We strive continuously to minimize our environmental footprint through a strong focus on energy, CO2, and water efficiency.
Energy, CO2, and water efficiency in Novozymes’ production
Compared to 2005, the realized improvement in energy efficiency in 2011 was 34%, which exceeded the target of 32%. This was mainly the result of energy-saving projects implemented in Enzyme Business.
Likewise, we improved our CO2 efficiency by 47% compared to 2005 and thereby exceeded the target of 41%. Our performance in this area was boosted by the strategic decision to significantly increase our purchases of CO2-free electricity from wind power. These purchases are now equivalent to the output of 31 out of 91 turbines at Denmark’s flagship offshore wind farm, Horns Rev 2.
Finally, compared to 2005 water efficiency improved by 30%, slightly below the target of 31%. The start-up of a new production plant in China adversely affected the result. By way of comparison, the water efficiency improvement in 2010 was 29%.
Water was one of the focus areas that we explored further in 2011, mapping risks and opportunities at both production and solution level. When it comes to production, we are working to mitigate water-related risks, with the focus on areas with regional water scarcity risks, such as India and China.
Transportation and distribution
The transportation of our products to customers is outsourced, and in 2011, we began to look more systematically at the environmental impact of this transport. Since there is no standard for reporting transport emissions, our first priority has been to ensure data quality and establish a calculation practice. We have developed a set of standards for use by transport suppliers in reporting CO2 emissions from the transport of goods from primary production site to first point of delivery and from transport between sites. In 2011, CO2 emissions from the transport of goods were estimated at 22,000 tons; transport-related data are available in Note 42.
Novozymes has committed to the principles set out in the Convention on Biological Diversity, with a particular focus on the use of genetic resources. As part of our explorative efforts in 2011, an R&D-led working group established an overview of the increasing expectations of business and the strategic implications of this for Novozymes. The outcome was an R&D management standard outlining requirements in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The use of experimental animals was reduced by 70% from 3,710 animals in 2010 to 1,119 in 2011. The main reason for this reduction was the discontinuation of biopharmaceutical projects.
Environmental compliance and complaints
Novozymes strives to comply with regulations and minimize the number of complaints. In 2011, 21 breaches of regulatory limits were registered worldwide, compared to 36 in 2010. HCFC emissions were 986 kg in 2011, down from 1,532 kg in 2010, but above the usual maintenance level of around 550 kg, due mainly to a leak at one of our sites in the US during the summer.
We received 18 complaints from neighbors in 2011, the majority related to odor and noise from nearby factories. By way of comparison, we received 21 complaints in 2010 and 33 in 2009.
We always seek to avoid significant spills, such as the release of chemicals into watercourses or soil, and there were no significant spills in 2011.
Novozymes has a pending case in the US where high nitrate levels were found a number of years ago in the groundwater around our site in Franklinton, North Carolina. Subsequent measurements were submitted to the authorities in early 2008, and no conclusion has been reached as the data are still under review by the authorities.