The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

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Case study: How Baxter reduces energy use

Operating in over 100 countries around the globe, Baxter provides an extensive portfolio of essential renal and hospital products, manufactured at over 50 facilities across more than 20 countries. As energy is one of the company’s most important manufacturing costs, using energy effectively increases business efficiency, conserves natural resources and improves Baxter’s environmental performance.

This case study is based on the 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report by Baxter published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Baxter is committed to reducing its total energy use by 15 per cent indexed to revenue by 2020, from a 2015 baseline.  Tweet This! In order to reduce energy use Baxter took action to:
  • carry out site-specific energy assessments
  • implement energy conservation projects
  • increase renewable power use
  • operate a Lean Energy Programme

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report Baxter identified a range of material issues, such as product innovation, ethics and compliance, employee health and safety, responsible procurement and logistics, serving communities. Among these, reducing energy use stands out as a key material issue for Baxter.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Baxter engages with:

Stakeholder Group
Patients/healthcare providers

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Baxter conducted interviews with its internal and external stakeholders, including customers, suppliers and partners, governmental agencies, investors, sustainability experts and industry and patient organisations.

What actions were taken by Baxter to reduce energy use?

In its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report Baxter reports that it took the following actions for reducing energy use:

  • Carrying out site-specific energy assessments
  • Site-specific energy assessments enable Baxter to identify opportunities to conserve energy and to implement and share new technologies and best practices across the company. In 2016, Baxter conducted energy assessments at 10 facilities globally, identifying 189 potential energy conservation projects with possible annual savings of $4.8 million. Facility personnel also uncover potential energy conservation projects.
  • Implementing energy conservation projects
  • In 2016, Baxter implemented 212 energy conservation projects that saved over $5.6 million and 298 trillion joules of energy annually, avoiding more than 16,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of GHG emissions.
  • Increasing renewable power use
  • In 2016, at manufacturing sites in Europe, Baxter increased renewable power use to 73 per cent of total electricity, compared to 51 per cent in 2015. At the same time, Baxter saved $3.3 million through its global energy sourcing strategy.
  • Operating a Lean Energy Programme
  • Baxter operates a Lean Energy Programme for its main manufacturing facilities since 2007. It includes four sets of Lean Energy standards: Prerequisite, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each one defines 14 to 35 requirements a facility must satisfy at that level, focusing on process and system energy efficiency. By year-end 2016, 38 sites had achieved Prerequisite status. In addition, by the end of 2016, five company locations met the requirements of the ISO 50001 standard, as verified by an accredited third party. 

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization

2) Disclosure 302-3 Energy intensity

3) Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption


Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization corresponds to:

Disclosure 302-3 Energy intensity corresponds to:

Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

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1) This case study is based on published information by Baxter, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:




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