Fulfilling Our Commitment to Sustainability

Fulfilling Our Commitment to Sustainability

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Monday, July 13, 2020 - 11:00am

CONTENT: Article

We use a science-based approach to reduce our environmental footprint in our day-to-day business operations. Our goal is to operate within the boundaries of what is sustainable for our communities, which extends to what we consume, emit and leave behind.

Climate Strategy

Biogen is committed to utilizing a science-based approach when it comes to managing environmental resources, demonstrated by our Science Based Targets Initiative approved target, an absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of 35 percent by 2030 as compared to 2013.

Biogen believes businesses must take action to address the GHG emissions from their own operations and their suppliers. Our efforts include:

  • Emitting zero net carbon emissions from our own operations since 2014. To achieve this, Biogen has matched 100% of its electricity use with electricity produced from renewable sources and financially supported carbon offset projects. Biogen acknowledges that carbon offsets are no longer sufficient to meet the challenge of climate change and is currently realigning its strategy with solutions that best adhere to what scientists are telling us is required. We are committed to engaging with all our stakeholders and will provide updates.
  • Reducing fossil fuel and energy usage through both incremental and major improvements in manufacturing, investing in more efficient and healthier buildings and ensuring our existing facilities operate at peak performance. This continuous improvement approach has generated a 76 percent reduction in our operational carbon intensity since 2006. 
  • Engaging with the highest climate-impacting supply chain partners to advocate for direct climate reductions in the products and services Biogen purchases.
  • Replacing the Biogen Portugal fleet with fully electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to eliminate the harmful impacts of fossil fuel combustion. Importantly, the electricity used by these vehicles is also 100% renewable. Learn more here.

We received the following awards for our environmental work:

  • SAM Gold Medal: Awarded a Gold Medal in the 2020 SAM Sustainability Yearbook

Biogen acknowledges the call from its investors to better understand Biogen’s climate-related financial risks. Biogen is taking steps to align with the four recommendations outlined by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Disclosure of our progress as well as climate-related financial risks and opportunities can be found in our 2019 CDP Climate Change disclosure. In alignment with the TCFD, Biogen will begin incorporating material risks and opportunities into this integrated report in future years.

Water

With a deep understanding that our water use can impact local communities, we strategically situate our manufacturing sites in water rich areas. As a result, water scarcity is not a significant risk to our business nor do our operations impose undue burdens on the communities where we live and work. However, water remains a precious commodity as well as a business cost. Therefore, we continuously look for ways to reduce use – for instance, by making our processes and equipment more efficient and when possible, reusing water. We are also committed to ensuring our wastewater treatment practices consistently meet quality and safety regulations and standards.

To understand the impact of our water use on the communities surrounding our facilities, we have committed to utilizing a context-based water approach for our major facilities. This makes it possible to assess water withdrawal relative to the local watershed’s sustainable water supply. Biogen achieved its goal of assessing all of its major facilities using this context-based approach in 2019. The assessments determined that our water withdrawal at each facility was within our fair, just and proportional share of local water resources, meaning our level of water use is sustainable. Biogen will re-assess these facilities when warranted by facility growth or climate impacts on the watershed to ensure we maintain a sustainable level of water withdrawal.

We also maintain a water intensity metric1 to drive and communicate operational efficiency. In 2019, we recorded a 67% reduction compared to 2006.

Learn more about our approach to environmental sustainability and our climate change position.

Our goals and commitments

As Biogen grows, we remain committed to reducing our environmental footprint by eliminating harmful emissions and by minimizing resources used to manufacture our products. We are committed to:

  • Continuing to match 100% of our electricity use (including power for electric vehicles) with electricity produced from renewable sources, our public commitment to the RE100 initiative since 2014.
  • Reducing by 35% our absolute GHG footprint – across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 – by 2030 (compared to our 2013 footprint)
  • Assessing our water use and keeping use within our determined fair share (what the Center for Sustainable Organizations calls “fair, just and proportional share” of local water resources)
  • Maintaining Zero Waste to Landfill status for our manufacturing facilities
  • Continuing to leverage our 2020 intensity-based metrics for internal operational excellence and benchmarking
  • Engaging with our highest climate impacting suppliers to lower GHG emissions in our supply chain

1Metric: cubic yards used per million dollars USD of revenue