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Environmental Impact & Sustainability | Fresenius Medical Care

5 Ways Fresenius Medical Care Is Reducing Its Environmental Impact around the World

As a global leader in kidney care, we are committed to providing exceptional patient care while reducing our environmental footprint. We especially focus on waste, water, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We monitor our environmental footprint and develop strategies to decrease our impact to meet our global environmental targets. For example, our goal is to reduce our GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and achieve climate neutrality by 2040.

Here are five ways we are taking action to improve our business practices, use resources more efficiently, and reduce our global environmental impact. 

1. Waste Avoidance and Recycling Projects

Improved waste management and recycling is key to reducing our environmental impact. Another important focus is avoiding waste altogether, and in 2023 we were able to avoid 826 metric tons of waste. 

For example, in Germany, a program for recycling empty acid canisters saved high-quality plastic from incineration, which is now reprocessed and sold as a recycled product. Production sites in the United States implement quality assurance practices that prevent chemical waste. On a local level, dialysis centers around the world participate in recycling projects to reduce glass, plastic, and paper waste. These environmentally conscious efforts, both big and small, contribute to a meaningful positive impact.

2. Reusable Packaging and Containers

Some of our products are shipped or stored in packaging that can be returned to circulation for reuse. Mircera, an agent used in treating anemia associated with chronic kidney disease, is shipped in large containers (shippers) that include cardboard, plastic foam, and ice packs. Instead of discarding this packaging after one use, dialysis centers across the U.S. return Mircera shippers, diverting hundreds of tons of waste from local landfills annually. Similarly, liquid acid concentrates are stored in 55-gallon blue drums made of sturdy plastic. These containers can be returned, refilled, and reused about 60 times.

3. Remote Energy Management Systems

Following a successful pilot program, we’ve installed energy management systems in more than half of our U.S. dialysis centers. And we’re planning to add another 300 centers  to that list this year. Building energy management systems allow temperature settings to be controlled remotely. This prevents unnecessary energy consumption, reduces operational costs, improves building maintenance, and streamlines day-to-day operations for staff. We expect to reduce our annual energy consumption by nearly 15 MWh on average at each center. 

4. Newer Technology to improve Water Management

Dialysis treatments require large quantities of purified water to clean patients’ blood, and it’s our responsibility to ensure this water is both high-quality and sustainably managed. Upgraded dialysis and water treatment machines help conserve resources. Newer reverse osmosis machines feature up to 85 percent water recovery rates, smart monitoring to save energy, and chemical-free full-heat disinfection that makes wastewater safe for local sewer systems.

5. Looking Forward to the Future of Energy

Embracing renewable energy is a key tactic in continuing to increase our efforts to reduce our impact, and ultimately reach our climate goals. Our focus is on procuring renewable electricity, reducing process-related emissions, and implementing energy-efficiency measures. We have installed over 500 solar panels at our production site in Smithfield, Australia, and these panels currently provide up to 50 percent of the site’s energy needs. Clinics in Portugal and the United States have also been fitted with solar panels to reduce energy consumption. Our solar-powered clinic in Terrassa, Spain, has been a model for efficient sustainability since 2014. This facility even collects and reuses wastewater to keep its green roof flourishing.

In 2023 at our production sites alone, we implemented 100 projects as part of our Green & Lean initiative. We expect to save more than 89,000 m3 of water, save 22,000 MWh of energy, prevent 5,500 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions, and recycle more than 260 tons of waste. We continue to research new and innovative ways to manage our impact, and through a collective effort, we will achieve our global sustainability goals.


Publication date: April 2024

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