Case Study: Baxter Healthcare Pte Ltd
Baxter International Inc is a global healthcare company. Through its subsidiaries, Baxter
provides critical therapies for people with life-threatening conditions. Baxter’s bioscience,
medication delivery, as well as renal products and services, are used to treat patients with
some of the most challenging medical conditions. These include cancer, hemophilia, immune
deficiencies, infectious diseases, kidney diseases and trauma.
With approximately 55,000 team members operating in more than 110 countries at more than
250 facilities worldwide, Baxter is a global leader in developing innovative medical therapies
that improve the quality of life for people around the world.
Baxter Healthcare, Singapore (Medication Delivery Division)
Baxter’s Medical Delivery business manufactures a range of Intravenous (IV) sets that
deliver fluids to patients, Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) solution, as well as electronic infusion
Baxter believes that “Saving The Earth Is Loving Ourselves”. Baxter has a well-developed
and successful Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Management Standard Program. This
program complies with the ISO 14001 international standards for Environmental
Management Systems. In fact, Baxter Singapore is the first facility for the entire Baxter
Corporation worldwide to be certified ISO 14001 by SPRING Singapore in June 1996.
Baxter is also one of the earliest companies in Singapore to obtain this certification.
Baxter plays a vital role in sustainable development. This is commonly defined as
“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs”. Baxter’s focus on sustainable development is divided
into three categories i.e. 1) Pollution Prevention, 2) Packaging Reduction and 3) Natural
Over the years, Baxter Singapore has set aside resources to form teams of people, namely,
the Environmental Team and the Energy Conservation Team, to spearhead environmental
initiatives in our operation. These teams also help to organize awareness programs for the
employees in Baxter (eg. the Annual Environmental Exhibition). Baxter also participated in
the Clean and Green Week Exhibition. In addition, Green Procurement and Supplier
Packaging Return programs have been implemented. On the whole, Baxter has two main
ways to enforce waste minimization:
Packaging Material Minimization
Plastic Waste Recycling
Reduce and Reuse of Packaging Material
Reuse of Tote Pans and Plastic Pallets. In the past, corrugated boxes were used to pack raw
materials and wooden pallets were used to transport the raw materials by suppliers of Baxter.
To reduce such waste, even though the boxes can be recycled, Baxter started working with
some suppliers to replace the boxes with reusable tote pans and the wooden pallets with
plastic pallets to deliver molded parts – the pans and the pallets are reused between Baxter
and the suppliers.
Over the years, the programme has been expanded to cover more suppliers, e.g. some
mechanical & electro-mechnical parts suppliers. Today, there are about 20 suppliers
transporting raw materials to Baxter in reusable tote pans and plastic pallets. The supplier
takes the empty tote pans & pallets back during delivery. On average, 9,000 tote pans and
1,400 plastic pallets are reused each month. Practicing reuse helps conserve resources and
reduce waste. It also helps Baxter and the suppliers to save on material costs and waste
Empty tote pans Plastic pallets
Reuse and Recycle of Cartons Collection bins are
placed at Baxter to collect empty cartons of supplier
whose company is based in Singapore. Suppliers
will pick up the empty cartons from Baxter during
their next delivery trips. The cartons are reused to
contain raw materials supplied to Baxter.
On the other hand, carton boxes used by overseas
suppliers are non-returnable. Thus, these cartons are
collected and recycled. Employees are trained to
dispose the carton at designated carton collection Collection bins
bins. Carton waste is stored into bulk quantity, prior to their transfer to the company that
deals in carton waste. Carton waste is then re-processed into recycled paper. Baxter's carton
boxes are made from 50% recycled paper.
Carton waste Baxter’s carton boxes made from
50% recycled paper
Recycle of Wooden Pallets Wooden pallets
are non-returnable to suppliers. Thus they are
collected for reuse or made into technical wood.
Pack Factor Optimization Baxter Singapore redesigned the packaging required to ship
Colleague™ Volumetric Infusion Pumps. Now, each pallet accommodates 48 pumps
compared to 18 pumps previously. This will save 6,000 kilograms of polyethylene foam,
7,000 kilograms of corrugated cartons, and 600 wooden pallets per year. Annual material
cost savings will be US$33,000. The warehouse space needed to store pumps has been
Achievements Baxter Singapore won the Lewis Erwin Packaging Award 2001 for its
HomeChoice™ Form-Fill-Seal project. This is the highest recognition awarded to Baxter.
This project resulted in reduced packaging materials used by 200,000 kilograms. And the
smaller package has the added benefit of reducing the ethylene oxide used for sterilization by
8,000 kilogram. This has helped Baxter save US$1.2 million per year.
Plastic Waste Recycling
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Polyester Waste Recycling At Baxter, our medical products
are made from plastic. Thus plastic waste like PVC and polyester are normally generated.
Uncontaminated or clean PVC waste and polyester waste are collected and can be turned into
refined resin. These waste are weighed for data collection. Baxter uses these data to set
Plastic Waste Reduction Goals and we monitor our progress to meet these goals. The plastic
waste are stored into bulk quantity and sold to a company that collects plastic waste. They
will then be shredded into fine pieces and packed into bags, ready to be sold as refined resin.
PVC products such as wet boot, slipper straps, garden hose, and floor mats are made from
refined PVC resin.
PVC resin PVC Products
As for polyester resin, they will be melted and made into polyester thread. Garments such as
swim wear, surfer's bermudas, shirts, pants can be made from polyester thread.
Refined polyester resin Garments made from polyester thread
By implementing the above methods of Waste Minimization, Baxter is able to achieve an
increasing recycling rate over the years. And this in turn has reduced the amount of waste
that needs to be incinerated.
We hope that in time to come, caring for the environment will not be a choice but a way of
life. Until then, we will continue as stewards of the environment by fulfilling our
responsibilities to the world around us.