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Planet

Sustainable business practices make every drop count

Our global water supply is limited. Our desire to conserve water is not.

By 2030, the global demand for water is expected to exceed supply by 40%.1 Conserving water for future generations must be a priority for everyone, including industries, which are responsible for 22% of worldwide water use.2 For example, in our large manufacturing facilities, water is critical to control temperature and humidity for our products and to sterilize the equipment needed to produce medical devices. Water is an essential and finite resource. For years, we’ve been conducting in-depth analyses of how water is used at our facilities around the world. In FY21 we reported an 8% reduction in water usage intensity toward our FY25 goal of 15%.

Managing water resources requires us to constantly be aware of local environments and longer-term water availability.”

 

–Daniel Sterner, Director, Global Energy and Utility Infrastructure, Medtronic

Animation of reverse osmosis

Pure innovation, pure water

Sometimes minimizing water waste wherever and whenever we can means making big investments to ensure our facilities are using water as efficiently as possible. At more than 1 million square feet, our facility in North Haven, Connecticut, is one of our largest manufacturing facilities. In 2017, we installed a state-of-the-art system that purifies water by pushing it through a semi-permeable membrane that filters out contaminants. Not only did the new system and a cooling tower upgrade and improve water quality at the facility, but the site is now saving 6.5 million gallons of water per year, or about 13% of total annual usage.

Other times, small changes lead to big savings. In addition to routinely checking for leaks, Medtronic teams continuously look for opportunities to repurpose or stretch existing water supplies. In some of our more arid locations like Tempe, Arizona, we use natural and sustainable practices to manage our green space and reduce our water use. With 90,000 employees around the globe, even switching to low-flow toilets and waterless urinals saves thousands of gallons per year.

Conserving water by recycling

Our employees help us recognize opportunities to conserve water. Kevin Asher was inspecting a climate control system in Mounds View, Minnesota, when he noticed a lot of condensation water draining off the roof and into the sewer system. Recognizing the waste, Asher built a novel closed-loop system to capture and recycle the water. His system saves about one million gallons of water a year and is now used at other locations.

Animation of faucet dripping

Saving water today for tomorrow

Water is becoming more scarce. While our operations are generally not water-intensive, Medtronic recognizes our responsibility to protect the natural resources we share. By working together, we can make a difference, one drop at a time.