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GlaxoSmithKline Sets Carbon Neutrality Goal for 2050

GlaxoSmithKline has set a target to achieve carbon neutrality across its value chain by 2050, as part of a new environmental strategy launched in the company’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility report.

The carbon neutrality target means that in 40 years, there will be no net greenhouse gas emissions from GSK’s raw material sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, product use and disposal, the company said. It has set interim targets to reduce its carbon footprint by 10 percent by 2015 and 25 percent by 2020.

GSK has also set a target to eliminate waste to landfill from operations by 2020, with an interim goal to reduce such waste by 25 percent by 2015. And it aims to reduce its operational water consumption by 20 percent by 2015.

The company estimates that reducing energy, materials and distribution costs can save it £100 million ($161 million) a year by 2020.

Last year GSK met 2010 targets for 5 percent reductions in energy and greenhouse gases.

From 2009 to 2010 the company reduced its climate change impacts by nine percent, from 7.6 million tons to 6.9 million tons CO2 equivalent.

It also reduced its energy consumed in operations and transport by 6.5 percent, from 26 million to 24.3 million gigajoules.

GSK missed cumulative energy and greenhouse gas emissions targets for the years 2006 to 2010. But it said that investments made in the early part of the five-year period are now starting to deliver benefits.

The company says it was the first to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard global certification in 2010. As standard holders, organizations must implement carbon reduction strategies and commit to reducing their footprint year-on-year.

The Carbon Trust assessed and certified GSK’s carbon footprint over three years, across eight business divisions and 200 sites in 65 countries.

The company reduced water use and waste to landfill in 2010. It reduced its water consumption by 16 percent since 2006, exceeding a 2 percent annual reduction target, and exceeded five-year targets for wastewater quality, waste, mass efficiency and emissions of volatile organic compounds.

While the company dramatically cut its use of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by 99.4 percent, it just missed a goal of 100 percent elimination. The small amounts of CFCs left in cooling and ancillary equipment will be removed in 2011, GSK said.

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2 thoughts on “GlaxoSmithKline Sets Carbon Neutrality Goal for 2050

  1. Some of our client in the biotech and pharmaceutical arena are planning to be 100% R.E. based by 2015 or 2020… Carbon neutrality by 2050 is not a performance, merely the sign of a lack of vision from GSK Sustainability advisors…

  2. Wow, thats a bit harsh Julien. We can shoot something at every objective, but the devil is in the details and I think for the most part better to applaud substantive progress rather than critique for failing to be perfect.

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