As we near our 130th anniversary, sustainability is clearly something that Abbott has long understood and practiced. It’s central to our worldview. The essence of our business is sustaining human health and life. That’s the ultimate shared success – when we create a better healthcare technology, it helps countless people around the world live better, fuller lives.
And this is a particularly fertile and productive time for that kind of breakthrough invention here at Abbott. In 2016 we were recognized by Popular Science, the world’s largest science and technology magazine, for developing two of its top 100 inventions of the year – our FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes, and our Absorb bioresorbable stent to repair arteries without leaving foreign material in the body. Our commitment to advancing medical science was underscored earlier this year when Clarivate Analytics named Abbott one of the world’s Top 100 Innovators.
Creating new and better health products will always be the primary way we contribute to the world’s wellbeing – but it’s first among many. Our long-established citizenship and sustainability commitment falls into three major categories:
Responsible Business Practices
We strive to operate our company ethically, carefully, and so as to create positive effects and legacies. Nowhere is this more evident than in our environmental commitment. Since 2010, Abbott has reduced absolute energy consumption by 9 percent and absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent. Our water policy has led to significant reduction in water use. Just one example is our Columbus, OH plant, which reduced water usage by 13 percent year over year, a decrease of 46 million gallons. And more than 20 of our manufacturing sites have now been certified as zero waste to landfill.
We believe the best results are achieved by working in partnership to produce mutual benefits. In India, for example, we are working with local dairy farmers to enhance their ability to produce the high-quality, safe milk we need for our nutrition business. As a result, local output has increased and the quality of the milk produced has risen, leading to higher income for the farmers, and a stronger supply chain for Abbott.
And, of course, we remain committed to focused, strategic giving that produces meaningful results. We’ve now worked with the government of Tanzania for more than 15 years to improve the country’s healthcare system. Our partnership to build infrastructure and improve methods has resulted in the country’s first emergency department, treating more than 47,000 people per year; a network of 23 modern diagnostic labs across the country; and more than 1,000 people cared for daily at the modern outpatient center built at the nation’s leading hospital.
Because of policies and practices like these, Abbott was again named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices in 2016 – the 12th consecutive year we’ve earned this recognition and the fourth year in a row that we’ve been named the leading company in our industry.
Our goal at Abbott is to help people live the best lives they can. We strive to serve that mission through everything we do as a company. And our success in this vital work is shared by all the people we serve, around the world.