Scope and approach
Novozymes provides solutions to industrial processes. Our customers increasingly demand up-to-date solutions, for example solutions that are resource efficient and low in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Contributing to such solutions by exploiting the potential of modern biotechnology is an important driver for Novozymes.
Using product life cycle assessments (LCAs), we look at the impact on the environment at every stage of a product’s life cycle and find that the use of enzyme technology generally provides environmental benefits. For general information on life cycle assessments please refer to Novozymes’ LCA studies.
Responsibility and activities
One of the most urgent issues on the global agenda is climate change. In recent years, global warming as a consequence of burning fossil fuels has prompted greater awareness of energy consumption and CO 2 emissions. As part of the efforts to be able to meet this challenge as a company, Novozymes has adopted a new environmental strategy. An important element of the strategy is to bring Novozymes’ technology into play and, together with suppliers and customers, to help solve some of the problems of climate change.
At Novozymes, we want to protect the environment and natural resources by using environmentally friendly processes based on biological processes. We want to minimize our consumption of raw materials, water, and energy, and effectively control emissions from our production.
Minimizing environmental impact strategy
Novozymes strives to minimize our environmental impact by continuously decoupling business growth from resource consumption, through improving production efficiency. We have set targets for resource efficiency with regard to energy and water.
Novozymes is committed to reducing CO 2 emissions and to be an increasing part of the solution to the world’s climate change problems. Novozymes' climate strategy incorporates assessment of the complete life cycle of our products from the extraction of raw materials to use and disposal of our products. The strategy's main areas of focus are (a) opportunities for exploiting the potential of our products to reduce CO 2 emissions in our customers' applications of our products, and (b) reducing the CO 2 emissions related to our own activities. See Novozymes’ position on global warming.
Our climate strategy has four perspectives:
- Supplier perspective: We will reduce our carbon footprint and our sensitivity to changes in energy and GHG emission markets. Visit the interactive platform outlining initiatives in our own production toward customers and suppliers: Reducing our environmental footprint.
- Customer perspective: We will increase the energy-saving potential of our technology to increase customers’ demand for our products. Read more about the proven environmental benefits of our products.
- Society perspective: We will position our application of biotechnology as a key to energy efficiency and to the reduction of GHG emissions. Read about our sustainable solutions.
- The Novozymes perspective: We will strive for a continous improvement in our energy and CO 2 efficiency from a Novozymes perspective worldwide.
Reduction of CO 2 related to own activities
To reduce CO 2 emissions from our own production and activities, Novozymes has systematically worked on energy-saving projects, and an energy master plan has been established for each enzyme production plant. An energy organization has been set up, and several projects to reduce CO 2 were implemented in 2010, corresponding to a CO 2 reduction of approximately 19,000 tons.
Furthermore, Novozymes has developed specific CO 2 reduction targets regarding both an absolute CO 2 reduction and energy efficiency targets. Novozymes’ overall vision is to decouple emissions of CO 2 in our production from our business growth. Our target is an increase in CO 2 efficiency of 50% in 2015 compared to 2005. Furthermore, Novozymes has set a target of using 50% renewable or CO 2 -neutral energy in 2020. One way of achieving these targets is energy savings in production. The other major area comprises activities that optimize our energy supply – either by producing or optimizing our own energy supply or by purchasing more renewable or CO 2 -neutral energy.
Partnerships on sourcing renewable electricity
In Denmark Novozymes has committed itself to purchasing electricity from the offshore wind farm Horns Rev II to cover our entire Danish electricity consumption by 2012. Our energy demand will represent just over 30% of the total production from the wind farm.
In 2010, we identified even more energy savings in our production. The money saved is invested in energy from the Horns Rev II offshore wind farm, which will deliver renewable energy to the Danish electricity grid equivalent to the consumption of 34,000 households. Novozymes’ investment means that more energy used in Denmark will be produced by wind turbines. Our agreement with DONG Energy is the largest of its kind so far in Denmark, measured in terms of realized CO 2 reductions.
Carbon footprint project
LCAs of Novozymes’ products conducted over the past seven years show major environmental advantages in using enzymes in industrial production. Climate change is high on the agenda these days, and this has inspired us to estimate the total effects on climate change for all Novozymes’ products produced in 2010.
Greenhouse gas emissions in the order of 40 million tons CO 2 -equivalents were avoided due to the application of enzymes sold by Novozymes. In other words, a small "investment" of greenhouse gas emissions in enzyme production is justified from an environmental point of view by the much larger reduction in greenhouse gases obtained by using the enzymes. The study was conducted at screening level, which means that the results of the study only indicate orders of magnitude. Comprehensive in nature, the study takes into account all significant greenhouse gases (CO 2 , CH 4 , N 2 O, and CO) as well as all significant processes in the product chain from raw material extraction through production to use and disposal, covering about 80% of Novozymes’ sales.
Reducing travel needs and related CO 2 emissions through telepresence
In 2010, Novozymes submitted for the first time our CO 2 emissions from employee business travel activities, covering the major part of all flights on a global level. Visit the Carbon Disclosure Project for Novozymes’ latest response. In 2010, a large project focusing on improving the way we purchase and consume at Novozymes was initiated. One focus area of the project is on reducing business travel by investing in telepresence equipment. Investing in state-of-the-art virtual meeting facilities is expected to reduce our travel expenditures and related CO 2 emissions from air travel, while reducing costs. Subsequently, telepresence equipment will be installed at key locations throughout 2011 to make it possible to meet more frequently without traveling, thereby increasing working flow efficiency and reducing our CO 2 emissions from business travel by air.
Over the last seven years, many of Novozymes’ products have undergone a thorough evaluation of their environmental impacts in the form of LCAs. In order to promote the CO 2 reduction potential of our products in the pipeline further, all new discovery and development projects in R&D are passed through a “pipeline LCA.” Pipeline LCAs are based on assumptions concerning the production of the enzyme together with its impacts and effectiveness during use. Pipeline LCAs provide information on the carbon value of the new products and thus strengthen our opportunities to further improve the environmental performance of Novozymes’ products.
Recyclable waste product from production is valuable for farmers
Novozymes is constantly striving to become better at reducing the amount of waste we generate. As an example, at the Danish site Kalundborg Novozymes recycles biomass from production and sells the excess biomass to farmers; the biomass works as a fertilizer and feeds directly into farmers’ primary production. The excess biomass waste is thereby recycled indirectly by over 600 farmers around the Kalundborg site as fertilizer for their fields.
As another example, the Franklinton site in the US has its own composting facility named Nature’s GREEN-RELEAF™. Every year the site produces 12,500 tons of compost from waste-activated biomass. The compost is sold to customers who can use it to improve erosion control and establish grass around roads and building construction sites.
Environmental safety and supplier performance
In 2010, 90% of total purchase spend was covered by the approach, and significant suppliers have been screened on sustainability issues. The target was to develop action plans for noncompliant suppliers in order to improve performance. This has led to 168 action plans with the majority resulting in dialogue with suppliers to resolve commercial, quality, and sustainability issues.
As part of an internal initiative to further increase awareness of responsible purchasing and the need for the organization to use approved suppliers, employees from various parts of the business attended a post-workday event. The event was held by the Sourcing department and featured Mads Øvlisen, a UN Global Compact board member.
Further sustainability assessment training of purchasers and auditors is planned in 2011. We will initiate an assessment of the raw materials with greatest environmental impacts in order to identify areas of improvement on raw material sourcing. Furthermore, the system will be utilized to progress with specific supply chain engagement initiatives.
Please refer to Principle 2 for scope and general approach regarding Novozymes’ supplier performance management system.