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Novo Nordisk Sustainability Report: CO2 From Energy Jumps 30%

Novo Nordisk’s carbon emissions from energy consumption increased 30 percent year-on-year, according to the company’s latest combined annual and sustainability report.

In 2012, the healthcare company’s energy consumption produced 122,000 tons of CO2, compared to 94,000 tons in 2011. Last year was the first year to see a rise in this metric since at least 2008 – the earliest year in the report.

Most of the increase was due to the phase-in of a new filling plant in Tianjin, China. The remaining increase is a consequence of the larger production volume at the company’s Kalundborg, Denmark plant, the report says. While all electricity supplies in Denmark are based on renewable energy, supplies of heating and steam for the Kalundborg site still rely on fossil fuels.

Around half of Novo Nordisk’s direct environmental footprint derives from the production site in Kalundborg, the report says. A partnership initiative to secure supplies of district heating and steam based on biological waste will, if successful, help reduce the plant’s carbon footprint.

Since 2007, Novo Nordisk says that “significant reductions” have been achieved as a result of energy savings at all of its production sites and, in particular, the conversion to renewable energy for electricity supplies in Denmark. The company is exploring options for increasing the use of renewable energy in China, Denmark and the US.

Since 2004 Novo Nordisk has reduced its CO2 emissions from energy use by 40 percent. It had a target of reducing its emissions from energy use by 10 percent over 2004 levels by 2014.

The company increased its energy consumption over the course of the year by 11 percent, from 2,187 Tj to 2,433 Tj, the report shows. It has a target of keeping annual energy use increases to 3 percent.

Novo Nordisk’s water consumption jumped 16 percent year-on-year, from 2.1 million cubic meters in 2011 to almost 2.5 million in 2012. This was the first year since at least 2008 – the earliest year for which the report includes figures – that the company has increased its water use. Novo Nordisk is targeting annual water use increases of no more than 5 percent.

Both the increases in water and energy consumption are due to increased production rates, the report says.

The company’s recorded waste output doubled year-on-year, from 41,376 tons in 2011 to 82,802 tons in 2012. This increase followed a 61 percent jump from 2010 to 2011. The increases from 2011 to 2012 are, again, due to increased production, as well as a reclassification, effective since the end of 2011, of organic production waste.

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