Sustainability Butantan collaborator in the field at the Science Park
Credit: Butantan Communication

The concept of environmental sustainability was initially introduced in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), a commission formed by members of the United Nations (UN) with the aim of uniting countries around sustainable development.

Today, the definition of sustainability can be understood as the maintenance of balance over time. That is, it is the ability to meet current human needs without affecting the abilities of future generations to do the same, to meet their own needs.

Instituto Butantan, in the performance of its activities, with a notable performance in research, production and cultural dissemination, results in the high consumption of natural resources in addition to various social and environmental impacts.

Therefore, we must adopt measures based on the principle of social and environmental responsibility, aiming at the prevention of environmental impacts, the rational use of natural resources in the development of our activities and the strengthening of our institutional image.

In search of strengthening sustainable practices, the Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety sector (Segurança do Trabalho e Meio Ambiente, SMA) of Instituto Butantan has been developing actions to prevent environmental impacts and the rational use of natural resources in the following fields:

Solid waste
Instituto Butantan, committed to environmental issues and compliance with applicable legislation, implemented the Waste Management Program of Instituto Butantan (Gerenciamento de Resíduos, PGRIB), whose purpose is to properly manage the waste resulting from the various activities carried out at Butantan, from generation to destination or final disposal. The measures proposed in the PGRIB aim to reduce waste generation and increase safety and awareness of all personnel in order to minimize the negative effects on the environment and human health.

Tree Management
Instituto Butantan has a park with significant importance for tourism and leisure, consisting of about 62% of Atlantic Forest vegetation, acting as an important refuge for biodiversity, in addition to playing a fundamental role in improving the living conditions of cities and the surrounding population. In order to contribute to the safety of IB visitors and employees, the Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety team developed a Preventive Management and Conservation Project at Instituto Butantan, in order to minimize the risk of accidents involving falling branches and trees.

Atmospheric emission
Instituto Butantan developed the Atmospheric Emissions Monitoring Plan (Plano de Monitoramento de Emissões atmosféricas, PMEA). The PMEA aims to properly maintain and operate equipment that burns fuel, aiming at adequate combustion, in order to avoid the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere. Every year, we carry out campaigns to measure and monitor emissions from fixed sources of air pollution.

In the pharmaceutical industry, water is considered the main raw material, used in the preparation of drugs and in sterilization processes, heat exchange, sanitization of environments, equipment and glassware, resulting in the generation of industrial liquid effluents. In addition, research activities, administrative and cultural areas result in the generation of sanitary liquid effluents. Industrial effluents undergo a specific thermal treatment process before being disposed of in the Basic Sanitation Company of the State of São Paulo’s (SABESP) public sewage treatment network. For control, the SMA sector carries out a procedure for monitoring the effluents, based on sampling.

Environmental licensing
Environmental licensing is an instrument used with the objective of exercising control and monitoring of activities that use natural resources, that are polluting or that can cause degradation of the environment. Instituto Butantan, committed to legal compliance and sustainability, seeks to develop its productive, cultural and research activities in a sustainable manner and with the consent of environmental agencies.