(BAX) Baxter International Presents Sustainability Report

Baxter International (BAX) recently presented its 2010 Sustainability Report. This was the 12th straight year in which the company has reported on its economic, social and environmental outcomes. This report highlights the company’s progress toward its sustainability goals and its determination to counter challenges to global sustainability through a number of measures.

The initiatives mentioned in the 2010 report include efforts to cut down on emission of green house gas, reduce water usage and outlay almost $80 million from The Baxter International Foundation to address urgent worldwide causes.

Baxter’s sustainability goals reflect issues of critical concern to the company and areas where it is well positioned to make a favorable impact. Each priority area is linked with long-term performance goals to aid measurement of progress. The company’s sustainability priorities include improving access to healthcare, an inclusive workforce and a list of environmental initiatives, such as waste generation and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Baxter recently obtained certification from the Carbon Trust Footprinting Certification Company for the Xenium+ synthetic dialyzer. This recognition is based on a check of carbon footprint analyses and a statement by Baxter to continue to reduce the carbon footprint of Xenium+ over the next couple of years. Xenium+ is the second medical product to receive such certification.

Dialyzers are filters, which are used in hemodialysis to purify the blood of patients with kidney failure. The Xenium+ dialyzer is about 22% less heavy than prior models. It offers the potential for lower fuel consumption in shipping. Xenium+ dialyzers need about one-third less cardboard in packing.

The verification studied the carbon ejection released during the production, distribution, usage and disposal of Xenium+ dialyzers vis-à-vis previous models. The analysis was done keeping in mind the British Standards Institution PAS 2050 Standard. Xenium+ dialyzers are currently available for sale in France, Sweden and Italy. Baxter has planned further launches for 2011 and 2012.

Novation, a prominent healthcare supply contracting firm in the U.S., named Baxter as the 2011 Environmental Excellence Supplier of the Year. Novation chose Baxter for the honor based on its waste and energy conservation, production principles and corporate sustainability measures. Novation, since 1998, is a prominent healthcare supply contracting company.

Baxter supports employees who volunteer time to their communities. During 2010, over 7,850 Baxter staff volunteered over 163,000 hours, an increase from levels attained in 2009.

Improved execution has lifted sentiment toward Baxter. The company remains a good bet for value investors willing to wait as fundamentals improve. Among others, it competes with Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) in certain niches. We have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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