Zoetis, LLC

P3 Summer Intern leads to cost savings at drug manufacturer

Courtesy Zoetis

Zoetis, LLC
Nebraska Extension Partnership


"The UNL P3 Program has provided terrific interns to Zoetis for over a decade.  The students are very motivated and their project work is always first rate. I highly recommend utilizing this program."


Jack Coogan, Sr. Director, Environmental Health & Safety 

P3 Summer Intern leads to cost savings at drug manufacturer  

Zoetis, LLC is an American drug company, the world’s largest producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock. The company directly markets its products in approximately 45 countries, and sells them in more than 100 countries.

The Lincoln, Nebraska location is one of the largest internal manufacturing operations with Zoetis, employing approximately 950 people. The following products are produced in Lincoln: BOVI-SHIELD GOLD® and RESPISURE ONE® for livestock and RIMADYL® (carprofen) for dogs.

Recently Zoetis marked the completion of a 19,000-square-foot, three-story expansion in Lincoln. The expansion houses the global manufacturing operations for a new monoclonal antibody product which treats dog otheoarthiritis. Zoetis launched a “Driven to Care” sustainability initiative in 2021.

The Challenge

The Nebraska MEP, in conjunction with the University of Nebraska (UNL) College of Engineering, reached out to Jack Coogan, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, to ask for a letter supporting the Partners In Pollution Prevention (P3) program. During these discussions Zoetis realized that they had previous success using summer interns through this program and could likely benefit from doing this again in the summer of 2022. Jack mentioned that he felt that there were a number of source reduction issues that would be a great fit for an intern to investigate.

Matthew Jorgensen of the Nebraska MEP created a scope of work (SOW) with Coogan to have a summer intern work at Zoetis in 2022. The SOW defined an intern project to reduce plant operational costs and environmental footprint by evaluating ways to decrease overall waste generation, energy demand and water demand.

The Solution

During the summer of 2022 Brenna Wright, an intern from the P3 program at UNL, investigated several pollution prevention opportunities for Zoetis in Lincoln, Nebraska. While assessing the compressed air system in the facility, the P3 intern detected several compressed air leaks. It was recommended that Zoetis purchase an ultrasonic leak detector to locate and repair these leaks. Additionally, a recommendation was made to purchase a system evaporator to reduce the volume of hazardous/special waste generated from the equipment rinses in pharmaceutical production.

These recommendations increased the energy efficiency of the Lincoln site, producing cost savings and better compliance with industry regulations. It also eliminated the need to bring in more expensive external detection and maintenance services.


The environmental improvements—including reduce waste—that came from the P3 project helped to keep Zoetis in regulatory compliance which led to a retention in sales of approximately $144,000.

An evaporator, at a cost of $250,000, was purchased to reduce the waste discussed above. This led to a cost savings of $83,000 per year, as well as an additional 1 new job as it was necessary to hire an operator to run the new evaporator. The summer intern from the P3 program helped personnel at Zoetis develop the business case for buying the evaporator that led to this new additional position.

Finding leaks and fixing them on the air compressor saved on energy costs and costs that would be affiliated with having to hire an outside maintenance technician in the range of $125,000.

new employees 1 job created, hired an operator to run the new evaporator (1 new job)
Sustainability $250,000 evaporator purchased to reduce the volume of hazardous/special waste
cost savings

$144,000 in retained sales due to environmental improvements

cost savings

$125,000 in cost avoidance; no need to hire outside maintenance technician.

cost savings

$83,000 of realized cost savings


Partners in Pollution Prevention (P3)