Hazardous waste


Edwards Lifesciences’ work to manage Waste serves our Aspiration to Strengthen Our Communities.

Reducing the amount of waste to landfill generated by Edwards, recycling and responsible waste disposal and managing discharge of toxic and hazardous waste


Management Approach

Edwards Lifesciences produces solid and hazardous waste through our product manufacturing process. As we continue to innovate new and transformational technologies, we push ourselves to minimize our waste footprint—building a foundation for more responsible manufacturing.

Managing Regulations & Compliance

We comply with all waste disposal regulations in our global markets. Established in 1994, the European Union Packaging Directive requires member states to implement measures to reduce waste generated throughout a product’s lifecycle. In Germany, for example, we must file a monthly report on the amount of product shipped and associated waste. Portions of the EU’s new Circular Economy strategy, announced in 2015, strengthen the emphasis on producer responsibility for waste.

Solid Waste Management

Edwards has a goal to reduce solid waste 20 percent by 2020 from our 2015 baseline. Our facilities each have responsibility for implementing waste reduction practices to achieve this target.

  • At our Horw, Switzerland, location, we incinerate 100 percent of solid waste through the local municipality as waste-to-energy fuel.
  • Our Anasco operation in Puerto Rico focuses on waste minimization and has increased recycling efforts since our initial evaluation in 2010.
  • While redesigning and constructing new buildings at our Irvine headquarters, we have recycled 96 percent of all construction demolition materials and waste.
  • In Haina, Dominican Republic, we track an 80 percent recycling rate due to waste diversion and re-use initiatives.

Several of our customers have expressed a desire for more environmentally friendly packaging. More information about our work to reduce packaging is available on our Product Lifecycle, Design and Innovation page.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Edwards’ hazardous waste footprint includes both chemical and medical biohazardous substances. Approximately 75 percent of our impact stems from waste streams generated at our Irvine, Singapore and Horw manufacturing facilities. We reuse over 36 percent of total waste as fuel for cement kilns and energy plants or for use in water treatment facilities. We incinerate another 59 percent through waste treatment processing that renders it nonhazardous. Some of our locations receive financial benefits from their efforts. At Horw, for example, we receive an annual rebate for energy generated through the hazardous waste combustion.

Edwards limits pollution by recycling, incinerating or treating hazardous waste wherever technologically feasible. Our methods and costs of disposal vary based on country regulations, and include waste-to-energy, incineration, treatment, solidification and landfill. Waste-to-energy is common in the mainland United States, while we mainly use incineration and treatment in our Caribbean and Singapore locations. Edwards does not export hazardous waste outside of our host country’s borders.

Annual Performance

Due to growth in manufacturing production, our total solid waste consumption increased from 2010 to 2015. However, we tracked a 35 percent reduction when normalized by our revenue growth, and our disposal costs only increased by four percent. We can attribute some of this success from our initiative to recycle product and packaging materials as “waste-to-energy” fuels. By 2020, our goal is to reduce solid and hazardous waste 20 percent from our 2015 baseline, normalized by revenue.

Our Solid Waste Performance

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Relative Solid Waste Disposal (Tonnes/Millions of Sales)
0.76 0.73 0.58 0.52 0.53 0.51
Absolute Solid Waste Disposal Over Time (Tonnes)
1,100 1,224 1,099 1,074 1,219 1,269

In 2015, Edwards achieved zero waste to landfill at our Horw, Switzerland, facility. We also implemented 100 percent chemical bottle recycling at our Singapore location. Our 2020 goal is to divert 60 percent of solid waste for recycling or reuse. In 2015, Edwards tracked a 40 percent diversion rate for our manufacturing facilities, with our Haina and Horw facilities reporting more than 80 percent diversion.

Materials Recycled in 2015 by Type

  • Corrugated packaging
  • Plastic, wooden pallets & paper
  • Landscaping, metals & electronics

Hazardous Waste Performance

As of 2015 and in light of our growth, Edwards has limited our normalized increase of hazardous to five percent since 2010. Since this baseline, our hazardous waste disposal costs only increased 27 percent while volumes grew by 81 percent. We made advances in our chemical handling processes, equipment upgrades and waste contractor improvements. In fact, we achieved zero hazardous waste at our Horw facility. By 2020, our goal is to recycle 60 percent of all hazardous waste.

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Relative Hazardous Waste Disposal (Tonnes/Millions of Sales)
0.300 0.356 0.346 0.345 0.331 0.316
Absolute Hazardous Waste Disposal (Tonnes)
434 598 658 707 769 788

Our Aspirations

Strengthen Our Communities


By 2020, reduce our environmental footprint according to Edwards’ Environmental, Health and Safety plan.
Strengthen Our Communities
Our Living Wall
Edwards’ focus on innovation encompasses all that we do, including our environmental initiatives. We’ve constructed one of North America’s largest Living Walls on a parking structure at our Irvine, Calif., headquarters. The wall provides 3,500 vertical square feet for soil-less plants that naturally thrive under low water conditions. We installed a smart controlled irrigation system that catches and stores excess water underground for reuse. Furthermore, we deliver plant trimmings to a nearby mulching facility and repurchase the mulch for use across our campus.
In addition to aesthetic appeal, the low-maintenance wall saves energy and reduces noise pollution. It protects the building from sun damage, rain and temperature fluctuations. Every day, it serves as a reminder to our Irvine employees of Edwards’ commitment to preserving and respecting our planet.