Rolling Up Our Sleeves for Environmental Protection

The challenges of climate change are vast: increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events. Biodiversity loss due to human activities threatens ecosystems and natural balance. Pollution impacts human health and disrupts ecosystems. Deforestation, plastic pollution, water scarcity, and overpopulation further exacerbate these challenges, all of which demand urgent action to preserve the planet's health and sustainability.

There is no doubt that industries have a considerable impact on these environmental challenges and need to adopt sustainable practices, reduce emissions and waste, promote resource efficiency, and invest in environmentally friendly technologies.

While the healthcare industry is crucial for saving lives and improving health outcomes, it also has an impact on these environmental developments.  

Environmental management runs to the very roots of our Corporate Social Responsibility. We are committed to protecting the environment and using our resources responsibly. We also continuously assess and identify potential hazards to minimize the negative effects of our operations on the environment and implement appropriate mitigation measures as needed. 

man and woman planting tree

Our role in supporting the SDGs for the Environment

We recognize climate change as a profound global challenge and have made environmental protection a key pillar of our operations. We aim to make our own operations climate-neutral by 2040, in line with the climate target of the Fresenius Group. Until then, we will continue making strides in renewable electricity generation and implement more impactful energy efficiency measures. We primarily support the following UN Sustainable Development Goals related to the environment:

SDG 12 promotes responsible consumption and production. We are continuously optimizing material consumption in our product packaging. For example, we successfully reduced the amount of plastic used for the enteral container EasyBottle by 20%. We also use cardboard certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), made from a mixture of materials from certified forests, recycled material, and controlled wood.

SDG 13 aims to take urgent action to combat climate change. Beyond our existing environmental protection measures, we have identified further improvement opportunities at our own sites and will scale them with locally responsible managers. 

Some of our locations use photovoltaic systems, a type of renewable energy. We are also working towards rolling out our ISO 50001 energy management system to all production sites worldwide by 2026*. And finally, our internal information platform, Global Competence Center (GCC), helps to share best practices with all production sites, including energy- and water-saving initiatives. 

*Implementation will be concluded at all manufacturing plants in 2026. The certification issuance from the individual certification companies may extend into the following year.

The action fields of our environmental engagement

Environmental management

We are dedicated to reducing our negative impact on the environment. The Global EHS develops global environment initiatives and provides support to the respective environmental functions at the national, and regional levels. 

Energy and emissions 

Our energy management system focuses primarily on improving energy performance and avoiding excessive energy consumption. Important measures include the purchase of renewable energy and the generation of electricity in our own facilities. 

Water and effluents

Water management measures assess the reduction in water and wastewater volumes while monitoring the quality and authorized withdrawal of water and discharge of wastewater. We also aim to increase the efficiency of water use. 

Waste and recycling

We have established the following sequence for the measures to be taken: waste prevention, preparation for reuse, recycling, other recovery, especially energy recovery and backfilling, and disposal of the waste. These measures must always comply with applicable laws and regulations. 

How we manage our environmental impact

We strive to minimize our environmental impact, comply with regulations, and increase resource efficiency, for example. 

We plan to implement environmental management according to the ISO 14001 international standard at all our manufacturing plants worldwide by 2026*. Our certified organizations set local targets to improve environmental efforts at their sites, including waste, water, wastewater, and energy consumption. 

We hold a matrix certification for our global environmental and energy management systems. Both systems are audited annually and certified by TÜV Rheinland. A global handbook and standard operating procedures provide a global framework for our environmental and energy management. 

Further, we expect our suppliers to demonstrate careful and responsible handling of nature and its resources, a stipulation that is set in our Third-Party Code of Conduct. We also take environmental criteria into account in decision-making processes for new projects and developments.

Find our Corporate Environmental Management Certificates on our Resource Center page. We welcome any questions on our ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 policies at

*Implementation will be concluded at all manufacturing plants in 2026. The certification issuance from the individual certification companies may extend into the following year.

