Abbott Longford is Abbott Global EHS Manufacturing Plant of the Year

Abbott’s diagnostic facility in Longford has been recognised by the global healthcare group’s leadership for its outstanding Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) performance and environmental excellence. The Longford site has been named as the Abbott EHS Manufacturing Plant of the Year 2009 at the global Environment, Health and Safety Excellence Awards which took place recently in Chicago.

Abbott facilities from all over the world entered the company’s internal awards programme this year, which recognises outstanding EHS achievements, environmental performance and outreach initiatives involving local communities. The Longford facility, which manufactures diagnostic tests for a range of infectious diseases, introduced a range of innovative projects. These are designed to improve and enhance EHS performance at the 135,000 sq ft facility. Also, these projects raise the awareness and personal responsibility amongst the workforce in relation to health and safety, waste segregation and minimisation and energy reduction.

“Abbott’s efforts in Longford are an important part of our broader work to safeguard the environment through sustainable business practices across all of our global operations,” says Robert D Morrison, divisional vice president, corporate EHS and energy at Abbott. “We are taking a multi-faceted approach to minimizing our impact on the environment; from the way we manufacture our products, to how we manage our facilities, to engaging and involving employees in environmental initiatives.”

Abbott’s diagnostic facility in Longford achieved a number of significant EHS goals this year including:

* A recycling rate of 70% of total waste and waste segregation and composting of all canteen food waste.

* The development of a ‘zero landfill’ project for implementation in 2010. This will result in all non-recyclable waste being converted to Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) and used as an energy source. A waste characterisation study showed that all non-recyclable waste at ADD Longford is suitable for this process, resulting in 100% reduction of waste to landfill. The development and implementation of ‘Moving to Zero’ is one of Abbott’s leading EHS culture programmes.

* Environmental Awareness and Road Safety Days for the local community as well as local emergency services, fire safety companies, and businesses.

In recent weeks, Abbott has also been named Irish winner of the 2009/2010 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) in the Environmental Management Category. The EBAE identifies and rewards European companies that combine innovation, economic viability and environmental concerns. Abbott received the award in the Environmental Management category, for the introduction of its Green Plan, which seeks to continuously improve the environmental efficiency and sustainability of business activities and products.

Safeguarding the environment is an important part of Abbott’s mission to improve people’s health and the company’s efforts to be a leader in global citizenship. Abbott has identified increased use of cleaner and renewable energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, water conservation and limiting the impact of product packaging as environmental priorities. The company has set measurable goals in each of these areas to track its progress.

This is not the first time Abbott’s diagnostic facility in Longford has been recognised for its EHS credentials, winning the National Irish Safety Organisation (NISO) ‘Medical Devices Award for 2009’. Abbott’s nutritional facility in Cootehill was the last Abbott Ireland facility to win the Global EHS Award in 2006.

Abbott is one of Ireland’s leading healthcare companies, employing more than 3,800 people. Abbott Ireland manufactures and markets a broad range of health care products including medical devices, and pharmaceutical, diagnostic and nutritional products. Abbott has seven manufacturing facilities located in Clonmel, Cootehill, Donegal, Longford and Sligo as well as commercial operations in Dublin and Westport. Abbott has been operating in Ireland since 1946.

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Pictured at the awards ceremony are left to right: Leona Halton, occcupational health; Ursula Hinz, divisional vice president, international reagent operations; Sanford White, director EHS&E diagnostics division; John Frels, site director; Mary Rooney, EHS specialist; Mick McGetrick, engineering manager; and Lorraine Gillespie, EHS specialist.

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