Abbott Goes 'Carbon Neutral' With U.S. Fleet

July 11, 2007
Life sciences company also unveils new global energy policy and installs solar system to power Calif. facility.

Global health care company Abbott recently announced that it is the first Fortune 500 company to go "carbon neutral" with its entire U.S. fleet of company sales vehicles.

At an environmental summit in Chicago, Abbott also unveiled its new Global Energy Policy and announced the installation of a 500-kilowatt hour solar power system to produce electricity for parts of a manufacturing plant in southern California.

Fleet vehicles are driven an average of 25,000 miles per year -- nearly doubling the mileage, fuel consumption, and emissions of personal vehicles. A typical fleet of 500 vehicles can put more than 6,000 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the air annually.

At Abbott, the company's fleet represents close to 11 percent of the company's total emissions. Abbott will reduce the carbon emissions from its 6,000-vehicle fleet in the United States by offering a hybrid vehicle option starting immediately. The company will then purchase carbon offsets in early 2008 to neutralize the balance of the fleet's impact on the environment -- to become "carbon neutral."

New Global Energy Policy

Abbott's new Global Energy Policy outlines several commitments the company is making to further improve its impact on the environment, including goals to:

  • Achieve a 12 percent reduction in overall electric energy purchased by 2011.
  • Achieve a 30 percent reduction in overall CO2 emissions by 2011.
  • Invest in renewable energy capital projects, or energy sourcing, that produce no CO2 emissions at major manufacturing locations by 2011; and
  • Eliminate 12 percent of combined fuel oil/coal consumption by switching to cleaner fuels by 2011.

Using Solar Power At Temecula, Calif. Plant

In an effort to increase its use of renewable energy, Abbott is installing a large, 500-kilowatt hour solar power system to produce electricity for parts of the company's vascular plant in the southern part of the state. This marks the company's first solar panel installation in the United States.

An ongoing commitment to sustainable business practices has led to Abbott being named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) in recognition of the company's leading economic, social and environmental performance. Abbott is also a member of EPA Climate Leaders, an industry/government partnership focused on a collaborative approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other climate change issues.

For more information and the company's 2006 global citizenship report, visit

Interested in information related to sustainable manufacturing best practices? Bookmark our Making Green page, and check back daily for updated content.
About the Author

Brad Kenney | Chief Marketing Officer

Brad Kenney is the former Technology Editor of IndustryWeek and now serves as director of the mobile/social platforms practice at R/GA, a global marketing/advertising firm in New York City.

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