Strengthening the Present to Secure the Future
At Lonza we are committed to providing the highest quality products and services that delight our customers while also minimizing our impact on the environment, conserving energy and natural resources, and helping to improve the quality of life. As part of our broad corporate social responsibility efforts, the key elements of our approach to sustainability are the following:
- Empowering our employees within a culture of innovation
- Extracting the highest efficiency from our raw materials, including energy
- Measuring and reporting our environmental impact
- Collaborating with industry associations and other stakeholders to improve continuously
Protecting Our Stakeholders
“Vision Zero” – the ethical principle that underscores all our efforts in the realm of the environment, health and safety (EHS) – sets the ultimate goals of achieving zero injuries, zero manufacturing process incidents, zero distribution incidents and zero environmental incidents. It is at the heart of our EHS policy, wherein Lonza commits to operations and practices that prevent harm to people and damage to the environment or property. Our principles for environment, health, safety and security set forth in the policy and resulting from the company's ethical conviction take precedence and apply throughout Lonza.
Whereas the EHS policy defines the high-level principles, our corporate EHS management system consisting of 22 detailed guidelines supports their implementation. Six of our corporate guidelines are considered critical, and they get enhanced selective attention during our internal comprehensive EHS audits. They include activities such as working from heights; protecting workers against unexpected fall risks; entering confined spaces; and preventing any exposure of employees to harmful, toxic or asphyxiating atmospheres while working in egress-restricted environments.
Our Central Process Safety department - part of the corporate EHS group – whose expertise helps keep our processes safe, made further progress in 2017 in supporting the manufacturing sites. The department is working closely with the sites in the implementation of the internal rules and standards for process safety to which all are obliged to adhere. Numerous site visits across the world with in-person exchange of advice and expert knowledge drive safe operation to excellence - a prerequisite for our "license to operate."
Our EHS group also oversees our company-wide sustainability efforts. The continuous-improvement tools and disciplines that drive improved safety and environmental quality are also applied to making sustainable use of natural resources, reducing our carbon footprint, minimizing hazardous waste and managing remediation activities responsibly, as well as otherwise improving the quality of life for our stakeholders.
EHS risk assessments serve as valuable tools in our business and operating practices and in our planning processes. We review new ventures, capital investments in production equipment and systems and other major projects not only for the business opportunities they present, but also for their environmental, health and safety impact.
The year 2017 marked further significant progress in safety as we achieved the lowest rate in Lonza history of lost-time injuries and illnesses (LTIFR) per one million hours worked of 0.54 (on a historically comparable scope, not including the Capsugel acquisition). Even when integrating Capsugel into the rate calculation, Lonza still delivered a previously unmatched rate of 0.73. Broadly speaking, Lonza has halved the incident rate for safe working from 2016. Our reporting year’s performance marked a satisfying step on our Safety 2020 Campaign - whose goal is a frequency rate of LTIFR of not more than 0.6 incidents per one million hours worked, which we already surpassed in 2017.
The year 2017 closed without any material incidents or breakdowns of manufacturing operations, nor were there any severe incidents or damage inflicted on the environment in connection with the transportation of Lonza products and raw materials. Nevertheless, we routinely test and maintain our corporate emergency communication system, as well as the local site emergency response systems to prepare us to keep harmful effects to a minimum and crisis situations under control.
We are aware of the challenge we face to deliver future safety records and live up to our set goals. Therefore, we focus on continuously improving personal and behavioral safety to build on and strengthen our safety culture, which has a long and successful history in Lonza. Safety at work is a core responsibility of each and every leader and employee; and the culture to live up to “Vision Zero” is a central element in Lonza’s leadership, project management and team cooperation.
Training initiatives continue to reinforce the learning effects by reviewing every safety incident – including challenging the assumptions about causes and remedies. We conduct monthly global conferences to widely share the results of safety incident reviews to foster awareness and to apply insights gained to identical or similar challenges elsewhere. And we continue to strengthen our capacity and expertise in process safety management and implementation in order to further minimize the risks inherent to the chemical processes running in our installations.
The ultimate goal of our safety culture remains to ensure that at the end of a working day, every employee returns home safely and unharmed to their families and friends. “Vision Zero” will be our guide.
The table below summarizes key environmental and resource intensities. In order to continue comparability with previous year's data, the scope excludes the mid-2017 acquisition of Capsugel.
Intensities1 of Selected Parameters
|2017||Change from 2016|
Lonza’s product formulation skills, wide product-regulatory assurance and global regulatory expertise provide us distinct competitive advantages in a world of increasingly strict chemical management assurance.
One challenging program is the European Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) initiative. To ensure continuing compliance and business, Lonza is in the process of registering all covered substances imported, manufactured and marketed in the European Union. New substances are registered before reaching the 1 ton per year (tpa) threshold. Preregistered phase-in substances (mainly existing substances listed in the European Inventory of Existing Chemical Commercial Substances or EINECS) are registered in a tiered process based on volume and substance properties.
To date, Lonza has successfully registered all first-tier and second-tier chemicals. Registrations of third-tier chemicals (>1 tpa) are ongoing and are scheduled to be completed before the 31 May 2018 deadline.
The REACH regulation sets a number of new and challenging requirements with respect to the use of chemical substances. Manufacturers or importers have to demonstrate the safe use of a substance for all of its identified uses. The uses are communicated and accessible to businesses and the general public.
At Lonza a team of more than 60 regulatory experts at locations in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific serve and support Lonza businesses globally to ensure compliance with existing regulatory requirements and to stay abreast of future requirements. Their expertise is also a great value to customers who incorporate our regulated ingredients in their end-use applications.
