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Schering Plough (Avondale) Co.

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1. Background

In 2008 Schering Plough (Avondale) Co. started a formal community programme with a mission
statement of “Working together to improve Safety and the Environment”.

We identified two common barriers to why community out reach programmes can fail; “Lack of Trust
and Lack of Understanding” (Fig.1). This is often created not only by a lack of a programme but also
by a programme that has too much “Technical Talk” resulting in communication that is “One Way”.

We quickly realised that we must not undertake a Community Outreach Programme but rather a
Community Engagement Programme. The core philosophy of this programme centers on forming a
working partnership with the community.


                                                  Barriers to
                                              Community Outreach

                           “Lack of Trust “                         “Lack of

2. Community Engagement Programme

A key element of the Community Engagement programme was to provide an “Environmental
Service” to the Community by using our technical knowledge & expertise. In addition we were
committed to being fully “Open & Transparent” so as to build a strong foundation of “Trust”. In the
development of our Community Engagement Programme five key priority areas were identified

   i.   Schools & Universities
  ii.   Company’s family and friends
 iii.   Neighbours
 iv.    Government Agencies
  v.    Local Industry

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                             Govt.                         Family
                             Agencies   Community          Friends

                                                     Schools &

                Fig.2 Community Engagement Programme

2.1    Schools & Universities:- to promote science, safety and the environment amongst our
       young people especially at junior level but also up to universities

The Company placed a strong emphasis on engaging with local schools and national universities.
We believed that work like this, at the grass root level, brings key messages home to family and
friends. In addition interest in the sciences has being falling in recent years. By developing this
interest especially at schools we are investing in the long term future of our industry and the
national strategy to develop a leading edge R&D engine to drive future growth in Ireland. Work
like this can be the stimulus good students need to encourage them into science as a career - and
is therefore highly valued.

Specifically in 2008 a partnership was formed with two local schools; Avondale Community
College and the Rathdrum Boys National School to support their progress with “Green-
Schools”. Green-Schools, known internationally as Eco-Schools, is an environmental education
programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and
acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment. The aim of Green-Schools is to
increase students’ and participant awareness of environmental issues through classroom studies
and to transfer this knowledge into positive environmental action in the school and also in the
wider community.

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In support of this programme the Company undertook:-

        Site tours to demonstrate applied science in a day to day setting and not just in a

        Collection (with EPA approval) of redundant/obsolete laboratory chemicals many of
        which were several years old. These were potentially unsafe and presented a significant
        disposal problem and cost for the schools. These were taken by company, at no charge
        to the school, and shipped off site with our routine hazardous waste for incineration.
        Latter this year it is planed to undertake a programme of laboratory safety for the

        The Company was invited as VIP guests to a Green Flag ceremony at which Green
        Certificates were handed out by the Company to students who demonstrated
        environmental leadership (Fig.2.)

        The Company supported the schools “Annual Science Day” where science
        demonstrations were given by Company R&D personnel to prospective new pupils and
        their parents.

        The Company provided a financial donation that allowed for purchase of new waste
        recycling bins and also removal of an old redundant oil tank that posed a risk to the

        The Company used its in house expertise to carry out an energy audit of the school to
        indentify improvement opportunities not only to reduce energy use and the schools
        carbon footprint, but also to reduce the operating costs for the school. As a result the
        school obtained grants for window and roof insulation. The Company also fitted better
        boiler management timers to the schools boiler.

        As well as hosting site tours to third level institutions the Company was also a guest
        lecturer to DIT and DCU where we presented our Environmental Management System

          Fig.3. Green Certificates handed out to student      Fig.4 Students from DIT on site in 2009 for a site
                  at Avondale Community College                       tour and presentation.

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2.2 & 2.3 Neighbours, family and friend:- to support the development of a culture of EHS
           excellence not only at work but to bring this way of thinking to our home, our family, our
           friends and our neighbors.

