Lek presents the environmental management system in Prevalje

Comprehensive Approach to Environmental Protection

15. 11. 2001

Prevalje, 15 November – In its penicillin production plant at Prevalje, the pharmaceutical company Lek d.d. presented its environmental policy implementation at that location.

Lek’s environmental management system is based on a comprehensive approach to environment, which is realized through environmental management planning, the running of environmental programmes, as well as the monitoring and measurement of business operations’ environmental aspects. For such a comprehensive approach, the company Lek was granted the ISO 14001 certificate for the environmental management system quality.

The granting of the ISO 14001 certificate also represents an external auditor’s (the Slovene Institute for Quality and Metrology) award for Lek’s long-time environmental management implementation. Environmental management is a process enabling the company Lek to constantly enhance its environmental awareness, which is mainly manifested in the reduction of industrial activities’ impact on the environment, in a diminished consumption of energy and in an effective waste management programme implementation, which all results in reducing any possible risk to environment.

Environmentally acceptable, up-to-date manufacture

At the Prevalje location the manufacture of non-sterile penicillin products (Lek’s top product Amoksiklav) is performed in one of the most advanced single-purpose production plants on a global scale both in terms of technological equipment and environmental acceptability. In Prevalje, the environmental protection element has already been introduced into the system of developing and setting up the manufacture that functions in a way to reduce environmental pollution, as all the emission concentrations are far below the legally permitted limits (the legally permissible limit of dust particles’ emission is 50 mg/m3, while at the Prevalje location it only reaches 0.03 mg/m3). On all the sites where emissions occur, regular monitoring is performed by expert institutions authorized to carry out monitoring and granted a permission for such activities by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.

Natural resources’ exploitation – reducing consumption per product unit

Energy (i.e. natural resources) consumption growth (electricity, gas) is decreasing, lagging behind the production growth (in the year 2000 with a 50% production growth, the energy consumption saw a mere 5% growth).

Waste management – reducing the volume of waste, environmentally friendly waste disposal

While producing 325 tonnes of drugs, the Prevalje production plant generated 97 tonnes of hazardous waste last year (17 tonnes of solid waste, and 60 tonnes of industrial waste waters containing dichlormethane and 20 tonnes of waste solvents mixtures). 80% of hazardous substances were disposed of at Lek, i.e. by thermal treatment in Lendava, and with outside contractors authorized to perform such activities. Last year, the Prevalje production plant also generated 820 m3 of municipal waste, which is a quantity of waste identical to that generated by 250 household units and to 500 m3 of wastepaper submitted for recycling.

In conformity with Lek policy aiming at constantly improving its environmental awareness, the Prevalje production plant will pass on to tablet coating with an unhalogenated organic solvent (omission of dichlormethane) at the end of next year, which will result in reducing the volume of waste waters by 60 tonnes a year. Consequently, the quantity of waste to be thermally treated will also diminish.

At the Prevalje location, technological waste waters from the penicillin production plant are treated by using the alkaline hydrolysis method before the discharge into the sewage system. In this way the residues of the penicillin antibiotics dissolved in water are destroyed. All the results of the technological waste waters’ monitoring indicate a low level of pollution and complete conformity with the regulations.

Environmental protection objectives

All the environmental management activities at the Prevalje location will continue to encompass mainly the following: a more rational use of all energy media, introducing new technologies that represent another step towards a better environmental performance, such as introducing ethanol coating, and an increasingly selective waste collection and disposal.

Last but not least, environmental awareness is also demonstrated through a company’s preparedness and qualification for acting in possibly environmentally risky situations. At Lek , special instructions for emergency cases and a plan of action documented have been formed along with a special appropriately qualified taskforce to implement it.

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.

  • * *

For additional information, please contact Katarina Klemenc, Head of Corporate Communication Department, Lek d.d. Telephone: + 386 1 580 22 43