Lonza commits considerable resources to EHS activities. At the end of the reporting year, approximately 200 people worked in the core EHS field. EHS operating costs amounted to CHF 59 million in 2017, 3.4% up on the previous year. Capital expenditure on EHS was CHF 43 million, equivalent to 0.9% of sales and 11% of the Group’s total investment in fixed assets.
About two thirds of the EHS capital expenditure in 2017 was absorbed by the large chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing complex at Visp and the related infrastructure. Most prominent were the pre-investment related to the planned new Ibex® manufacturing complex, the replacement of electrofilters in the solid and liquid residual waste incineration plant to allow a continued state-of-the-art highly efficient operation, besides the revamping of a plant complex where ammonia recovery, the breakdown of non-biodegradables and wastewater extraction activities take place. An investment into a significant improvement to avoid emissions from process wastewater collection and pretreatment basins was realized and leads to a sustained reduction of odor emissions while setting an even higher standard to safeguard against potential groundwater contamination.
Numerous EHS-related capital was spent on projects at other sites in 2017, including significant warehouse safety upgrades at the French water site in Amboise, and at the biopharmaceutical activities in Porriño (ES). Further projects included safety upgrades at the U.S. site in Rockland, ME, and in Rochester, NY.
Providing transparent evidence of corporate sustainability practices is part of our commitment to excellence. Most of this information is shared on our corporate website; and in addition, we disclose climate data and activity assessments in the framework of the Carbon Disclosure Project for the benefit of our stakeholders and as an active participant in the UN Global Compact foundation. We also participate in and respond to a variety of customer and supplier targeted sustainability assessments and surveys.
As a company that makes pharmaceuticals, personal-care products, nutritional ingredients, drinking water sanitizers and hygiene disinfectants, we are sensitive to concerns about the use of animals to test the safety of these products for human use or consumption. Whenever possible, we do our utmost to promote the use of alternatives to animal tests; but in many cases, we are required by law and regulations to conduct such tests. Such required testing is conducted by external, state-of-the-art laboratories that Lonza approves and audits.
Lonza is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care because we apply high standards for the humane care and use of laboratory animals. The company is also recognized by the U.S. National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and complies with the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
Industrial Heritage at the Swiss Manufacturing Site
In 2017 Lonza’s large site in Visp (CH) made progress as planned to address mercury contamination around a wastewater discharge canal (“Grossgrundkanal”), on surrounding soil near the canal and in certain other areas where canal sediments were deposited as fill many decades ago. This industrial legacy traces back to when Lonza used large amounts of mercury as a catalyst in chemical processes, and the site discharged industrial wastewater with mercury containing effluent into the canal between 1930 and the mid-1970s.
Various parties were involved in the maintenance of the publicly owned canal by dredging and excavating sediments from the waterway. At times when neither the awareness nor the environmental legislation was on today's level, parts of the removed material were used as fill material on various land properties. Only during the 1970s did the communities and the people become aware of the full problem in connection with mercury. In 1976 Lonza commissioned our wastewater treatment plant, where mercury-containing effluent has subsequently been treated.
Since 2013 Lonza has worked closely with the communities in prefinancing all required technical investigations in residential areas and agricultural zones between Visp and Niedergesteln (CH).
While 2016 marked the demonstration of the effectiveness of the chosen and approved approach when two contaminated areas were selected and remediated in a pilot project, the year 2017 was the year of readiness for the large-scale remediation in the residential areas. Lonza finally obtained the consent of the competent cantonal and communal authorities and all concerned land owners; and first remediation activities started in November 2017.
In December 2017 Lonza, the Canton of Valais and the concerned municipalities signed an agreement about the repartition of the investigation and remediation costs. The agreement includes the commitment that private landowners of parcels to be remediated will not be held financially liable for the costs incurred. This agreement marked a breakthrough moving forward the Upper Valais mercury remediation process. During 2018 we will see a big step toward complete remediation when the activities will be in full swing.
Neither historically nor in the recent past have adverse health effects to humans or animals been linked to the mercury contamination found in the investigated region – as was confirmed in an independent epidemiological study by the University of Zurich (CH), which was conducted through 2015. The study concluded that no evidence for adverse health effects exists.
Lonza, the Canton of Valais, the municipalities and other parties involved are working hard to efficiently resolve the mercury-related industrial heritage in the perimeters of concern.
The 2016-2020 medium-term sustainability goals, which were endorsed by Lonza’s executive management in 2015, became effective with the beginning of the reporting year 2016.
These medium-term goals include a 40% reduction of the 2015 safety target of the former cycle and a 10% reduction of environmental and resource rates achieved by the end of 2015. The decision to apply relative goals (rates on sales) was made on the basis of the challenges related to the business portfolio and the asset portfolio that lie ahead.
These goals include direct (scope1) and indirect (scope2) greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), other established lead parameters for air emissions, as well as the resources-related parameters of energy and water consumption. The GHG goal 2020 has been adjusted to updated indirect CO2e scope-2 emission factors for various regional energy grids during 2017 (goal was reduced from 166 t/mn to 161 t/mn).
Medium-Term Goals for 2020
The 2017 achievements do not include the mid-2017 acquisition of Capsugel. Medium-term goal integration will take place in 2018.
|Goal 2020||Achieved 2017||Status 2015|
|LTIFR2 (frequency)||LTI/mn hrs||0.6||0.54||1.54|
|Achieved 2017||Status 2015|
|CO2e (scope 1+2)3||t/mn CHF||161||148||178|
|Air impurities4||kg/mn CHF||173||152||193|
|Achieved 2017||Status 2015|
|Energy (total)||GJ/mn CHF||2300||2250||2550|
|Industrial water||m3/mn CHF||1720||1680||1910|
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Final Treatment of Special Waste