63% OF RESOURCES WERE ALLOCATED TOWARD WASTE MANAGEMENT; 32% RELATED TO MANAGING THE WATER CYCLE; AND THE REMAINING 5% WERE ALLOCATED TO REDUCING ATMOSPHERIC EMISSIONS, ENERGY AND OTHERS
Grifols carried out notable investments in 2018 to improve its environmental performance and meet its 2017-2019 Environmental Program targets.
These investments focused primarily on reducing water consumption and emissions from refrigerant gases. Corporate investment in environmental assets reached EUR 2.7 million in 2018. Costs rose to EUR 15.5 million, compared to the EUR 13.6 million reported in 2017.
The following table lists the overall objectives of the 2017-2019 Environmental Program. The degree of fulfillment refers to the extent to which the objectives have been implemented.
Grifols’ Environmental Program describes its targets and objectives in greater detail and is available on its corporate website: https://www.grifols.com/es/the-environment https://www.grifols.com/es/corporate-responsibility-report
Plasma is the main raw material consumed by the Bioscience Division. Ethanol, polyethylene glycol and sorbitol, among others, are used during the fractionation and purifi cation processes of diverse plasma proteins. In 2018, 70.8% (66.7% in 2017) of ethanol consumed was recovered in distillation towers and reutilized in Grifols’ installations.
The main raw material to manufacture DG Gel® diagnostic cards is plastic. As well as the consumption of circuit boards in the manufacture of machines (31,991 units in 2018) and red cell reagents for diagnostic kits (274,034 liters in 2018). PVC is also used to manufacture storage and collection bags for blood components.
In 2018, polypropylene used to manufacture bags for intravenous solutions was the primary raw material consumed by the Hospital Division. Its other raw materials are used to produce saline solutions, glucose solutions and packaging.
In 2018, Grifols consumed a total of 384 million kWh, compared to 353.6 million kWh in 2017. This increase was driven primarily by an upturn in production.
The Bioscience Division represented 86.8% (86.4% in 2017) of Grifols’ total electricity consumption in 2018. This increase in absolute values derives from production increases and the expansion of the plasma donation network.
384 MILLION KWH CONSUMED IN 2018 WERE RELATED TO PRODUCTION INCREASES
The Diagnostic Division’s share of the total electricity consumption totaled 8.9% (9.3% in 2017). In absolute values, the division’s consumption totaled 34.3 million kWh, a 5% year-on-year increase.
The remaining 4.3% corresponds to the Hospital Division (same as in 2017). It consumed 16.4 million kWh in absolute terms (15.3 million in 2017), denoting a 7% increase, yet still lower than its 16% increase in production. The division’s decision to relocate most of its operations to a newer, more energy-efficient plant in Murcia, Spain led to this improvement.
In terms of renewable energy, Spain, Ireland and Italy collectively consumed 4.9 million kWh.
GRIFOLS’ MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS ARE LOCATED PRIMARILY IN THE U.S. AND SPAIN, WHICH ACCOUNT FOR MOST OF THE GROUP’S ENERGY CONSUMPTION
The Bioscience Division accounts for 86.5% (87.5% in 2017) of Grifols’ natural gas consumption. Of this, 25% originates from its cogeneration plant. The division’s consumption in absolute values increased by 5% as a result of higher manufacturing and plasma donors centers levels, representing a 1% increase relative to production.
The Diagnostic Division increased its consumption of natural gas by 24% as a result of validations in the new Emeryville plant. The Hospital Division maintained similar consumption levels despite an increase in production after shifting most of its operations to a more energy-efficient plant in Murcia.
By country, Spain and the United States – where most of the Bioscience Division’s manufacturing activities are located – accounted for the majority of Grifols’ electricity and natural gas consumption.
The Bioscience Division also consumes other fuels such as diesel, gasoline and propane for its power generators, equipment and own vehicles, although to a lesser extent than natural gas. The division consumed 8,306 MWh in 2018, a 6% increase compared to 2017 due primarily to higher diesel consumption.
The Bioscience Division’s installations in Barcelona are equipped with a 6.1 MW cogeneration plant. It generates electricity that is sold back to the grid and useful heat is utilized in Grifols installations. In 2018, the cogeneration plant contributed a Primary Energy Saving (PES) of 17.6% and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 3,492 tons compared to emissions generated by conventional plants.
REDUCING WATER CONSUMPTION IN THE EXISTING FACILITIES BY 265,000 M3 PER YEAR IS ONE OF THE OBJECTIVES OF GRIFOLS ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN
Grifols reported 3,320,383 m3 in total water consumption in 2018, 1.8% upturn compared to 2017. The Bioscience Division increased its water consumption proportionate to production increases, as the indicators reflect. The Diagnostic Division decreased its consumption by 12% in 2018. The Hospital Division’s water consumption remained stable despite a significant production increase thanks to its decision to relocate a large share of its operations to a more resource-efficient plant in Murcia.
