Sustainability report

Supply chain management

Edwards Lifesciences’ supply chain management practices focus on product lifecycle, design and innovation, and commitment to product stewardship supports our aspiration of transforming patient lives with breakthrough medical technologies.

Definition

Monitoring and assessing product quality, safety, social and environmental performance of Edwards’ suppliers. Innovating to improve quality, design and performance of products and reducing environmental impacts of Edwards’ products throughout their lifecycle. Reducing environmental and human health impacts from Edwards’ use of harmful materials and chemicals in products or operations.

Our aspirations

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Passionate engagement that strengthens our communities

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Excelling as a trusted partner through distinguished quality and integrity

Material topics
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New International Facilities Designed to be Eco-Friendly

In 2019, we broke ground on our newest manufacturing plant in Limerick, Ireland. During our property selection process, we conducted a thorough evaluation of environmental risks, including those related to cultural artifacts, protected wildlife and storm water run-off impacts. This manufacturing plant is designed to be LEED Platinum certified and nearly all energy will be renewably sourced to ensure we uphold our commitment to minimize our impact to the environment.

Also in 2019, we officially opened our state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Cartago, Costa Rica, which has grown to almost 700 employees, with an additional 500 planned headcount before the end of 2020. Our new 25,500 square meter manufacturing plant is being designed to uphold Costa Rica’s environmental reputation and Edwards’ commitment to promote this eco-friendly image. In fact, almost 100 percent of the energy used to operate our new plant is derived from non-fossil fuel sources, including hydroelectric and thermal sources of energy, which helps us drive down the impact of climate change. Technology for the disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes also allows for waste-to-energy (WTE) recovery during incineration. Our Costa Rica plant is in the process to become LEED certified.

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Packaging Materials Projects Reduce Waste by at Least 15 Percent

Environmental considerations are incorporated into Edwards packaging design, development and qualification processes and procedures. Our goal is to develop and implement packaging systems which not only meet our customer and industry requirements, but also facilitate safer, more efficient and cost-effective delivery while minimizing our impact to the environment. Our Packaging Engineering teams are continually searching for and evaluating options for alternate materials, processes and sterilization methods that may improve packaging performance while reducing wastes and air emissions. Environmental packaging initiatives have resulted in reduced packaging materials and less waste. In addition, stronger durability, smaller package sizes and improved pallet configurations have resulted in improvements in overall shipping efficiencies through our global supply chain initiatives. In 2019, Edwards completed five significant projects to achieve our goal of reducing packaging by 15 percent in targeted, high-volume commercial products, resulting in a total reduction of 150,000 kgs per year of packaging waste (based on current sales volumes).

Packaging MaterialHeart valve packaging previously required 36 TagAlerts® per box. Newly redesigned packaging allows for just four TagAlerts® per box, resulting in an 88 percent packaging weight reduction and anticipated packaging waste reduction of 2,766 kg per year. TagAlerts® must be disposed as electronic or hazardous waste in many countries; therefore, this project reduces both overall packaging waste and customer regulated waste.

Packaging used for interplant shipment of Surgical Structural Heart implant devices was redesigned from a 24-pack to a 48-pack style. The new design reduces packaging materials by 32 percent.

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Nearly 40 Percent of Employees Travel to Work by Alternative, More Energy-Efficient Modes

For employee commuting, nearly 40 percent of our employees travel to work in alternative, more energy-efficient modes of transportation such as by bus, carpool or vanpool, hybrid and electric vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle or other means. Bus commuters make up approximately 29 percent of our global workforce. Edwards is proud to provide and sponsor dedicated bus services to our employees at our three largest manufacturing plants in Singapore, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Our bus services provide rides to approximately 3,800 employees to and from work. This effort reduces single car commuting by almost 55,000,000 kilometers each year.

In Singapore and the Dominican Republic, we provide fully sponsored, no-cost tour-style coaches and local bus services to approximately 3,400 employees. In Costa Rica, we provide low cost subsidized bus services from local suppliers for over 350 employees. This number will likely grow to about 600 employees by the end of 2020 and continue to increase as our plant in Costa Rica scales up to full capacity and headcount.

Employees travel to workIn addition to bus transport, Edwards supports alternative commuting through carpool and vanpool programs, commuter train subsidies and onsite electric-vehicle charging. Our employee commuting program offerings vary by site and are tailored to meet the needs of the local employee population and commuting profile. For example, at our Irvine, CA headquarters, 102 electric vehicle charging ports have been installed onsite in Edwards’ parking structures to support the more than 230 electric-vehicle drivers who work there. In addition to installing the charging stations, Edwards promotes the use of electric vehicles by providing our Irvine employees 2-hours of free charging each day for their vehicles, which is typically sufficient to power their commutes to and from work each day. In 2019, these stations had an over 75 percent utilization rate during workday hours.