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Fresenius Medical Care

In 2012, Fresenius Medical Care continuously expanded its environmental activities. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, TÜV-certified environmental management is part of the integrated management system. At the end of 2012, our seven largest European production sites (2011: also seven) and our medical device development department were certified according to ISO 14001.

Our R & D divisions work on designing our products and processes to be as environmentally compatible as possible by employing new materials with improved environmental properties, pushing the development of new technologies that further reduce the resource consumption of our dialysis machines, and not least by using energy and raw materials efficiently in production. The year 2012 saw the initiation of the Comparative Life Cycle Assessment project, which links together information about product design, production resource efficiency, logistics, and use of the products in dialysis. The project mainly sources its data from internal environmental reporting and product specifications, as well as from external ecological balance sheet databases. The aim of the project is to calculate and compare the ecological performance of different product groups for dialysis concentrates.

The assessment will enable us to highlight environmentally friendly products in dialog with our customers and to provide sound product information concerning the environmental impact of concentrates. The knowledge will also be applied to the development of new products. We plan to include additional products and product groups in these eco-balance assessments in the future.

In 2012, we started the implementation of the new environmental program in Europe and Latin America with the aim of improving environmental awareness and environmentally responsible behavior, enhance knowledge relating to strategic and operational environmental issues, to improve our eco-efficiency and reinforce measures to control environmental risks, and ensure that environmental regulations are complied with. Those goals are measured by a number of environmental objectives for the individual stages of the value chain, for example R & D, logistics, or at our dialysis clinics. We set environmental improvement targets for production sites. The savings potential for raw materials, energy, and water has been identified, and implementation of improvements is planned. For example, we aim to recycle or thermally recover at least 85% of production waste by 2015. This recycling ratio has already been achieved or even exceeded at five of our seven biggest certified production sites by the end of 2012.

We gather data on our eco-efficiency, such as our water and energy consumption, and on waste disposal in 452 of our European clinics (2011: 405). In 2012, we introduced equivalent software in Latin America. Our goal is to establish a comprehensive environmental data management system over time. We are able to compare the ecological efficiency of clinics on a monthly basis, and quickly identify potential for improvement.

In the United States, Fresenius Medical Care North America received the “Safety in Excellence Award” for the 13th time from the U.S. casualty and property insurer CNA. They underlined the company’s commitment to the health of its employees, safety, the prevention of accidents, and risk control. The fact that absences due to work-related accidents have fallen significantly at Fresenius Medical Care, was also highlighted. Environmental management at our clinics is reviewed both internally and by federal agencies. Evaluation criteria include adherence to strict guidelines for the disposal of medical waste. In addition, we have begun to have certification criteria under the environmental standard ISO 14001 examined for our clinics and production sites in the United States. The first certification process will commence in April 2013 at our plant in Livingston, California, and completion is expected by the end of the year.

We made further progress in Latin America. We train our employees in Colombia and Venezuela in topics such as waste disposal and energy and water consumption. In Argentina, we continuously monitor water and energy consumption as well as medical waste disposal at all of our dialysis clinics.

In the Asia-Pacific region, we monitor the consumption of resources such as electricity, gas, and water to identify improvement potential. Our waste water systems, energy consumption, and other environmental factors are regularly inspected by local government agencies.

In collaboration with the German Energy Agency (DENA), Fresenius Medical Care developed a model for a CO2-neutral dialysis clinic. According to this model, a clinic uses eco-friendly power and heat supplies to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by as much CO2 (carbon dioxide) as it produces through its energy consumption for dialysis, water processing, and other operations. In 2012, we opened a dialysis clinic based on this concept in Italy. The new building combines two Fresenius Medical Care dialysis clinics located nearby. The new building consumes just half the water and about a quarter less electricity than the previous facilities. A core aspect is the installation of Fresenius Medical Care’s state-of-the-art water processing technology: a special two-stage device produces the ultra-pure water required to manufacture the dialysis solution with very low water consumption, and a control device ensures efficient preparation of dialysis concentrate. The wastewater is also completely recycled. The result is a saving of approximately 2.5 million liters of water a year in this clinic. Fresenius Medical Care plans to build additional environmentally friendly clinics in Europe in the coming years. A second “green” clinic is already planned in the vicinity of Barcelona, which will also feature many of the attributes of the CO2-neutral clinic.

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