Grifols operates in three geographic areas prone to water shortages. As a result, the company applies preventive measures when designing new facilities and modifies existing facilities to reduce water consumption. These measures include recovering water used in production processes for auxiliary purposes, automating processes to ensure water conservation, and reducing the amount of water used to clean reactors through automated CIP cleaning systems. Approximately 21% of the water consumed takes places in hydric stress regions, corresponding to 17% of reported installations. In addition, the company invested EUR 2 million in R&D projects that contribute to reduce water consumption and therefore mitigate the risk of hydric stress in these facilities.
Within the framework of its Environmental Plan, Grifols aimed to reduce its water consumption in the existing facilities by 265,000 m3 per year. As part of this objective, the company has to decrease its water consumption in hydric stress1 regions by 29,070 m3.
1. Defined by the World Resources Institute as high-risk and extremely high-risk regions.
In terms of water sources, 92% of the water consumed came from water mains and 8% from wells located in the Barcelona production facilities.
There were no reported economic sanctions of non-compliance regarding permits, rules or regulations on the quality or quantity of water.
Wastewater is purified in proprietary or municipal treatment systems and discharged into the public sewage system.
In 2018, 2,647,969 m3 of wastewater was discharged into the public sewage system. Of the water consumed, 79.9% became wastewater and the remaining 20.3% was used in auxiliary processes that do not generate industrial discharge, such as the cooling towers, or incorporated into the product during the manufacturing process.
The Bioscience Division’s facilities in Barcelona and Clayton treat wastewater inhouse with biological systems prior to discharge.
Grifols calculated its carbon footprint to identify the greenhouse gas emissions generated by its operations and their impact on the climate change.
Calculations follow the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) methodology, international standard used to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions. In accordance with this methodology, emissions are categorized into three distinct scopes:
Direct emissions generated by the activity itself, mainly through consumption of natural gas and other fuels and emissions from the leakage of refrigerants.
Indirect emissions from electricity consumption.
Other indirect emissions: business travel, employee commuting, container transportation, waste management and container transportation.
THE COMPANY’S EFFORTS OVER THE LAST YEARS HAVE LED TO A 26% REDUCTION IN REFRIGERANT GAS LEAKS
Refrigerant gas leaks fell by 26% compared to 2017. The company has dedicated significant resources in recent years to reduce refrigerant gas leaks, especially in its U.S. Bioscience Division facilities. The 2017-2019 Environmental Program also includes several objectives for the Bioscience Division’s facilities in Spain aimed at replacing refrigerant installations for others whose refrigerant gas has lower or zero GWP, depending on the equipment.
Atmospheric emissions of other contaminants like NOx, CO and SO2 are generated by natural gas combustion in production-center boilers and by fuel used in electric generators.
Total emissions of these compounds generated in Grifols’ production plants are below the limits established by the relevant environmental authorities.
Every year, Grifols participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), earning a “B” rating in the 2018 Climate Change Report. In accordance with the recommendations made by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), the company considers climate risks and opportunities in several different realms:
At Grifols, the governance of matters relating to managing risks and opportunities (including those derived from climate change) is led by the Board of Directors. In addition, the Environmental Committee meets twice a year to monitor the company’s performance on environmental issues, including those concerning climate change.
Grifols integrates climate-related considerations in its business strategy. As outlined in the section “Grifols’ Commitment with the Environment,” the company focuses its efforts on the efficient use of resources and minimizing potential environmental impacts resulting from its operations.
Climate risk management is integrated into the company’s multidisciplinary risk management systems.
Grifols has a standard operating procedure to identify, evaluate and prioritize diverse environmental risks, including climate-related risks. This procedure assesses the probability and severity of potential risks, taking into account the current preventative measures established by the company.
Based on the results of this analysis, Grifols defines improvement actions, necessary actions or urgent actions in order to mitigate associated risks.
In accordance with its corporate strategy, Grifols has developed the aforementioned 2017-2019 Environmental Program, which includes specific emissions-reduction targets and their corresponding monitoring indicators. These objectives are communicated to employees to raise awareness and promote organization-wide involvement.
Grifols’ waste management strategy prioritizes preventing and reducing waste and encourages recovery whenever possible as alternatives to landfills or incineration. Grifols reinforced its commitment to waste management treatments in 2017 by leading initiatives such as recycling, anaerobic digestion and energy recovery.
Grifols generated a total of 41,223 metric tons of waste in 2018, a 9% increase over 2017. The Bioscience Division noted the greatest increase as a result of higher production levels and waste generated from the construction of two new plants in its North Carolina complex. The expansion of the plasma donation network also contributed to higher waste volumes. The volume of recovered waste in 2018 totaled 17,265 metric tons, which represents 41.2% of the total waste generated.
Grifols participates in various waste management programs. In Spain, it takes part in the SIGRE program, which manages packaging and waste of household medicines, as well as in ECOASIMELEC, which oversees the appropriate handling and recycling of waste from electric and electronic equipment. Other European Grifols subsidiaries follow the waste management systems authorized in their respective countries. In Chile, Grifols collaborates with Recycla to collect and recycle electric and electronic equipment. In North Carolina, the Bioscience Division collaborates with suppliers to recycle the products they provide.