As the world prepares to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Eli Lilly and Company announced April 21 that it is making significant progress to improve the company's energy and water use and to reduce waste sent to landfills.
Lilly's five-year environmental goals are to improve the energy efficiency of its operations and reduce the corresponding greenhouse gases by 15 percent, reduce amount of waste sent to landfills by 40 percent, and reduce water intake by 25 percent.
Since announcing the goals last year, the company has seen a five percent improvement in energy efficiency with a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gases, reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills by 56 percent, and achieved a 30 percent reduction in water intake. All improvements are over the 2007 baseline year.
"Without a doubt, the collective efforts by organizations and individuals across the company clearly demonstrate a continued focus on improving Lilly's overall environmental performance," said Greg Spratt, advisor of environmental sustainability at Lilly. "Our employees are eager to become more engaged, and we are leveraging that commitment to minimize our natural resource use and lessen our impact on the environment."
The efforts of Lilly's asset recovery team are an example of this commitment. This department is responsible for collecting and redeploying office supplies and surplus manufacturing and lab equipment, and identifying opportunities either within the company or outside the company to put those items to new use instead of disposing them.
According to Wayne Poole, an engineer who oversees this operation at Lilly, asset recovery is a win-win for the company and the environment because it generates an estimated $5.5 million in savings annually, but even more importantly, reduces the amount of waste that Lilly sends to landfills.
Indiana's schools also benefit from Lilly's asset recovery operation. Now in its 10th year, today Poole and his coworkers are hosting "Teachers Day." Every year, Poole personally invites teachers from 90 schools around the state to "shop" from approximately 100 pallets stocked with free items. Each school also has an opportunity to participate in a free raffle for more expensive giveaways such as microscopes and other small lab equipment. Lilly's Teachers Day donations are estimated to be valued at more than $100,000.
Another recent employee-driven initiative is "Energy Day," which was celebrated for the first time last fall. Energy Day is a new corporate sustainability effort designed to educate Lilly employees about the company's latest energy reduction goals and to encourage sustainable behaviors. Lilly's global sites celebrated Energy Day in a variety of ways, including using public transportation for commuting, developing interactive exhibits, and hosting contests designed to generate new energy saving ideas. Energy Day will be celebrated this year in November.
More information about Lilly's environmental sustainability goals and programs can be found at www.lilly.com/responsibility/health.
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world's most urgent medical needs.