Innovation & sustainability
Through our dual commitments to innovation and sustainability, we create a sustainable future with smart solutions for our business, for our customers, and for the world.
Our innovation model is grounded in collaboration driven by our enduring customer relationships, enabling us to build a more sustainable future. Through our extensive customization capabilities and technical expertise we are a strategic partner to a diverse and sophisticated customer base. Our offerings are powering innovation from scientific discovery to scale-up and commercial delivery.
Expansion of our innovation centers
We are committed to driving progress, accelerating speed to market and bringing advanced technology to the world. Our newest Innovation Center in Shanghai helps expedite the development of life-changing science, while the expansion of our Bridgewater site provides innovation-driven solutions to difficult challenges in science. We know the labs of the future will need constant re-imagining, and we’re excited about the possibilities as we apply creative and critical thinking to accelerate our rate of discovery.
NIBRT: driving innovation
We are collaborating with The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) in Dublin, Ireland to address downstream bottlenecks in buffer preparation when producing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).
As part of the joint effort, we provided inline dilution systems for hands-on experience at NIBRT’s prestigious training and research facility dedicated to supporting the global bioprocessing industry. Our technology adds to NIBRT’s full complement of bioprocessing capabilities.
Sustainability & Environmental Protection
We strive to increase our sustainable business practices through responsible consumption and production. From the inside on out, we are working to protect the environment, prevent pollution, minimize waste, increase recycling and lower our energy consumption. Avantor recognizes its responsibilities to help protect the planet and its resources.
Emissions and energy
By addressing our greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, we can have a positive impact on climate change. Avantor measures and tracks site level environmental data such as energy and water use, waste generation, and recycling. We have sites around the world reporting monthly data into our sustainability performance module, allowing us to analyze trends, calculate our Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, and inform our sustainability strategy.
In 2019, our Barcelona distribution center conducted a lighting retrofit project converting 425-watt metal halide hood lamps to high-efficiency, high-output 125-watt LED lamps. This initiative is estimated to reduce the site’s energy consumption by 34,500 kWh annually.
As global demand for water increases, we continue to enhance water reuse, reclamation and reduction initiatives at each of our locations. Avantor measures and tracks water consumption through our sustainability performance module.
In 2019, our Bakersfield facility that manufactures Avantor NuSil brand products implemented an acidic water reuse initiative to utilize the acidic water generated from resin processes to clean our 2,000-gallon reactor rather than immediately discarding as waste. This initiative is expected to reduce liquid waste generation by 24 tons annually, significantly reducing our water consumption.
We continue to focus on diverting waste from landfill by increasing the efficiency of our internal processes and expanding our recycling & repurposing capabilities. Sites have formal procedures instructing facilities on how to manage waste generation, recycling and other diversion-from-landfill opportunities; these initiatives are then measured through our sustainability performance module.
In 2019, our Devens facility where Avantor single use and fluid handling products are manufactured and assembled implemented a single-use garment recycling program that is expected to annually divert over 5,000 pounds of cleanroom gowns that would have otherwise been sent to landfill.
Along with our customers, we work to minimize waste creation and divert materials into usable streams rather than to landfill. We offer a variety of innovative recycling and take-back solutions to address this challenge. Through collaboration and creativity, waste can be given new life.
- VWR recycling solutions
- Pipet tip box recycling program
- VWR® garment recycling solution
- Collection of empty containers
Currently, we provide over 20,000 environmentally preferable products (EPP) globally for our customers. We work with our suppliers to designate sustainable products, materials and equipment by meeting 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
Through our EPP program we can provide greater transparency to our customers, helping them to make more informed and sustainable purchasing decisions.
Packaging and transportation
Packaging plays a significant role in our customers’ environmental impact. As a result, we continue to utilize our product-to-package ratio optimization within our distribution centers. This technology aids our associates in identifying the correct box size for each order. Where possible, we utilize packaging materials that are recyclable and contain post-consumer recycled content.
- J.T.Baker CYCLE-TAINER solvent delivery system
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.
- EPA SmartWay® Shipper
VWR, part of Avantor, has been recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a SmartWay Transport Partner since 2013. Our recognition reflects the efficiency of freight carriers utilized to deliver products to our customers, and our internal initiatives surrounding transportation and logistics.
1 Data reported in metric tons of CO2 equivalents representing 62 sites globally reporting on emissions in 2019.
2 Data reported in megawatt-hours representing 62 sites globally reporting on energy use in 2019.
3 Data reported in million liters (1,000 m3) representing 43 sites globally reporting on water use in 2019.
4 Data reported represents 37 sites globally reporting on waste generation, disposal and diversion in 2019.