Novo Nordisk's global production will be entirely powered by renewable energy by early 2020, with a ten-year goal of achieving zero carbon emissions from operations and transportation. The pharmaceutical company has made 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 to support the new manufacturing facility under construction in Clayton, N.C. Cypress Creek Renewables began construction on the solar site in March of 2019. Last year, Novo Nordisk US production sites in Clayton and New Hampshire emitted 13,460 tons of CO2 from electricity use. With the new solar project, the company's net CO2 emissions from electricity will go down to zero.
The project is part of the company's new Circular for Zero strategy, aiming for zero environmental impact globally. 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 percent renewable power. Once the solar site is completed in early 2020, Novo Nordisk expects to be the first pharmaceutical company in RE100 to achieve this goal. The North Carolina facility will be joining the ranks of other Novo Nordisk sites from around the world that already benefit from renewable energy. Novo Nordisk's production in Tianjin in China uses 100 percent wind power. In Monte Claros in Brazil, the company uses 100 percent hydropower, and in Europe, all production sites use 100 percent wind power. In Denmark, all facilities run on 100 percent renewable power, including offices and production centers.
In addition to the zero emissions target, the Circular for Zero strategy commits the company to a significant shift towards circular thinking within three focus areas:
- Circular company: Novo Nordisk will continue to reduce the environmental footprint of its production by working towards the elimination of waste sent to landfill and zero loss of water, energy, and resources.
- Circular supply: Novo Nordisk will reduce 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.
- Circular products: Novo Nordisk will upgrade existing products and design new products based on circular principles and work towards a sustainable solution for the reuse and recycling of products.