Novo Nordisk on having zero unfavorable environmental affect

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Discussions round environmental sustainability have gotten more and more prevalent, in no small half as a result of work of Swedish local weather activist, Greta Thunberg​.

With a larger concentrate on the world, industries can anticipate to face a larger variety of questions relating to what motion they’re taking to be sustainable.

On the finish of final month, Novo Nordisk introduced that it was on monitor to satisfy its goal of utilizing solely renewable vitality throughout its international manufacturing community by 2020​.

When in-PharmaTechnologist (IPT​) spoke to Dorethe Nielsen (DN​), senior director of company environmental technique at Novo Nordisk, she informed us that candidates to the corporate are more and more asking such questions and that the corporate has a solution prepared.

It lately invested $70m (€62m) in a photo voltaic panel subject within the US, bringing its productions operations within the nation to a degree the place they can use solely renewable vitality.

Additional than this, Nielsen outlined how the corporate plans to have zero unfavorable environmental affect by 2030.

IPT: May you define Novo Nordisk’s path to turning into reliant solely on renewable vitality?

Dorethe Nielsen, senior director of company environmental technique at Novo Nordisk

DN: ​It began again in 2004, after we set our first CO2​ ​discount goal and, at that cut-off date, it was about decreasing our emissions by 10%. Really, we managed to realize that 10-year goal a few years forward of time. We achieved this via an excellent partnership with Ørsted, a Danish electrical energy provider. We agreed to pay a premium on the electrical energy, to make it doable to arrange a brand new windmill park, simply off the shore in Denmark. However, they promised us that they’d check out all our manufacturing amenities to see whether or not we may save vitality. So, that was a win-win partnership.

In 2015, we determined that we must always not solely concentrate on our Danish manufacturing amenities however actually tackle a extra international perspective. This was the place we joined the RE100​ and determined that by 2020 our goal ought to be to be 100% powered by electrical energy. So, it began various years in the past and we will truly obtain our 2020 goal, with the newly signed photo voltaic settlement within the US.

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IPT: Now that your 2020 goal seems to be set to be met, what are your plans transferring ahead?

DN: ​Now we have a brand new environmental technique referred to as Round for Zero, which is absolutely about having zero unfavorable environmental affect and we’ve got not put a yr on that concentrate on. Nonetheless, we’ve got set out a objective that by 2030, we may have zero CO2 ​from operations and transportation.

We’ll focus additionally on the remainder of the vitality that we use in our manufacturing amenities – that goes for steam and fuel, as an illustration. We’d additionally like to scale back the emissions from transportation, specifically firm prices, and enterprise journey, and in addition the inner transportation we’ve got for all our merchandise.

We’re a worldwide firm, so the plans can be very totally different relying on which nation you might be in however, for instance, at our headquarters, we’ve got simply introduced a brand new firm automobile coverage, the place we are going to give just a little premium to the staff that use an electrical automobile.

IPT: That is clearly an instance of one of many smaller steps that may be achieved – I’m wondering when you’ve got any bigger plans for the sustainability objective in the direction of 2030?

DN: ​Now we have carried out the calculations to see the place the largest impacts are and now that we’ve got solved the largest affect we’ve got, which was the electrical energy manufacturing, then you’ll be able to say the remaining is 4 equal items. One is corporate vehicles, one is enterprise flights, one is product distribution, and the final one is the remaining vitality we use at our manufacturing vegetation. Really, every half has an equal dimension in carbon emissions.

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IPT: May you communicate extra on the ’round mindset’?

DN: I​t goes just a little again to implementing the round economic system and this may very well be an excellent reply to how we are going to obtain the zero environmental affect. On this, we’ve got outlined three key factors: minimising consumption, the design and manufacturing of our product, and eliminating waste.

For instance, if we had a manufacturing unit that has extra materials, are there every other manufacturing amenities close by that may use that extra? We even have an excellent instance within the Kalundborg symbiosis. That is location is the place we’ve got our largest manufacturing amenities in Denmark. The settlement goes again many, a few years – the place totally different firms joined along with the native governments to search out a great way to make use of one another’s sources. This was even earlier than someone talked about the round economic system, it simply made good sense.

IPT: Are you able to inform me how the Symbiosis settlement works?

DN: ​Sure, as an illustration, in our manufacturing, we’ve got some waste after we’ve got produced our product. Now we have some waste yeast, which has loads of potential for additional use in it. So proper now, we’re changing that into biogas, and we ship that into the pure fuel community. The remaining waste from the biogas manufacturing is used as fertilizer on land.

IPT: How a lot is that this situation mentioned throughout the trade?

DN: ​We attempt to search inspiration from different sectors than the pharma trade as a result of I believe it is honest to say that our trade won’t be among the many frontrunners. It’s because we’re so regulated in different facets, so typically we predict it is just a little tougher for us.

Nonetheless, by way of pharma, I do see a rising curiosity in sustainability, usually, however possibly that is extra centered on the broader, international points that we see for the time being, by way of local weather change, biodiversity, water shortage, and so forth.

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IPT: This situation is being mentioned greater than ever earlier than, significantly within the media on account of Greta Thunberg. How necessary is it for the trade to maintain up as the problem evolves?

DN: ​I believe it is necessary that we step up and I believe that can be why we’ve got determined to take this daring transfer so as to not be left behind. Our merchandise are in a really lengthy pipeline and there’s a very long time from the preliminary R&D till the product hits the markets, it may take 10 to 15 years to then attain the market. A part of our technique is to actually take into consideration how our future merchandise can be sustainable.

IPT: Are there any surprising advantages which have come out of your sustainability targets?

DN: ​I believe that our targets have given us a novel fame amongst new workers, which is, in fact, an enormous profit for us. We do get requested questions: “What are you doing, by way of each social and environmental accountability?” ​We all know from younger folks and a few of our new hires that our actions may very well be why they select us as an organization as a result of they want to work for a corporation with an even bigger goal – and we’re already an organization that helps folks which are sick.

Dorethe Nielsen has labored at Novo Nordisk for six years, starting her time as director of World Environmental Well being and Security earlier than transferring onto turning into senior director of company environmental technique. Previous to this, Nielsen labored at NNE Pharmaplan for shut 12 years, ending her time there as director of venture execution in Shanghai, China.​

 

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