 percent, since 2007.
Drought is a concern at key Amgen facilities, including our world headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California. In 2017, we continued to implement projects identified through an extensive water assessment at this location that have the potential to substantially improve water conservation and provide cost savings.
With their continuous improvement mindset, Amgen staff seek opportunities to use new technologies and approaches to use water more efficiently companywide, such as:
- Ongoing use of next-generation biomanufacturing technologies that reduce the volume of water required to maintain manufacturing equipment and spaces
- Conservation of approximately 6,000 cubic meters (CM) of water from cooling tower upgrades
Most of the water we use—99 percent of it—comes from municipal sources. A much smaller portion—1 percent—comes directly from groundwater. In addition to efforts to reduce the demand for water, as described above, we also work to maximize the amount of water recovered for recycling or reuse, particularly at our facility in Puerto Rico, which features a water treatment and recycling plant that processes wastewater to a standard above potable levels. Overall in 2019, Amgen recycled or reused 548,000 cubic meters of water, representing 26 percent of our total water withdrawal.
Successful water management includes reducing water consumption while also monitoring wastewater discharge. To comply with local wastewater requirements, Amgen facilities operate under agreements that regulate the amounts and types of materials discharged in wastewater. In 2019, for the 10th straight year, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) recognized AML as an outstanding industry in compliance with the water treatment requirements set by the public utility.
The AML Water Treatment facility received a “Gold” recognition from PRASA and the Inter American Association of Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences (AIDIS) during an event at Interamerican University in Río Piedras. The award is given to industries that have complied with PRASA water treatment requirements for more than a decade.