Novartis eliminates PVC from secondary and tertiary packaging also in Slovenia

  • Lek, which is  part of Novartis, received the international Responsible Care® certificate for  its commitment to safe chemicals management and continuous improvement in the  field of health, safety and environment for the thirteenth time.
  • Novartis actively  pursues its environmental sustainability targets to be achieved by 2025, including eliminating PVC from secondary* and tertiary* packaging.
  • PVC has already been removed  from all secondary and tertiary packaging on the packaging line at the Prevalje  production site, its purchase was also discontinued by the Ljubljana Aseptics  site, while other sites in Slovenia do not use PVC for this purpose. Novartis  is searching for an alternative solution for PVC in the primary packaging** as  well.
24. 2. 2021

Eva Podgoršek, Head Health, Safety and Environment at Novartis in Slovenia, said on the occasion of obtaining the 13th Responsible Care® certificate: ''At the forefront of the Responsible Care initiative are careful management and continuous excelling progress in health and safety and environmental protection, as well as an open and correct attitude to the public, which is fully in line with our strategy of responsible business and sustainable development.'' She added: “We are pleased that Novartis in Slovenia is eliminating PVC from secondary and tertiary packaging. In this way, we will contribute to the early realization of the goal Novartis set to be achieved by 2025 and  completely eliminate PVC from secondary and tertiary packaging ahead of time.'' Single use plastic is being abandoned in office locations. Novartis aims to become plastic neutral by 2030 and recycle roughly the same amount of plastic packaging as it uses, as well as to certify materials which are obtained from sustainable sources that can replace some existing ones.

The process of replacing PVC in secondary and tertiary packaging for the entire Novartis in Slovenia is led by Peter Vogel, Global Packaging, who said: “The Novartis site in Prevalje abandoned the use of PVC in secondary and tertiary packaging of medicines in 2019, which was followed by the Ljubljana site that discontinued to purchase PVC. The other sites in Slovenia, including Solids Lendava, which is with its 26 packaging lines, Novartis’ largest and strategic production site for packaging solid dosage forms from the generic and innovative portfolio, do not use PVC in secondary and tertiary packaging.''

In order to meet the regulatory requirements for the safety and quality of medicines, PVC will for the time being be kept exclusively in the primary packaging. At the same time, Novartis is already looking for a suitable and, above all, safe PVC-free replacement for the primary packaging as well. The experts at Novartis in Slovenia are actively involved in the development of internal standards, which dictate that the packaging, in addition to meeting all regulatory requirements, must cause as little waste as possible, and energy consumption for its production should be as low as possible.

Lek, which is part of Novartis, has been participating in the chemical production industry’s global initiative Responsible Management®, dedicated to the sustainable development of the industry, since 2009. The Responsible Management® program in Slovenia is managed by the Association of Chemical Industries of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In examining various aspects of the responsible business of the candidates, this time they paid special attention to good practices in spreading interest in professions in the chemical industry and responsible communication with stakeholders. In this context, Lek presented two of its multi-annual projects, for which 2020 was an important milestone: the tenth anniversary of comprehensive public reporting on the sustainable aspects of its business. Lek was among the first companies in Slovenia to start such transparent reporting and to try to entice top domestic experts in natural sciences living and working abroad, to return to Slovenia.

More about Novartis environmental sustainability at:

* The secondary and tertiary packaging consists of materials that are not in direct contact with the product. These include film foils, trays in which bottles are inserted, as well as boxes and auxiliary material needed to transport medicines.

**The primary packaging means materials in direct contact with the product.

Responsible Care Program Certificate

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The Responsible Care Program evolved as a global voluntary initiative “Responsible Care” in 1985 in Canada. Today, its mission is promoted by the ICCA (International Council of Chemical Associations) and CEFIC (European Chemical Industry Council). It is a registered trademark that can only be used by companies and associations going above and beyond their standards to promote performance in health, safety and environment. The aim of the program is to assure continuous improvements in these areas by collecting data on 16 indicators. For their efforts and transparent reporting on their activities, companies receive RCI certificates and an annual license to use the RCI logo. The Responsible Care Program in Slovenia is run by the Association of Chemical Industries of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Novartis is the leading provider of medicines in  Slovenia, where Lek d.d., Novartis Pharma Services Inc., Podružnica v Sloveniji and Sandoz d.d., 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 nine years, the company has created more than 3,350 new job opportunities, making us one of the biggest employers in Slovenia. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 2.7 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 2020 sales of USD 9.6 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 nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 110,000 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:
Gregor Makuc
Communications & External Engagement
Lek Pharmaceuticals d. d.
Phone: +386 1 580 22 43