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EMS Fast Track in Biotechnology

Organization(s) Toxics Use Reduction Institute
Project Description Although there are many competing priorities in running a business, Millipore recognized that a coherent EMS would help them save money, avoid risk, and improve their company's image. These reasons, along with the drive to run a sustainable and environmentally responsible business, helped Millipore's senior management see the business value of developing and implementing an EMS for its Massachusetts facilities.

Millipore is a multinational, high technology bioscience company that provides technologies, tools, and services for the development and production of new therapeutic drugs. Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, Millipore serves the worldwide life science research, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. The company has a strong corporate culture of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Millipore employs 4,200 people in 7 manufacturing plants and more than 31 offices around the world.

Millipore was selected to receive a Matching Grant and host the Toxics Use Reduction Institute's Industry EMS Peer Mentoring Work Group for fiscal year 2004. The Toxics Use Reduction Institute's Environmental Management Systems Peer Mentoring Work Groups have been extremely successful helping industries from all sectors and of all sizes develop site-specific and highly effective Environmental Management Systems. As part of the Peer Mentoring Work Group, Millipore's charge was to share its experience as a leader in the environmental arena and solicit advice and feedback from the members of the group. In addition, Millipore was expected to pursue aggressively its goal of achieving ISO 14001 certification for its chemical-intensive facility in Bedford, Massachusetts by 2005. After just nine months, Millipore is 80 percent complete towards achieving an ISO 14001 certifiable system. This fast track approach has been challenging, and has at the same time resulted in obvious environmental and cost benefits to the facility.

The 2004 Industry EMS Peer Mentoring Work Group hosted by Millipore had participants from many companies in the biotechnology and high technology sectors. Participants included Genzyme Corporation, Avecia Biotechnology, Abbott Laboratories/MediSense Products, Applied Biosystems, Polaroid, and General Electric Aircraft Engines. Millipore counts its involvement in this group as one of the highlights of its accomplishments with respect to its EMS goals in the past year. The opportunity to learn from peers while aggressively pursuing ISO 14001 certification was invaluable to the success of its process.

Other accomplishments that Millipore has achieved during the course of its first year in developing and implementing an EMS at its Bedford Massachusetts facility include:

-Created ISO implementation teams that combine environmental, health, and safety staff; quality assurance/quality control staff; and facilities staff to address specific aspects of the facility's EMS development. Those teams have a total membership of 20 people, ranging from plant managers through middle management down to boiler technicians. Teams meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to discuss progress on identified projects and set goals for continual improvement. Three major teams are water reduction, wastewater treatment, and raw material reduction. These teams identify projects that directly relate to the facility's significant impacts in order to achieve quick payback on implemented activities.

-Conducted general awareness training for virtually all employees at the Bedford facility. More in-depth training was provided for middle and senior facility management. As a result of this training, the company experiences a level of support that goes beyond Millipore's traditional belief in environmental responsibility, to a depth of supervisory understanding that initiates rapid and meaningful change in procedures and processes.

-Provided internal auditor training for a number of ISO team members. This training was held at Millipore's headquarters facility. Offered by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute to increase the effective use of EMS, the program encourages continual improvement in toxics use reduction and environmental stewardship. The training was open to the general public, and representatives from government, industry, and consulting firms attended this one day event.

-Implemented several projects as a result of the work of the ISO teams and Millipore's commitment to environmental stewardship. These projects include:

1. Methanol Recovery System - A state-of-the-art methanol recovery distillation column was built and put on-line in an effort to reduce significantly the amount of methanol purchased at this facility. Millipore expects to recover over 100,000 gallons of methanol for reuse each year.

2. De-Ionized (DI) Water System Upgrade - Millipore relies on DI water in its manufacturing process to assure the quality of its many products. The Water Reduction Team identified two DI water projects to improve the quality and consistency of the facility's DI water supply while reducing the amount of water and energy required to operate the system.

3. Prioritized Chemical Usage System - Millipore has expanded its TURI activities to include a systematic evaluation of all chemical usage at the Bedford facility. In conjunction with careful monitoring of chemical usage throughout the facility, Millipore is developing a systematic approach for identifying priority chemicals for use reduction projects.

Millipore's European facilities and its facility in Jaffrey, New Hampshire have had ISO 14001 certifications for more than five years. It was partially their successful examples that prompted Millipore to pursue EMS at its Massachusetts facilities. The Cork Ireland facility, in particular, has demonstrated that effective implementation of an EMS can lead to increased environmental awareness and willingness to push the envelope. This facility has used its EMS experience to successfully promote Lean Manufacturing ethics in the workplace, significantly reducing waste throughout the production process. Millipore's Bedford facility has identified that subsequent to acquiring ISO 14001 certification for its EMS, it will pursue the implementation of Lean Manufacturing as the logical next step in its progress towards a dynamic and thriving business that has minimal impact on the environment.

Project Contact
Name Pam Civie
Phone 978-934-3142
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Environmental Management Systems
Industrial Sectors Biotechnology Industry
Activity Keywords Awards program, Training/workshops
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 14 No. 2, Fall 2004


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