Becton, Dickinson and Company

By Melanie Bracey on April 30, 2015

As the results show, BD is on target for sustainability.


At Becton, Dickinson and Company’s 50-plus manufacturing sites worldwide (such as in Fraga, Spain), sustainability is a result of its associates’ dedication and focus.

As a global medical technology company, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) sees sustainability as a key enabler to achieving its purpose of Helping all people live healthy lives, and its commitment to setting Sustainability Targets is designed to help the company get there.

BD’s 2015 targets, set five years ago, focused on reducing energy, water and waste from BD’s operations. As it reached this milestone year, BD had met or exceeded four of five goals—increasing renewable energy to 34 percent of its total energy use; reducing hazardous waste generation by 57 percent; reducing nonhazardous waste generation by 27 percent; reducing water consumption by 31 percent; and reducing energy consumption by 20 percent, slightly less than its 30 percent goal.

In addition to this exceptional performance, BD also successfully reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent from 2008 levels, through pursuit of its combined energy conservation and renewable energy targets. Ellen Kondracki, director, sustainable innovation and stakeholder relations in the office of global sustainability at BD, credits this success to dedication and focus of BD’s associates across the company’s more than 50 manufacturing sites worldwide, as well as the company’s commitment to pursuing renewable energy projects. This includes a 20-year agreement to purchase wind power from the Steele Flats wind farm in Nebraska for BD’s facilities in the state. BD has incorporated greenhouse gas emission reduction into its upcoming 2020 goals, with an effort to reduce emissions even further, by 50 percent from 2008 levels. BD intends to release its full set of 2020 Sustainability Targets early this summer.

One challenge that BD faced—and that other companies can relate to—was the appropriation of funding for sustainability initiatives throughout the company. “You can get a lot of the ‘low-hanging fruit’ in the first two or three years, which we certainly did,” Kondracki said. “However, when bigger projects come along, you are challenged to find new ways of incorporating projects into the planning process.”

BD was named a 2014 EPA Green Power Partner of the Year due to its success in renewable energy solutions, alongside Apple, Google and Oklahoma State University.

BD’s sustainability projects competed for funding in the same arena as capital improvement projects, which often meant that attractive projects from a sustainability perspective were not being funded. As a solution, and in an effort to prepare for its new 2020 Sustainability Targets, the office of global sustainability worked with the finance team at BD to create a set of guidelines for funding sustainability projects. These guidelines ensure that projects related to energy, water and waste are identified at the site level and submitted for review at the corporate level. Through this process, there are now additional considerations given to those projects that significantly contribute to BD’s targets and funding is prioritized accordingly.

“We’re very confident in the goals we’ve set for 2020 because we’ve learned through pursuit of our 2015 targets how to integrate this work into existing business processes,” Kondracki said.

For 2020, BD will place a renewed focus on addressing environmental performance throughout its supply chain. In addition to 2020 goals that call for further reduction of BD’s environmental footprint in manufacturing, BD will be setting goals to improve the life cycle impact of products. The company will also be measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions from the supply chain, including transportation and logistics, employee commuting and business travel.

Along with supply chain environmental performance, renewable energy will continue to be a central initiative. BD has signed the World Wildlife Fund’s Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, a combined effort of many green-minded organizations to make it easier for voluntary corporate participation in renewable energy programs. BD, in fact, was named a 2014 EPA Green Power Partner of the Year due to its success in renewable energy solutions, alongside Apple, Google and Oklahoma State University.