All Sandoz development-production sites in Slovenia participate in EMAS scheme

  • By participating in EMAS, the European Union Eco Management and Audit Scheme for organisationsthe environmental and socially responsible operations  to-date upgraded.
  • The first pharmaceutical and sixth company in Slovenia to be registered with the scheme. 
  • Certificates obtained for all sites: Ljubljana, Mengeš, Lendava and Prevalje.
19. 11. 2012

Lek, a Sandoz company, received an EMAS certificate from the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for the Environment, responsible for participating in the EMAS scheme, and became the first company in the pharmaceutical industry in Slovenia and sixth among all Slovenian companies authorised to use the EMAS logo. Lek implements its environmental responsibility EMAS ojekta je izd okolje, ki ktirja Službe ZVO, ki je čili v alnikov in koljskih informacija through environmental protection measures, investment into modern environmental technologies, regular monitoring of compliance with environmental regulatory requirements and wider reporting on environmental impact.   

The aim of introducing the EMAS scheme, a voluntary management and audit tool for companies, is primarily to continuously improve their environmental performance and increase public credibility when reporting on the impact of industries on the environment. With increased transparency of periodical reporting, EMAS is upgrading the ISO 14001 environmental management standard.

»Our business and environmental strategy are interconnected which is also reflected in our investment policy. We are pleased that already prior to the process of the EMAS scheme implementation, all our development-production sites fulfilled the requirements as determined by EU regulation with regard to environmental impact management. We achieved a harmonized presentation of individual markers and the reporting system with excellent collaboration of our expert services,« said Vojmir Urlep, President of the Board of Management of Lek, a Sandoz company, upon receiving the certificate.

Transparency in communication is also a part of Novartis and Sandoz social responsibility policy. Lek is the first company in Slovenia to combine reporting in compliance with EMAS requirements with the Responsible Care initiative guidelines, harmonise them with leading international guidelines on sustainable reporting Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and integrate them in the company’s Report on Sustainable Development. Among the essential measurable objectives by 2015 which are being implemented in the field of health, safety at work and environment, the following was achieved in comparison with 2010:

  • improved water usage and energy efficiency by 10% and 
  • lowering halogenated and non-halogenated  volatile organic compounds emissions by 20%.

On an annual basis it met the environmental targets and reported and monitored several measurable indexes of the social and economic impacts.

The EU regulation on participating in the EMAS scheme enables certification of individual production sites, however Lek included all four development-production locations thus assuring a higher transparency level of environmental performance. This made Lek a company with the largest number of sites in Slovenia complying with EMAS.

As explained by Robert Hribar, Head HSE which led the EMAS scheme implementation, the introduction of uniformed standards for environmental impact in all locations is also a part of Lek’s  environmental policy and its consideration for local communities.

According to the European Commission, 4,581 organisations and 8,174 sites participated in EMAS by the end of June 2012, from which 18% were large, 26% were medium- sized and 55% were small and micro-sized companies. With 6 companies and 12 sites, Slovenia is still below the EU-27 average which in 2011 amounted to nine EMAS certificates per million inhabitants.

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 EMAS (ECO – Management and Audit Scheme)
The EMAS Scheme was designed for enterprises to impro­ve their environmental performance and to inform the public of the environmental impacts of their operations. It is based on the ISO 14001 standard, upgraded with additional requ­irements for a more open communication, credibility and periodic publishing of verified environmental information. The environmental statement is the core method of publicly communicating the results of continuous improvement of the organization's environmental performance, and an oppor­tunity to enhance the company’s reputation with customers, suppliers, contractors, community and employees.

GRI (Global Reporting Initiative)
GRI Guidelines represent one of the world’s most prevalent standards for corporate responsibility and sustainable develop-ment reporting. They require planning and reporting according to the measurable indicators of the economic, social and environmental impact of an organization. Depending on the scope of disclosures and measurable indicators, reports are classified into two application levels, core and apprehensive.
GRI Guidelines provide a high degree of comparability, transparency and consistency of non-financial corporate reports, increasing stakeholder trust in corporate responsibility and sustainable development reports.

RCI (Responsible Care Initiative). Launched in 1981 in Canada, the initiative was adopted globally by the chemical industry represented by the ICCA (International Council of Chemical Associations). The initiative promotes responsible treatment of employees and the environment in its broadest sense: the implementation of Good Practices, usually through management systems, particularly in the fields of occupatio­nal health and safety, environmental protection, and cautious and safe handling of chemical industry products. The initiati­ve aims to provide constant and measurable improvement of operations in the aforementioned fields, which is measured by means of 16 indicators. Three indicators reflect occupa­tional safety and health achievements, while the remaining indicators are concerned with environmental management, including energy efficiency.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the pillars of leading world generics company Sandoz. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a 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

Sandoz, a Division of the Novartis group, is a global leader in the field of generic pharmaceuticals, offering a wide array of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by valid and enforceable third-party patents. Sandoz has a portfolio of approximately 1000 compounds and sells its products in about 130 countries. Key product groups include cardiovascular medicines, anti-infectives, treatments for central nervous system and alimentary tract disorders, oncology and respiratory therapies, as well as medications for blood and blood forming organ disorders. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these medicines along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances. 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), and Oriel Therapeutics (US). In 2011, Sandoz employed more than 24,000 people (full-time equivalents) worldwide and achieved net sales of USD 9.5 billion for the full year. For more information, please visit

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

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 2011, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 58.6 billion, while approximately USD 9.6 billion (USD 9.2 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges) was invested in R&D throughout the Group. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 124,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis 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
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