Novo Nordisk Launches 10-Year Plan for Zero Carbon Emissions from Mfg

By Patricia Van Arnum - DCAT Editorial Director

May 9, 2019

Novo Nordisk has announced a plan, beginning in early 2020, to have its global production to be completely powered by renewable electricity, with a 10-year goal of achieving zero carbon emissions from operations and transportation. 

The announcement follows a $70-million investment in a 105-megawatt dc solar energy installation to be built in Pender County, North Carolina. When completed, ground-mounted solar arrays will harvest sunlight and provide renewable electricity to all existing Novo Nordisk US offices, laboratories, and manufacturing facilities as well as support the company’s new manufacturing facility under construction in Clayton, North Carolina. Developed and constructed by Cypress Creek Renewables, the solar panel installation will be one of North Carolina's largest solar sites, according to the company.

Construction of the solar site began in March 2019, and the project is creating approximately 900 construction-related jobs this year. Last year (2019), Novo Nordisk US production sites in Clayton and New Hampshire emitted 13,460 tons of carbon dioxide from electricity use. With the new solar project, the company's net carbon dioxide emissions from electricity will go down to zero.

The goal is part of the company's new “Circular for Zero” strategy, aiming for zero environmental impact globally. In addition to the zero emissions target, the Circular for Zero strategy further involves three main goals: (1) reducing the environmental footprint of its production by working toward the elimination of waste sent to landfill and zero loss of water, energy and resources; (2) reducing environmental impact across its supply chain by collaborating with suppliers to encourage circular business practices and by increasing procurement of recycled and carbon-neutral materials and resources; and (3) upgrading existing products and design new products based on circular principles and work towards a sustainable solution for the reuse and recycling of products.

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 solar site is completed in early 2020, Novo Nordisk expects to be the first pharmaceutical company in the RE100 to achieve this goal.

The North Carolina facility will be joining other Novo Nordisk sites that already use renewable energy. Novo Nordisk's production site in Tianjin in China uses 100% wind power. In its site in Monte Claros, Brazil, the company uses 100% hydropower, and in Europe, all production sites use 100% wind power. In Denmark, all facilities, production sites and offices, run on 100% renewable power.

Source: Novo Nordisk