Sustainability Report




Hazardous waste


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

Reducing the amount of waste generated by Edwards to landfill, by 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 processes. 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 are committed to complying 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 strengthen the emphasis on producer responsibility for waste.

Solid Waste Management

Edwards’ aims to reduce solid waste 20 percent by 2020 from our 2015 baseline. Each of our facilities are responsible 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, Puerto Rico, location 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 reuse 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 33 percent of total waste as fuel for cement kilns and energy plants or for use in water treatment facilities. We incinerate another 64 percent through waste treatment processing that renders it nonhazardous. The remaining three percent is managed pursuant to risks, best practices and local regulatory requirements. Some of our locations realize financial benefits from their efforts. At Horw, for example, we receive an annual rebate for energy generated through 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 contiguous 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 countries’ borders.

Annual Performance

Due to growth in manufacturing production, our total solid waste consumption and disposal costs increased from 2010 to 2016. However, we tracked a 33 percent reduction when normalized by our revenue growth. 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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Relative Solid Waste Disposal (Tonnes/Millions of Sales)
0.73 0.58 0.52 0.53 0.51 0.51
Absolute Solid Waste Disposal Over Time (Tonnes)
1,224 1,099 1,074 1,219 1,269 1,499

Materials Recycled in 2016 by Type

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

Hazardous Waste Performance

As of 2016, considering our growth, Edwards has limited our normalized increase of hazardous waste to two percent since 2010. Since this baseline, our hazardous waste disposal costs only increased 31 percent while volumes grew by 108 percent. We made advances in our chemical handling processes, equipment upgrades and waste contractor improvements. By 2020, we aim to recycle 60 percent of all hazardous waste. As of 2016, 33 percent is recycled.

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Relative Hazardous Waste Disposal (Tonnes/Millions of Sales)
0.356 0.346 0.345 0.331 0.316 0.306
Absolute Hazardous Waste Disposal (Tonnes)
598 658 707 769 788 906

Our Aspirations

Strengthen Our Communities

Material Topics

Related Resources

EHS Annual Report
Sustainability Targets
By 2020, reduce our environmental footprint according to Edwards’ Environmental, Health and Safety plan.
Strengthen Our Communities
Highlight Story
One-Stop Shop Paper Shredding and Recycling Goes Global
Launched in 2016 in the U.S. and expanding globally, Edwards has partnered with its document management and shredding services supplier to provide a single source, one-stop shop for paper shredding and recycling. Rather than segregating paper for recycling, employees are encouraged to dispose all paper into confidential bins, which is then shredded for security purposes and recycled as waste paper.

Through this program, Edwards recycled approximately 60 metric tons of mixed paper in 2016, including envelopes, office packaging and related paper materials. This helped reduce our carbon footprint and save landfill space, trees, water and energy.