Lancaster (56). Industrial Guerbet, an exemplary company in the hydroeconomy

Specializing in the manufacture of medical imaging contrast agents, the international group Guerbet, one of the largest active ingredient production plants based in Lanester (56), has made CSR the backbone of its strategy. Safety and well-being at work, governance and ethics, environment and transitions are the pillars of this policy that tends to take care of each resource, whether human, produced or natural. Supported by Morbihan CCI through the Ecod’O programme, the Lanestérien site has carried out several initiatives to reduce water consumption and become an example in this area.


At the end of April 2022, Guerbet’s industrial unit in Lanester celebrated its 40th anniversary. In the local landscape, the factory is imposing with its 10 hectares of footprint, its cloud of white smoke, its tanks and gleaming pipes. In continuous operation, 24 hours a day, the activity mobilizes 250 line operators, laboratory technicians, technicians, chemical engineers and support staff. and framing.

classified Seveso III Low Threshold, the chemical plant in Morbihan manufactures active ingredients for pharmaceuticals intended for medical imaging. These products injected into the patient when subjected to an X-ray or MRI scanner facilitate diagnosis to combat the most serious diseases. In 2021, 787 tons of products came out of their circuits: active ingredients for X-rays made from iodine and lots of water. Over the course of a year, the Guerbet industry in Lanester consumes the equivalent of an average cityor 187,000 m3 of water distributed through the network.

Reduction of water consumption

For five years, and within the framework of a very strong CSR orientation, the Guerbet* group is working to reduce its environmental footprint across its entire scope of activity. Initiator of this proactive policy at the local level, Frédéric Petrus, director of the Guerbet Lanester website, participated in the development of several processes aimed at limiting resource consumption. Common sense recommendations are complemented by technological innovations for the circular economy.

Thus, the aqueous effluents leaving the production areas are recovered and, thanks to nano and ultrafiltration, converted into cooling water. In 2021, the site reduced water consumption by 30,000 m3, an estimated savings of 15% and renewable each year says Frédéric Pétrus, for whom this research and investment are necessary for the development and sustainability of the activity. The drought decree and the water restrictions imposed, reinforce the industrial to seek research and innovations in this sense.

Candidate for the Ecod’O program since its implementation in 2020, the Lanesterian company is once again supported by the JRC of Morbihan in its water saving initiatives. By participating in the Ecod’O program, we were able to make an accurate diagnosis of all water points and their savings potential: 17 initiatives were launched. From raising awareness among employees to granting subsidies, through the installation of connected drinking fountains for real-time reading of consumption, these cover a wide spectrum. This collaboration has been rewarded since the company Guerbet received the 2021 Water Trophy awarded by the Loire Bretagne Water Agencyas well as financing part of its hydro-efficient installation (see video).

Energy recycling too

For Frederico Petrus, controlling consumption circuits has become a lever for growth. The director of the Lanestérien website did not stop at the “Water” feature. On the energy side, he also looked for and found avenues for the circular economy, again around the incinerator. Effluents are also recovered through a unique and specific recycling process in order to isolate a solvent with a high calorific value, xylene, and reuse it as fuel instead of natural gas. ” In 2020, the site saved 500 tons of natural gas “says the director who notes even more the benefits of this virtuous circle today that the energy crisis impacts companies’ budgets.

Recognition and certifications to support the process

For all these arrangements, Guerbet won the CSR 2021 Trophy for pharmaceutical companies, in the Environment section. Support for various certifications (ISO 14001, ISO 50001, etc.) also provides the necessary framework to govern these various advancements and those to come.

*Discover the Guerbet group

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