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For STADA, responsible entrepreneurship means – in addition to compliance with local environmental regulations – continuously reducing environmental impact and increasing resource efficiency.
Relevant topics for STADA’s material assessment:
- Pharmaceuticals in the environment
- CO2 emissions and air pollutants
- Resources efficiency and waste
Pharmaceuticals in the environment
STADA is reducing the environmental impact of its operations by setting clear targets and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Together with its stakeholders, STADA recognizes and understands concerns by regarding the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment (PIE). The major source of pharmaceuticals entering into the environment is via patient excretion following use of a medicine that is taken to prevent, cure or alleviate a medical condition. A comparatively smaller contribution to PIE stems from emissions from industry during the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and from the incorrect disposal of unused or expired medicines. Pharmaceutical industry is committed to playing a role in addressing concerns about PIE and is actively engaged in minimizing the impact of its activities on the environment.
The issue of pharmaceuticals in the environment requires a balanced approach. In contrast to many other substances/chemicals in the environment medicines play an important role in human health.
There are two main aspects of responsibility about minimizing negative impacts of PIE – responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies and responsibilities of drug prescriber and users. The pharmaceuticals are sometimes chosen when the diagnosis of the pathogen is at a low level. The situation when a patient takes medicines “just in case” is still popular and is caused by both specialist and patient pressure. Moreover, there is also a trend for self-medication, caused by a lack of trust between patient and doctor, but also a person’s educational level, and the development of the country. One of the reasons for the presence of pharmaceuticals in municipal wastewater is improper disposal by flushing down sinks or toilets.
That is why STADA stands for continuous education of medical professionals as well as drug users and patients on how to live healthy lifestyles based on responsible management of personal health. Special focus is put on encouraging the returning program of used or expired drug to collection centers defined by the law (i.e. pharmacies). Also, STADA minimizes impacts of its production through responsible use of resources, reliable waste management and modern wastewater treatment plants.
CO2 emissions and air pollutants
Although pharmaceutical industry belongs to the industries with not significant negative environmental footprint in the manufacturing process, STADA puts a particular accent on minimising of any potentially indirect or direct harmful footprint, including the gas emission management. In its production processes, STADA uses only ozone friendly freons.
The growth of production is reflected in all areas of business, and therefore it is not surprising that STADA continuously strives to improve its operations in production but also in the fields of warehousing and transport. Almost complete internal transport is based on automated racking cranes as well as electric forklifts, and aspects of safety and reduction of harmful gas emissions are important determining factors for the selection and procurement of any required vehicles or machines.
STADA has implemented the project of transportation packing optimization, which is reflected in calculation of ideal sizes of transportation boxes for different products, so that they could occupy less space when packing i.e. in order for more products to be packed on each transportation pallet, which is aimed at reducing the number of dispatched trucks from STADA’s warehouses, with direct or indirect reduction of CO2 emissions and numerous other positive impacts.
Resources efficiency and waste
Responsible water consumption management at STADA is best confirmed by the fact that the consumption of this vital resource, especially today in the light of prevention of spreading of the pandemic, has been reduced, in spite of the increased complexity of production and the production volume.
Energy efficiency remains one of the key imperatives for STADA and a way for the company to demonstrate its responsibility and degree of sustainable development. Notwithstanding the pandemics, investment projects in improvement of plants and processes have continued, with significant annual savings in all used resources. The use of electricity and natural gas despite the increase of production complexity and volume, as well as more delicate climate conditions, remained effective.
In the year of the pandemic, too, STADA retained a responsible approach towards waste, which was generated as an inevitable effect of the primary activity. The company constantly strives to reduce its waste, while encouraging recycling initiatives (i.e. recycling PET bottles for infusions or placing recycling containers on public spaces for disposing used or expired drugs, etc.).