In its fifth annual Corporate Citizenship Report, released this week, biotech company Biogen Idec puts forward an aggressive set of 2020 goals, including reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 80 percent (compared to its 2006 baseline and normalized by revenue), maintaining its zero waste-to-landfill status (achieved in 2012), and developing a new water-intensity goal, to be released by 2015. The GHG reductions will be equivalent to maintaining 2006 levels of GHG emissions despite significant realized and anticipated business growth.
The new goals were prompted by Biogen’s rather impressive progress to date. Compared to a 2006 baseline, the company reports it has:
- Reduced water intensity by 66 percent: Biogen Idec uses water at various stages of production - in products, during sterilization and cleaning of equipment, in cooling towers, for irrigation and other operational needs. Rainwater harvesting and water reclamation systems and efforts at some of its facilities have help significantly.
- Reduced GHG emissions intensity by 64 percent: Biogen uses energy-efficient technologies and purchases renewable energy credits and carbon offsets to control GHG emissions, energy use and associated costs.
- Reduced energy intensity by 57 percent: In 2013, Biogen decreased its energy intensity by 19 percent compared to 2012 which adds up to more than 57 percent reduction when compared to the 2006 baseline.
- Achieved zero solid waste to landfill status: In March 2012, Biogen Idec achieved zero waste-to-landfill through projects that avoid, recycle and compost waste or turn it into energy. The company aims to maintain this status in future.
The company has also pledged in partnership with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, to donate a billion international units of clotting factor therapy over the next 10 years to humanitarian aid programs dedicated to raising the standard of care for people with hemophilia in the developing world. Other goals include extending its philanthropic and education initiatives globally and launching a Global Diversity + Inclusion program across its patients, workforce and suppliers. In 2013, the company also says it provided $710 million in financial assistance to MS patients in the form of free drug, drug copay assistance, infusion assistance and charitable contributions.
Biogen Idec is the first US biotech company to earn a place on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and also has the distinction of earning a perfect score of 100 in the 2014 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. It also came second in Corporate Knights' Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies rating. Click here for a complimentary e-book of interviews with decision-makers and field experts from Autodesk, GE, GISR, Energy Points and more on the topic of setting science-based sustainability goals.
In March, Biogen’s Senior Director of Global EHS & Sustainability Hector Rodriguez explained to Bill Baue how the company uses context-based sustainability to set its environmental goals.