How we manage our energy consumption 

Energy consumption in our production processes is one of the most important environmental challenges we face in our work. Therefore, our energy management system focuses primarily on improving energy performance and avoiding excessive consumption. Renewable energy sources – such as water, solar, and wind power – play a role in our energy supply, which is mainly from external suppliers. We also generate electricity in our own facilities and use options like combined heat and power systems, solar installations, or energy-saving measures to reduce CO2 emissions.

We are working on introducing the ISO 50001 energy management system at all production sites worldwide by 2026*.

*Implementation will be concluded at all manufacturing plants in 2026. The certification issuance from the individual certification companies may extend into the following year.

How we reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency

In 2022, we installed solar panels at our sites in Guangzhou, China; Haina, Dominican Republic; and San German, Puerto Rico as part of our mission to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency. Their combined capacity of about 4,883,000 kWh per year will be used to produce our MedTech products

All our production sites can share best practices and exchange information on our internal platform, the Global Competence Cluster (GCC) for Energy and Water Management. In 2022, the GCC generated over 70 ideas for environmental protection from about 25 sites.

The best energy-related idea came from our manufacturing plant in Kalyani, India. The plant extracts organic compounds from yew leaves and uses them for cancer medication, which generates a certain amount of leaf waste. Now, thanks to their brilliant idea, the leaves will no longer be disposed of but converted into biogas. Anywhere from 120 to 190 kilograms of biogas can be produced each day and used as cooking gas in the cafeteria, and the resulting manure makes for a good organic fertilizer in the facility’s garden. 

The best awareness-related idea came from our site in Mirandola, Italy. Inspired by urban reforestation projects, our Italian colleagues started their own reforestation project right in the company parking lot! It was a great team-building event and made for a creative way to support the local environment while raising awareness.

How we use water responsibly

We mainly use water in production for cooling before discharging it as wastewater. Some of our production sites are able to reuse water by collecting condensation from installed ventilation systems or in steam condensate recovery systems.

While our global environmental standard operating procedures and working instructions include water and wastewater handling controls, we also employ water management measures to monitor the quality and authorized withdrawal of water and discharge of wastewater. 

In 2022, we implemented several water-saving projects, which save around 24,000 cubic meters of water per year. Our teams installed ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis systems in wastewater treatment facilities to reduce overall consumption.

We strive to follow the targets for reducing antibiotic residues in water in manufacturing sites with a voluntary commitment to the Common Antibiotic Manufacturing Framework (CAMF) of the AMR Industry Alliance.

For water efficiency, we have set up the Global Competence Center (GCC), which collects ideas for energy and water efficiency. Through the 2022 GCC awareness campaign, we identified ideas with the greatest potential for improvement and are working to implement them at the respective sites. They include:

The winner in the water-saving category was Kalyani, India. Their facility needs water for their cooling towers – but who said it needed to be fresh water? By using treated wastewater, they are now able to save 32,000 cubic meters of municipal water and groundwater per year.

The manufacturing plant in Uppsala, Sweden, saw potential in the reuse of condensate, which saves approximately 2,100 cubic meters of water per year. 

Our plant in Kutno, Poland, identified water-saving potential by modernizing their water ring vacuum pumps. This could save about 12,000 m³ of water per year. 

How we manage waste sustainably

According to the World Health Organization, about 15 percent of waste generated in the healthcare sector is hazardous material that can have negative effects if not disposed of properly. Waste at Fresenius Kabi is generated mainly as a by-product of production processes or as packaging material for product containers in hospitals, private households, and nursing homes. This includes both non-hazardous and hazardous waste, such as solvents, cytostatics, and antibiotics. 

Plastic waste represents the largest portion of non-hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is, to a large extent, processed and reused for a similar purpose. The internally generated waste is mostly recycled, while the majority of the non-recyclable hazardous waste is incinerated and led into energy recovery. 

We have established the following sequence for waste management: waste prevention, preparation for reuse, recycling, other recovery (notably energy recovery and backfilling), and waste disposal. These measures must always comply with applicable laws and regulations. Each production site is also obligated to separate its waste in accordance with local regulations and store it in adherence to environmentally sound measures, such as avoiding contamination. We comply with the European Union’s REACH regulation. We are primarily affected by REACH as a downstream user – and in rare cases as a producer – and we strictly fulfill our legal obligations.