High investment in environmental sustainability, including machine learning, for energy savings

  • On average, Lek associates received 21% more training than in the previous year. 
  • Novartis in Slovenia spent EUR 8 million on environmental sustainability investments last year, the most in a decade.
  • Most environmental indicators have improved: total greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 8%, and the amount of total waste generated by a good 2%. 
  • Despite the expansion of the complex development and production of high value added medicines, energy consumption was almost one percent lower and water consumption only half a percent higher, thanks to investments, extensive measures and improvements. 
  • The first small-scale solar power plant, the second this year at Novartis in Slovenia, has been commissioned at the Ljubljana site.
21. 11. 2022

Lek pays great attention to initiatives for an inclusive and safe working environment, education and well-being of its associates. Robert Ljoljo, President of the Board  of Management of Lek and Novartis Country President Slovenia, commented on the  publication of Lek's Sustainability Report  2021, this time under the title "Living Innovation": "The successes of the past year have been made possible by the high sustainability culture of our associates and the commitment to embed sustainable solutions in all our work processes. Investments in environmental protection amounted to EUR 8 million, the most in a decade. In particular, new solutions to improve the energy efficiency of processes and technologies have been at the forefront, further encouraged this year by the high prices on the energy market."

Lek has a long tradition of good energy management practices. However, price pressures on energy products and the expansion of the portfolio of energy-intensive, high value added medicines, both in development and in production, are intensifying the search for new ways to become more energy efficient. Machine learning is gradually being introduced into the analysis of how energy systems work.

The investments made have contributed to favorable trends in most environmental indicators and to Novartis' efforts to become carbon neutral by 2025. Overall energy consumption was reduced by almost one percent and active energy management saved 40,752 GJ of energy and prevented 3,456 t CO2e from being released into the atmosphere. Overall greenhouse gas emissions fell by nearly 8%, supported by increased purchases of green energy at the Ljubljana site. Biodegradable waste accounted for 81% of the waste generated – 2% less than the previous year. Hazardous waste, which accounts for less than 8% of total waste, has also decreased significantly, by 34%. The trend reflects the increasing share of high value added products requiring less solvents and improved energy recovery from waste. The revised product portfolio is also the main reason for the 0.5% increase in water consumption.

In the past year, the Technical Research & Development Biologics Mengeš was one of the first Novartis sites to join the My Green Lab certification program. Together with a team of volunteer associates (Green Team Mengeš), they have implemented a number of improvements, including reducing the amount of chemicals and solvents used in drug development and the energy used to run the laboratory. From this year onwards, all Mengeš development laboratories will participate in the program, which is based on the principles of green chemistry and optimizing the use of natural resources, reagents, and logistics costs.

Lek associates received an average of 83.6 hours of training, or about a fifth (21%) more than in the previous year, including on sustainable aspects of business. The LTIR indicator, which measures the number of injuries resulting in temporary absence, improved by 6% as a result of a strong safety culture.

All sites have again met the requirements of the ISO 14001:2015 Environmental standard and the ISO 45001:2018 Occupational health and safety management system. For the 14th time in a row, they have also renewed their international Responsible Care® certificate (POR) and, with a successful audit, remain the only company in Slovenia to comply with the EU EMAS Environmental management system at four production sites.

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Novartis is the leading provider of medicines in Slovenia, where Lek d.d.,Novartis Pharma Services Inc. 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 inNovartis' organizational structure, especially in the Novartis TechnicalOperations, 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.Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 3 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 2021 sales of USD 9.6 billion.

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 108,000 people of more than 140nationalities work at Novartis around the world.
 Find out more at www.novartis.com.

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This press release contains statements and forecasts of future business operations. The forecasts include estimates based on all theinformation currently available to us. Should these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results of business operations could be different from those expected.

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For further information, please contact:
Gregor Makuc
Communication & External Engagement
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Telephone: 01 580 22 43