Every year, we use large amounts of energy, water and raw materials in the production and distribution of our medicines and injection pens. Globally, 29 million people rely on our medicine, putting us on the frontline of some of today’s most pressing environmental challenges - global warming, plastic waste and water scarcity. We want our actions to contribute towards a sustainable, healthy environment for the long-term.
Our ambition is bold and simple: to have zero environmental impact. To get there we are adopting a circular mindset – designing products that can be recycled or re-used, reshaping our business practice to minimize consumption and eliminate waste, and working with suppliers who share our ambition.
Our strategy to reach our ambition is called, Circular for Zero. We know that many people are working to make the circular economy a reality and we want to be part of that change.
Achieving zero environmental impact will have its challenges, and many questions still need to be answered, but we have already set out on the journey. Beginning in early 2020, Novo Nordisk’s global production will be completely powered by renewable electricity, with a ten-year goal of achieving zero carbon emissions from operations and transportation.
But we are asking ourselves, "how can we do more?", particularly with the disposal of our products. We believe the answers will come as we transition our business from a linear mind-set of ‘take-make-dispose’ to a circular mind-set that keeps our products and materials in use.
We are starting our journey by exploring three questions:
When completed, a 672-acre solar panel installation in North Carolina will harvest sunlight and provide renewable electricity to all existing Novo Nordisk US offices, laboratories and manufacturing facilities as well as the new manufacturing facility under construction in Clayton, N.C.
In 2015, Novo Nordisk made a commitment with The Climate Group and The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) by joining RE100, a collaborative, global initiative of businesses committed to using 100% renewable power. Once the new solar site is completed in early 2020, Novo Nordisk will be the first pharmaceutical company in the RE100 to achieve this goal.
If we want our products to be reused and recycled, we need to start with decisions that affect how and where they end up.
From the raw materials that go into them to the way they are put together, we will begin to re-design existing and future products to reduce the number that end up as waste.
Our environmental impact goes beyond our own operations. In fact, our own operations and distribution of products make up less than 10% of our total CO2 emissions.
It is clear we need to work with our suppliers to achieve zero impact.
Today, we are looking for suppliers that have the infrastructure and capabilities to properly dispose of waste and have made investments to eliminate CO2 and other harmful emissions.