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Fresenius Medical Care

In 2011, Fresenius Medical Care continuously expanded its environmental activities. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, TÜV-certified environmental management is part of the integrated management system. At the end of 2011, our seven largest European production sites (2010: also seven) and our medical device development department were certified according to ISO 14001. In addition, we have now introduced the environmental management system at 294 of our European dialysis clinics (2010: 259 clinics).

Our R & D divisions work on designing our products and processes to be as environmentally compatible as possible by employing new materials with improved environmental properties, pushing the development of new technologies that further reduce the resources used by our dialysis machines, and not least by using energy and raw materials efficiently in production.

In 2011, we introduced a new environmental program in Europe and Latin America with the aim to improve environmental awareness and environmentally responsible behavior, enhance knowledge relating to strategic and operational environmental issues, to improve our eco-efficiency and reinforce measures to control environmental risks, and ensure that environmental regulations are complied with. Those goals are measured by a number of environmental objectives for the individual stages of the value chain, for example R & D or at our dialysis clinics.

At our key production site for dialyzers in St. Wendel in Germany, for example, we reduced the quantity of rinse water used in the manufacture of dialysis membranes by 25% in 2011 by feeding it back into the manufacturing process. As a result, we were also able to reduce our energy requirements for treating the contaminated rinse water by 25%. We already replaced older burner and boilers at the St. Wendel plant with modern, high-efficiency heating units with low levels of harmful emissions; as a result we were able to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by around 45%.

We gather data on our eco-efficiency, such as our water and energy consumption, and on waste disposal in 405 of our European clinics (2010: 313). We are now able to compare the ecological efficiency of those clinics on a monthly basis, quickly identify potential for improvement and take this into account when planning new investments.

In addition, in 2011 we started merging the existing local occupational safety systems for our dialysis clinics in Europe into one centralized occupational safety management system and incorporating it into our Integrated Management System.

In the U.S., we have established a formal certified environmental health and safety audit program at our production sites to review all of our manufacturing and laboratory operations on an annual basis. Fresenius Medical Care North America received the “Safety in Excellence Award” for the twelfth time from the U.S. casualty and property insurer CNA. They underlined the company’s commitment to the health of its employees, safety, the prevention of accidents and risk control. The fact that in the past ten years, absences due to work-related accidents have fallen significantly at Fresenius Medical Care, was also highlighted. Since the end of 2010, we record and document energy and water consumption in all our dialysis clinics. In the course of 2011, we expanded the scope of the analysis: It now also compiles greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint. We also improved the recycling at our production plants. At our Walnut Creek plant, California, we are separating and recycling medical and electronic devices.

We also made further progress in the area of environmental management in the Latin America region. In Columbia, an environmental management system that meets the ISO 14001 standard has already been established in 60% of our clinics. In Venezuela, we continued an environmental awareness campaign for our clinic staff on the subjects of waste disposal and energy and water consumption in 2011. In Argentina, we continuously record water and energy consumption and the disposal of medical waste at all dialysis clinics.

We have developed an environmental guideline specifically for the Asia-Pacific region. It includes the waste management as well as guidelines on how to save resources and to avoid environmental pollution. In our plants, we monitor the consumption of resources such as electricity, gas, as well as water, and identify areas for improvements. At our plant in Buzen in Japan, we achieved a recycling rate of nearly 93% in 2011, thanks to our environmental management. We have set ourselves the goal of achieving this high recycling rate again in 2012.

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