How several of our efforts are having an impact all over the world.
Water is an invaluable resource, but access to potable water remains a challenge for certain communities around the world. Baxter collaborates with non-profit organizations to support community-based water projects and the implementation of conservation and efficiency projects at our manufacturing facilities.
Support access to potable water
Access to potable water is a basic human right. Unfortunately, this vital natural resource is limited in many parts of the world. Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation are actively investing in the following projects to support community water projects:
• La Guajira, Colombia: A project with UNICEF USA focuses on improving access to potable water in La Guajira, Colombia, one of the most water-stressed regions in the country. The three-year initiative is helping to provide access to potable water by rehabilitating water systems, installing solar panels, monitoring water quality and distributing water filters and hygiene kits to families.
• Valle del Cauca, Colombia: We started the "Water for All" project that seeks to protect and restore the ecosystems of the Arroyohondo and Cali river basins. Since the project started at the end of 2020, we have established conversation agreements to protect 213.5 hectares (target: 300 ha) of watersheds and we are actively restoring 20.7 hectares (target: 50 ha) with community participation.
• Ahmedabad, India: The Srujal Project provides potable water to 11 villages near the Baxter manufacturing plan in Ahmedabad (India). The initiative established water-related infrastructure such as elevated water tanks, boreholes, piping networks, roof rainwater collection structures and a cattle trough. The project also strengthened village capacity to sustainably manage water resources, provided education on water security and built capacity to manage resources.
• Aguacatán, Guatemala: A program with the Solar Foundation, a non-profit organization in Guatemala, is working with several partners to reduce the use of natural resources, provide access to drinking water, improve community health and empower women in Aguacatán, Huehuetenango. The Solar Foundation supported a total of 1,500 families through the program by providing water filters and stoves. In addition, the program established a solar-powered rainwater harvesting system at a local school that collected and treated water that was then used for hand washing and cleaning.
"Every Baxter water program affects lives in a different way," said Monica Torres, senior technical director of EHS&S at Baxter, who visited the project in Guatemala. "When I spoke with the women who helped organize this initiative, I was impressed by their leadership and commitment to helping their neighbors. They traveled to communities (some of them are only reachable on foot) to talk with people and hear firsthand their water challenges to develop a plan that would prioritize needs to make the most impact."
Conservation and manufacturing efficiency projects
In addition of supporting community water programs, Baxter also implements conservation and efficiency projects at our manufacturing facilities.
Our recent actions have included:
• Tianjin, China: We started a project to recover the condensed steam from our boiler, which was reused to reduce the total water consumption in the plant. This reduced total water consumption by 22% per unit of production.
• Grosotto and Sondalo, Italy: We implemented several changes to reduce water consumption, including the optimization of water consumption, including air conditioning systems optimization, also in cleaning and sanitation processes; changes in the cooling of sterilization and the installation of some new glass bottle washing machines. As a result, we have reduced water consumption by more than 150,000 cubic meters per year, compared to 2020.
Focused on the future
We are committed to moving forward. As part of our 2030 Corporate Responsibility Commitment, one of our objectives is strategic water management plans in manufacturing facilities. To prioritize our efforts and optimize our impact, we are soliciting the input of a multifunctional Baxter team on our 2030 roadmap. Meanwhile, we continue to work with our local partners on community water projects and improving our manufacturing infrastructure to ensure that our operations manage water efficiently and effectively.
"Baxter has always attached great importance related to the use of water in all its operations," Torres said. "I am personally excited about our 2030 goal on water and our emphasis on protecting such a precious resource".