Novartis is committed to keep the environmental impact from waste at a minimum and follows a clear waste management strategy. The aim is to prevent, reduce, recycle or use waste as an energy source, before selecting safe disposal as an option. Waste prevention and reduction is always preferred to treatment, incineration or disposal. This helps ensure the overall environmental impact related to waste remains minimal, while energy use from waste is maximized. Opportunities for recycling and energy recovery from both hazardous and non-hazardous waste are always considered. All Novartis sites report waste data on a quarterly basis and waste contractors are audited on a regular basis to help ensure adherence to our standards.
We currently recycle approximately 80% of all non-hazardous waste and 60% of all hazardous waste and continue to maximize opportunities for reuse and recycling.
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 regardless of local regulations that may still permit this. Such waste is treated or incinerated in approved, state-of-the-art facilities.
Moving forward, we have set ourselves ambitious targets. By 2025, we aim to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in packaging (i.e., secondary and tertiary packaging) and to reduce waste disposal by half versus 2016 levels. By 2030, we are aiming to be completely plastic neutral, with all new products meeting sustainable design principles.