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Lundbeck, AstraZeneca & Novo Nordisk on ‘A List’ for climate change

Pascal Soriot, Deborah Dunsire and Lars fruergaard Jorgensen

A new global ranking puts Lundbeck, AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk in the top 2% of more than 8,400 companies evaluated for their actions against climate change.

The companies’ efforts to reduce CO2-emissions and energy consumption has been recognized by the independent interest group Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which sets the global standard for actions against climate change.

Since 2006 Lundbeck has reduced its CO2-emissions by 32,000 tons

The A-listing is a recognition of Lundbeck’s many different efforts to reduce its impact on the climate by reducing CO2-emissions and energy consumption, it states in its press release. Since 2006, Lundbeck has reduced its CO2-emissions by 32,000 tons and its energy consumption by 51,000 MWh, the latter equaling the yearly power consumption of more than 11,000 households. The reductions correspond to 68% and 35% respectively.


“We are proud to receive this recognition of our ongoing efforts to reduce the climate impact of our business, even while the business has grown. It goes to show that significant results can be achieved through a long-term commitment to limit environmental impact,” says Deborah Dunsire, President and CEO of Lundbeck.

Lundbeck works with four overall categories of initiatives to reduce emissions and energy consumption: Optimization of existing buildings, plants and installations, investing in new low-energy machines and plants, shifts from conventional fuel to bio-fuel and general optimization reducing office spaces and buildings in use.

In addition to its own direct initiatives, Lundbeck seeks to participate in climate partnerships. To this end, Lundbeck joined the global movement “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” of companies aligning their business actions with the Paris Agreement. Further, Lundbeck is part of the Danish government’s Climate Panel for Life Science and Biotech to help provide industry-wide climate recommendations.

AstraZeneca also on the ‘A List’

In addition, AstraZeneca was also commended for its climate action, achieving a place on the ‘A List’ for climate change, based on the company’s climate reporting in 2019, for the fourth consecutive year.

AstraZeneca was recognized for its actions to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy, based on the data submitted by the company through CDP’s 2019 climate change questionnaire.

The company has also recently announced a programme for zero carbon emissions from its global operations by 2025 and to ensure its entire value chain is carbon negative by 2030.

‘Circular for Zero’ strategy

Examples of leadership and innovation reported to CDP by A List companies included Novo Nordisk’s participation in RE100, where it is already sourcing 79% of its power for production from renewable sources and has a target of 100% power from renewable sources by 2020.

In was in April last year that Novo Nordisk announced that it will achieve its target to use only renewable electricity in its global production facilities by 2020. The announcement followed a new investment in a 672-acre solar panel installation, roughly the size of 500 football fields, in North Carolina, US, which will provide power to Novo Nordisk’s entire US operations from early 2020.

Novo Nordisk was the first pharmaceutical company in RE100  to use only renewable electricity in production. RE100 is a collaborative, global initiative of businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity.

Novo Nordisk furthermore announced a new target of achieving zero CO2 emissions from all operations and transport by 2030. The goal is part of a new ‘Circular for Zero’ environmental strategy with the ultimate aim of making Novo Nordisk a company that has zero environmental impact. The strategy will see Novo Nordisk take steps to minimize consumption and turn waste into resources, design and produce products so that they can be recovered and re-used and collaborate with suppliers to embed circularity in its supply chain.

“More than 29 million people use our medicines and from early next year, they can do so knowing that they’re produced using only renewable electricity,” said Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO. “By committing to achieve zero emissions across our operations and transport by 2030 and by applying a circular mindset across our entire business, we are working towards a day when we will be able to say that Novo Nordisk is a company with zero environmental impact.”

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, Circular supply and Circular products. To help achieve its new ambitious target and to accelerate the adoption of circular thinking across the business, Novo Nordisk has partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which has a mission to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Photo of Pascal Soriot, Deborah Dunsire and Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen