Innovation & Environment
Creating a sustainable future with smart solutions
We believe innovation and environment go hand-in-hand. In addition to our steadfast commitment to enabling scientific breakthroughs that change lives for the better, Avantor is mobilizing to act against climate change and other key environmental sustainability issues.
We are fully committed to factoring environmental impact into every innovation decision we make. Avantor will continue to build upon our environmental sustainability objectives by working with our customers and suppliers to identify and implement innovative scientific solutions that minimize environmental impacts across the value chain. Together we can leverage Science for Goodness.
- Reduce operational GHG emissions 15% by 20254
Innovation is a core value for us, and we are committed to bringing new and better technologies to the world. Our industry expertise combined with our broad portfolio of products and services helps move the industry forward. We provide solutions for some of the most demanding applications and engage with customers throughout their product lifecycles, from initial discovery and development activities through scale-up and commercial delivery, to create materials and solutions used in breakthrough, life-saving treatments.
By leveraging our 11 innovation centers and deep customer access, we are able to launch proprietary products that help our customers accelerate speed to market while meeting their sustainability goals.
Enhancing R&D at Bridgewater Innovation Center
We expanded our Bridgewater Innovation Center to drive purposeful innovation and address bioprocessing needs in protein science, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and cell and gene therapy. Located close to biotech companies and many of our biopharma customers, the site now has nearly double the laboratory and support space.
European Biorepository and Archiving facility
We constructed and opened a purpose-built biorepository and archiving facility near Frankfurt, Germany, to support a growing demand for regulatory compliant scientific research and clinical trial research asset storage.
The facility earned the German Sustainable Building Council DGNB "Gold" certification for sustainable construction, as well as the German EnEV certification for buildings energy efficiency.
Avantor’s environmental sustainability commitments are the responsibility of our entire organization, from our Board of Directors to our management team to each of our associates worldwide. We are committed to setting goals, measuring progress and communicating results as we advance our environmental sustainability program.
- Reduce our carbon footprint and deliver solutions that combat climate change and support a low carbon economy across our value chain
- Work to protect the environment by preventing pollution from production and logistics, avoiding or minimizing waste generation, lowering our energy consumption (electricity, gas and fuels) while seeking renewable and other lower- impact energy sources, and promoting the use of environmentally preferable products and packaging.
- Monitor and manage our environmental impact by tracking our energy and water use, waste generation, recycling and other related activities and taking action to reduce our impact.
- Raise company-wide awareness of our commitments, including through training provided to all our associates on our environmental responsibilities.
- Comply with the requirements of relevant legislation, regulations and other requirements.
- Engage with our key stakeholders on issues of environmental importance and serve as a reliable partner for interested parties, customers, suppliers, the environment and the society we live in — including raising awareness of relevant issues and ways that our services and products can reduce environmental impact.
ADDRESSING GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG) EMISSIONS AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT
By addressing our greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, we can have a positive impact on climate change. We track or sustainability performance to analyze trends, calculate our Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions and inform our sustainability strategy.
Multi-phase LED lighting initiative
Five US-based Avantor sites completed full conversion to LED lighting systems. The impact of this first phase conversion reduced nearly 60% of the sites lighting energy usage, reducing total energy consumption by 3,707 MWh annually. Phase I is expected to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 1,108 MTCO2e in 2021. LED lighting conversions are currently underway at seven additional Avantor sites and are expected to achieve similar results.
Managing waste and diverting waste from landfill
We continue to drive waste diversion from landfill through process optimization within our operations and expanding our reuse and recycling capabilities. Our sites have formal procedures instructing facilities on how to manage waste generation, recycling and other diversion-from-landfill opportunities, and many of these initiatives are then tracked and measured within our environmental sustainability performance module.
In addition to our own operation waste reduction activities, we play an important role in partnering with our customers to help reduce and divert their waste from landfill as well. Fun fact: through our customer- facing recycling programs, we recycled 496 MT waste for customers in 2020.
ENHANCING WATER REUSE, RECLAMATION AND REDUCTION
As global demand for water increases, we continue to enhance water reuse, reclamation and reduction initiatives at each of our locations. Today, Avantor measures and tracks water consumption through our sustainability performance module.
Product life cycle
OPTIMIZING PACKAGING FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN
Packaging plays a significant role in our own and our customers’ environmental impact. As a result, we continue to utilize a product-to-package ratio optimization within our distribution centers to help our associates in identifying the correct box size for each order. Where possible, we utilize packaging materials that are recyclable and contain postconsumer recycled content.
Our J.T.Baker CYCLE-TAINER solvent delivery system is designed to meet the needs of customers who routinely purchase and use high-purity solvents. The Avantor CYCLE-TAINER system offers our customers an alternative to using bottles and one-way drums. This program provides a safe and sustainable high-quality system that eliminates the need for additional packaging.
HELPING CUSTOMERS MAKE INFORMED, SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING DECISIONS
Through our Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) program we can provide greater transparency to our customers, helping them to make more informed and sustainable purchasing decisions. Currently, we offer more than 21,000 different environmentally preferable products for our customers around the globe, indicated on our e-commerce website, VWR.com, as environmentally preferable products.
We work with our suppliers to designate sustainable products, materials and equipment based on one or more of these attributes:
- Energy efficient
- Water efficient
- Waste reducing
- Sustainable materials
- Low manufacturing impact
- Safer human & environmental health
- Sustainable packaging
- Product transparency
By providing this product information and additional transparency with our Environmentally Preferable Products program, our teams can partner with our customers to benchmark sustainable purchasing today, and begin to identify more sustainable alternatives to help our customers reduce their operational environmental sustainability impacts and achieve their goals.
Pipette tip box recycling program is diverting material from landfill
By aggregating #5 plastic in bulk, our pipette tip box recycling program helps our customers reduce landfill waste and give this plastic a new purpose through a complete waste collection, shipment and recycling solution. In 2020, Avantor partnered with our customers to recycle an estimated 314,000 pipette tip boxes, diverting approximately 56,000 lbs. of material from landfill.
1 Data reported in metric tons of CO2 equivalents representing 61 sites globally reporting on emissions in 2020.
2 Data reported in megawatt-hours representing 61 sites globally reporting on energy use in 2020.
3 Data reported in million liters (1,000 m3) representing 43 sites globally reporting on water use in 2020.
4 Absolute reduction of scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions vs. 2019 baseline.