Protecting nature as the basis for life

Fresenius, as a health care Group, is aware of its responsibility of protecting nature and using its resources carefully. Environmental protection means monitoring and evaluating potential risks in our processes, and setting up proper measures to limit possible impacts.

Solar Panels at Fresenius Kabi’s plant in Haina, Dominican Republic

The business segments use the ISO 14001 standard as the basis for their environmental management. Further entities were included in the certification processes in 2019 and we aim to expand the scope going forward. We also made progress in each business segment in the implementation of energy management systems according to ISO standard 50001, and, where applicable, increased the number of certified locations.

As the four business segments of the Fresenius Group align their environmental management to their individual business models, we present the environmental management approaches separately for each of them. Data on energy consumption 1, water consumption 1, and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)1 is reported for all business segments. The consumption of resources varies depending on the business model. We also report the consumption by resource in relation to personnel (FTE) and sales.

Water is an important resource for all four Fresenius business segments. Fresenius operates in highly regulated markets with regard to hygiene, sterility, and product quality. Water used in our health care facilities and production sites has to meet regulatory requirements. To safeguard our patients’ and employees’ health, we ensure that adequate management and control systems are in place. These include, for example, regular flushing of pipes in hospitals to prevent contamination, but also water treatment for production or dialysis.

Water management and water treatment are controlled locally within the Fresenius Group. The business segments are responsible for ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Their operational environmental protection measures provide the respective framework for all related activities. The same applies to wastewater: the business segments are expected to treat wastewater from their facilities in compliance with local laws and regulations and develop and implement corresponding management provisions if necessary.

Fresenius1 consumed a total of 57.3 million m3 of water in fiscal year 2019 (2018: 56.2 million m3). About 91% came from the municipal water supply, and 7% was sourced from ground water. In the hospital setting, nearly all water consumed is sourced from the municipal water supply. To be compliant with existing regulations regarding hospital hygiene, we can only use, for example, rainwater in areas that pose no risk to our patients’ health.

Fresenius Group1 water consumption
m3 in millions201920182017
­Fresenius Medical Care43.242.1n. a.
­Fresenius Kabi9.69.79.8
­Fresenius Helios3.83.73.2
­Fresenius Vamed0.70.70.3
Total57.356.2n. a.
Fresenius Group1 relative water consumption
in m320192018
Water consumption / € 1 million sales1,6121,676
Water consumption / FTE217.8228.2

Production processes and patient treatments in hospitals and other health care facilities require a large amount of energy. The structural condition of our health care facilities also has a direct impact on energy consumption. Fresenius continuously invests in new construction projects and modernizations in line with the current energy efficiency standards and applicable regulations. In fiscal year 2019, Fresenius 1 consumed, as in 2018, a total of approximately 5.3 million MWh of energy from different sources, the majority relating to electricity, natural gas, and district heating. Energy management focuses above all on our patients’ well-being and product safety. A safe and uninterruptible power supply is a top priority. Measures for saving energy are always considered with the utmost care. Furthermore, we continually optimize our energy procurement, based on consumption analysis and energy efficiency, and, where reasonable, evaluate the use of renewable energy. We also generate our own energy at numerous locations.

Among the aforementioned main energy sources, a major CO2 driver is the demand for electricity. Accordingly, Scope 2 emissions are higher than Scope 1 emissions in all business segments. In fiscal year 2019, Fresenius 1 generated a total of 1,509 thousand t CO2 equivalents (2018: 1,534 thousand t CO2 equivalents).

Fresenius Group1 energy consumption
MWh in millions201920182017
­Fresenius Medical Care2.422.38n. a.
­Fresenius Kabi1.641.651.57
­Fresenius Helios1.091.140.95
­Fresenius Vamed0.160.170.05
Total5.325.34n. a.
Fresenius Group1 relative energy consumption
in MWh20192018
Energy consumption / € 1million sales150159
Energy consumption / FTE20.221.7

In the health care industry, waste is strictly regulated. All Fresenius locations have to adhere to applicable laws and regulations regarding waste disposal, as well as global or local standard operating procedures and environmental management provisions. There are important interfaces between professional, safe disposal and the requirements for hygiene and sterility in production processes and hospital treatments. These range from selecting suitable disposal containers, cleaning and sterilization procedures to the occupational safety of our employees in the disposal of hazardous – e.g., infectious – waste.

Where necessary, the business segments set out specific rules and requirements in internal guidelines and communicate them, for example in local training courses. There are also controls in place, for example in the area of hygiene in our acute care clinics, to ensure compliance with regulations.

Fresenius Group1 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), Scope 1 and 2
t CO2 equivalents in thousands201920182017
­Fresenius Medical CareScope 1227219n. a.
Scope 2547557n. a.
­Fresenius KabiScope 1165169174
Scope 2249255248
­Fresenius HeliosScope 1107114103
Scope 2178182152
­Fresenius VamedScope 118193
Scope 218196
TotalScope 1517521n. a.
Scope 29921,013n. a.
Fresenius Group 1 relative GHG emissions
t CO2 equivalents20192018
t CO2 equivalents / € 1 million sales4246
t CO2 equivalents / FTE5.76.2

1 Fresenius Medical Care figures include energy and water consumption at production sites. as well as electricity and water consumption at dialysisDialysisForm of renal replacement therapy where a semipermeable membrane – in peritoneal dialysis the peritoneum of the patient, in hemo­dialysis the membrane of the dialyzer – is used to clean a patient’s blood. centers. Greenhouse gases are calculated based on energy data. Fresenius Kabi’s data includes all facilities worldwide. The data from Fresenius Helios encompasses all company-owned hospitals in Germany. and as of 2018 also in Spain. Fresenius Vamed’s data includes all fully consolidated health care facilities and as of 2018 the German post-acute care business transferred from Fresenius Helios to Fresenius Vamed. If data of the business segments is not available in time it is extrapolated on the basis of existing data. An adjustment will be made in the next report. Prior-year information was adjusted to conform to the current year’s presentation.

For more information see the Non-financial Report.