Our strategy on materials and waste is to establish closed material loops for our major materials and avoid adverse effects from waste disposal. Our priorities are to use materials efficiently and prevent waste in the first place, and if generated to reduce and recycle waste before treatment, incineration or disposal. We currently recycle approximately 80% of all non-hazardous waste and continue to maximize opportunities for reuse and recycling. We are committed to keep the environmental impact from waste at a minimum, and we maximize energy use from waste.
Disposal of waste
The disposal of waste, particularly in landfills, poses the long-term risk of soil, surface and ground water contamination. Liquid and soluble components leaking from landfills could ultimately endanger the health of people living nearby, and of communities that depend on natural water sources downstream. In 2007 Novartis banned the practice of disposing of organic hazardous waste in landfills from all its operations worldwide and this commitment remains in place today. Such waste is treated for further processing or incinerated in approved, state-of-the-art facilities.
Novartis reports total quantities of hazardous and non-hazardous waste from operations, specified according to types of waste and disposal routes. Routes include recycling, treatment, incineration (with and without energy recovery) and landfill. Waste-intensity targets are set for the total amounts of hazardous and non-hazardous waste not being recycled.