Our work colleagues are our best ambassadors, by creating a culture of EHS excellence within
the site this attitude will carry home and into the wider community. Open transparent dialogue with
our neighbors is essential, consequently we engage with the community on all new development
projects at an early stage; this allows us to address and alleviate concerns and in turn reduce
objections. In 2008 and 2009 the local neighbors were invited for site tours as well as a questions
and answers forum. Another example of this transparency is the availability on line to all Company
colleagues of all environmental monitoring records, team meeting minutes and regulatory

In July 2008 the Company hosted a “Chemcar” collection day on site. This
was open to all work colleagues and the local community where household
hazardous waste was brought to the site and the disposed of by a licenced
broker paid for by the Company. Over 2.2 tonnes (Fig.5. of hazardous waste
was collected that otherwise may have ended up in landfill.

                                          Household Hazardous Waste Collected by Company
                                              Sponsored Chemcar on the 4th July 2008








                                             r ie





                                         t te











             Fig.5      Summary of household hazardous waste collected by
                        the company from the local community

The Company received EPA approval to place a collection bin on site (Fig.5) for the local
community and work colleagues to bring waste medicines for proper environmental disposal
organized and paid for by the Company. This is part of our commitment to reducing
Pharmaceuticals In the Environment (PIE). This “Take Back” agreement not only covers
Schering Plough products but all medicines regardless of the producer. We are currently
extending this programme to a local pharmacy so as to widen this access for the local community.

               Fig.6. “PIE” bin on site for waste pharmaceuticals

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                      Fig.7    Statue of Charles Stewart Parnell (a key Irish historical politician)
                               donated by the Company to a local park.

2.3    Authorities; form research partnerships with regulatory authorities especially the EPA,
HSA and Wicklow CC.

In addition to the site household hazardous waste collection the Company also part sponsors a
similar initiative with Wicklow County Councils for the collection of household hazardous waste
through out the county. The Company also supported a Technical Assistance project helping to
train new European inspectors on the implementation of IPPC Directive and Seveso II. This
included hosting trainee EU Croatian Inspectors for a site tour and workshop at the Company.
Programmes like this demonstrate to the Regulatory Authorities of our willingness to be open and
to work with them for improved environmental performance.

              `       Fig.8. Trainee EHS Croatian Inspectors at the Company

2.4    Industry; use site expertise to provide technical assistance to other industries.

The company is an active member of the Pharmachemical Ireland working groups and the
Responsible Care programme. We have an open door policy and regularly communicate our
learning’s and share our best practices with all other companies. Currently we are working with
the Eastern Fisheries Board on the Avoca Restoration River Project. The Company is also looking
at forming a working partnership with key industrial sectors within the Wicklow Region.

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3. The Outcome

A strong foundation of Trust has being developed with our Community. The formation of a good
relationship has helped to keep complaints against the site to a minimum and a process of open
dialogue with the community and the site has being developed, for example;

       No Objections for the last 3 IPPC Licence revisions, including the most recent for a new
       liquid waste incinerator.

       In 2009 the Company announced plans to build a new Production Plant. The Company bought
       in the neighbours to explain project. No objections were lodged for the planning

       Complaints. There have being no complaints made against the Company in last 3 years.

       EPA Acknowledgement. In the approval letter from the Agency, the EPA commended our
       programme on PIE.

       Corporate Recognition: In March 2009 the Company was the overall winner for the annual
       Schering Plough Environmental Achievement Award ceremony from over 40 sites worldwide.
       The programme will be presented at an up coming European conference where it is hoped
       other sites will undertake a similar initiative.

5. Conclusion

A successful community programme must focus on engagement and working together. The
programme must aim to establish a level of “Trust” and avoid one way technical communication.
This will break down the barriers of lack of trust and understanding. Instead of throwing money to the
community donate your time, this face to face relationship is more valuable and will lead to a more
successful programme.

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