Novartis in Slovenia continues to invest in the environment, encouraging the suppliers to be environmentally responsible and caring for the safety of the employees

  • With measures for increased energy efficiency, Lek, which is part of Novartis, last year saved 44.4 TJ of energy and consequently 3,173 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to 158,650 newly planted trees.*
  • The water saved amounted to 54,000 m3, which is enough for a year-round average supply of 911 inhabitants of Slovenia.**
  • 3.3 million euros or 21.6 million euros over the last five years were allocated for investments in the environment. Efficient use of energy and water and reducing waste disposal remain at the forefront. 
  • Total energy consumption was maintained at a similar level as in the previous year and water consumption was reduced by 2%. With increased production, the amount of waste produced was up by more than 6%, while the share of biodegradable waste remained high at 74%.
24. 8. 2020

»The knowledge and creativity of our associates strengthen our role within Novartis and with it our contribution to the accessibility of treatment for patients around the world,« said Robert Ljoljo, President of the Board of Management of Lek and Novartis Country President Slovenia upon the publication of the Sustainability Report 2019 for Lek, that was once again marked by the increase in business volume. 

»Striving to expand responsible business practice, we increasingly involve our suppliers in the activities related to health, safety and the environment, in addition to our associates. Our experts do not only assess the suppliers, but also give advice, recommendations and promote a high environmental and safety culture,« adds Ljoljo. In order to minimize the risks of workplace injuries related to the service providers at Novartis sites in Slovenia, the number of safety rounds and trainings have been increased, for example.

Also this year, Novartis’ environmental investments remain focused on the introduction of   state-of-the-art technological and process solutions to minimize the environmental impact and increase the efficient use of energy and water and reduce  waste disposal. Last year, Lek, which is part of Novartis, invested EUR 3.3 million in environmental protection, or EUR 21.6 million over the past five years. With the repeated rise in the quantitative production growth (due to the new and more demanding products, the volume is expressed in different units of measurement, not only in kilograms), some environmental performance indicators have decreased. However, the environmental impact remains below regulatory limits and within some even stricter Novartis limitations.

Lek's total amount of waste generated increased by more than 6% with increased production, of which 74% was biodegradable waste handed over for further energy recovery. The increase is due to growth and changes in production in Lendava and Mengeš, while the Prevalje and Ljubljana sites reduced the amount of waste by 9 and 7%, respectively. The 16% increase in production volume in Mengeš contributed to a 13% higher total amount of hazardous waste produced, mainly non-halogenated waste organic solvents. The amount of hazardous waste was significantly reduced by the Ljubljana and Lendava sites (by 13 and 67%, respectively). 

"Despite the production growth, we maintained total energy consumption at a similar level as the year before. To improve energy efficiency, we implemented several projects that saved 44.4 TJ of energy and thus 3,173 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to 158,650 newly planted trees.* We were also successful with measures to reduce water consumption and reduced its total use by almost 2%, which is enough for the average year-round supply of 911 people in Slovenia,” said Gašper Antičevič, Head Technical Services at Lek Mengeš.

Within the Novartis strategy of responsible environmental management, Lek has a certified ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System. It is the only company in Slovenia with four sites included in the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and the only pharmaceutical company in country to participate in this scheme. Lek also has a certified system for the management of health and safety at work in accordance with the ISO 45001:2018 standard. The business compliance has been proven by a number of inspections as well as national and international audits that discovered no significant deviations with regard to health, safety and environment. 

In the last year, the associates received even more training and education (8% more training hours per associate) and actively proposed the improvement of work processes. Out of 510 submitted ideas in the Th!nk Novartis application, as many as 370 have been put into practice, generating savings of EUR 6.8 million. Among Lek associates were also many volunteers who for the fifteenth time in a row took part at the Community Partnership Day, as Lek devotes its attention to non-profit organisations and underprivileged population groups such as children and the elderly from socially disadvantages backgrounds.

Lek, which is part of Novartis, has for the eleventh consecutive year publicly disclosed the review of its environmental impacts and the tenth consecutive sustainability report presenting its indirect economic, social and environmental impacts. The report is prepared in accordance with the international EMAS criteria, POR initiative, GRI GS standard and in relation to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. It is available online at: 

* Trees absorb CO2, therefore reducing electrical energy is equivalent to planting new trees that would be needed to absorb CO2, assuming that one tree absorbs 20 kg of CO2 per year.

** Source:, Statistical office of the RS, data for 2018.

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Novartis is the leading provider of medicines in Slovenia, where Lek, Novartis Pharma Services and Sandoz, operate. Together we are building and maintaining the reputation of a dynamic, ethical, and trusted pharmaceutical company. Lek develops, manufactures, and markets effective, safe, and high quality medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients. With our knowledge, quality, and experience we have gained an important role in Novartis' organizational structure, especially in the Novartis Technical Operations, Global Drug Development, Novartis Business Services, and the generic division Sandoz. We are the leading Sandoz development center, and one of the key development sites for technologically complex projects. We invest a great deal in the development, education, and training of our employees. Over the last eight years, the company has created more than 2,700 jobs, making us one of the biggest employers in Slovenia. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 2.5 billion since 2003. 

About Sandoz
Sandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Our purpose is to pioneer access for patients by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be the world’s leading and most valued generics company. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2019 sales of USD 9.7 billion. Sandoz is headquartered in Holzkirchen, in Germany’s Greater Munich area.

Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @SandozGlobal at

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at 

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This press release contains statements and conclusions based on projections of Lek’s future business operations. These estimates are derived from the best information currently available. In case these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results could prove different from those projected.

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For additional information contact:
Katarina Klemenc
Corporate Communications 
Lek Pharmaceuticals d. d.
Phone: +386 1 580 22 43
Fax: +386 1 580 24 32