Lek, a Sandoz company, enhances environment performance through investments

  • Relevant environment, economic and social performance indicators for Lek, a Sandoz company, in the latest Sustainability Report 2012 Lek d.d.
  • Lek, a Sandoz company, created 300 new job positions in the past year and dedicated EUR 2.4 million to environment protection investments.
  • Reduction of volatile organic compounds emissions into the air by 32% and improvement of efficiency per tonne of product by 41% over the previous year.
8. 11. 2013

By achieving annual and long-term objectives for the period up to 2015, Lek, a Sandoz company, has once again enhanced environment performance. With new investments and technological improvements per tonne of product it cut back the use of water by 32% and the use of energy in the production process by 24% over 2010, the baseline year. By expanding many areas of business operations it created 300 new job positions, mainly in the production, quality and biopharmaceutics. Lek’s achievements are highlighted in the sustainability report in which, for the third year in a row, the economic, environmental and social impacts are presented, using internationally established and comparable indicators.

When measuring environmental impacts, Lek, a Sandoz company, particularly the Mengeš and Ljubljana sites, are exposed to production growth and launching new products. Improving the effectiveness per unit of product is therefore all the more important. In the field of environment, this in achieved by hefty investments in environment protection and by continuous technological improvements.

Efficiency of energy consumption and water use has improved considerably. With regard to the emissions of volatile organic compounds to the air, the efficiency per tonne of product has increased significantly, by as much as 41%, the total volume of volatile organic compound emissions was reduced by one third, largely due to investments into reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds into the air, including the largest environment investments from the previous year. The existing devices for thermal oxidation used to control emissions of volatile organic compounds were replaced by new devices for regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO) at the Mengeš and Ljubljana site, followed by the same investment at the Prevalje location this year. The co-incineration of solvents has now considerably better energy efficiency, as the new devices operate without adding any natural gas even at very low concentrations of solvents in the waste air. Last year, the Mengeš site reduced the emissions also by the additional redirecting of the emissions of halogenated solvents to a cryogenic condensation device. They continued with a systematic replacement of halogenated solvents with environmentally friendlier non-halogenated solvents. At the Prevalje site, halogenated solvents are no longer used and the increased use of waste water reduced the use of fresh water for cooling purposes by 30%.

By upgrading the waste management in alignment with the statutory hierarchy, the Lendava location met their objective to reduce CO2 emissions, volume of ashes and save energy. Incineration of biodegradable mycelium was redirected to a nearby bio-gas works for reprocessing. The introduction of a new method of non-hazardous waste disposal outside the production site however contributed towards lower efficiency in waste management compared to year 2011 due to alignment with the Novartis’ reporting methodology.

With new job positions, Lek, a Sandoz company, is creating in the current circumstances particularly significant economic and social impacts. By expanding and improving technological processes, it simultaneously also increases the professional competency of the associates. Along with a significant increase in the number of employees, it significantly increased, by as much as one quarter, the number of average hours of training per employee (54 hours). The concern and care for the employees it pursues also by providing healthy and safe work conditions, which is reflected by the maintaining of the lost time injury rate (LTIR) indicator at a low level (0.05).

Considerable attention is paid to local communities, including through Open House Days held at the Lendava and Mengeš site in 2012 and this year also in Prevalje. The employees inform local residents and other visitors about the research and production operations and show them around the production plants. The partnership with the local community is further strengthened also with a special Novartis Community Partnership Day when volunteers from all sites throughout Slovenia donate blood and offer various forms of help and partnering to socially disadvantaged community groups.

Lek, a Sandoz company, reports on the economic, environmental and societal impacts of its business in the Sustainability Report, available at www.lek.si/en/social-responsibility/. Included in the report are the Responsible Care Program, the Eco-Management Scheme (EMAS) and international guidelines on sustainable GRI reporting indicators.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of key pillars of the second-largest generic pharmaceutical company globally. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a leading global development center for products and technologies; a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines; a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products; a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biosimilar products; and, a supply center for the markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South East Europe (SEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and it is responsible for sales on the Slovenian market. For further information please visit http://www.lek.si/eng/.

Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, is a global leader in the rapidly growing generics industry. Sandoz offers a broad range of about 1, 100 high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. With nearly 26,000 employees in approximately 140 countries, Sandoz holds the #1 position globally in biosimilars, injectables, ophthalmics and dermatology as well as a strong global #5 position in inhalables. Key product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medicines, cardiovascular treatments, and hormone therapies. Sandoz develops, produces, and markets these medicines along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances and anti-infectives. In addition to strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany), Eon Labs (US), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), Oriel Therapeutics (US), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US). In 2012, Sandoz posted sales of USD 8.7 billion. For more information, please visit www.sandoz.com.

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 128,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.novartis.com.

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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