Environment, Health & Safety
Pfizer’s Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) performance goes beyond compliance with regulatory and legal requirements. Over the last ten years we have reduced our releases to air and water, reduced the amount of waste we produce and have increased our recycling. Pfizer has also introduced state-of-the-art programmes such as the industry leading Green Chemistry Programme, which has a beneficial effect on the environment.
However, our challenge is to do even better. Our objective is to seek continual improvements in our performance, as well as maintaining the high standards that we have already achieved.
Some of the key focus areas for us include:
Energy use and Global Warming
Globally, Pfizer is part of the Climate Leaders Programme and each country contributes to company-wide carbon reduction targets.
Our office buildings, as well as processes associated with the discovery, development and manufacturing of our products all use energy in the form of gas, electricity and steam.
We design energy efficiency processes into our projects and use energy management techniques to understand our energy usage, and monitoring and targeting to ensure our buildings and processes are operating efficiently. We have run an effective Green Buildings Programme for a number of years. Colleagues are also encouraged to save energy in the work place by turning off equipment when it is not in use.
Pfizer is committed to reducing the environmental impact relating to employee travel. The emphasis on facilities such as video conferencing and services like our shuttle buses, underlines a desire to reduce air miles and road miles travelled.
Waste reduction across all our offices, laboratories and manufacturing plants remains a priority. Over the past three years, we have significantly improved our recycling rates across the UK.
The Water Environment
We are careful to minimise our discharges into the water environment and where we undertake processing work, we treat our effluent before releasing into the sewer system to final discharge point.
We are regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) who require us to meet effluent quality criteria and undertake verification monitoring. Our Green Chemistry Programme also contributes to the reduction of releases through ongoing improvements in our processes.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Our processes often use organic solvents to undertake chemical reactions. These materials are often collectively known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. Control of VOCs is important because they have the potential to be lost relatively easily to the atmosphere and have a variety of complex environmental impacts depending on the specific material. These include lowering air quality by the formation of smog, contribution to global warming and destruction of the ozone layer.
We carefully control the use of solvents and our Green Chemistry Programme has been very successful in reducing the type and quantity we use.