On Tuesday, Biogen, one of the world’s oldest independent biotechnology companies, announced that it has achieved operational carbon neutrality. This important sustainability milestone was reached through a multi-year initiative to reduce carbon emissions from global operations and by investing in environmental projects to offset the remaining carbon emissions that could not be eliminated from business activities, including emissions from its suppliers’ operations, employee commuting and business travel.
The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability, philanthropy and diversity are highlighted in its 2014 annual Corporate Citizenship Report, which Biogen also released on Tuesday.
To achieve carbon neutrality, Biogen has reduced carbon emissions through:
- Investments in sustainable technologies and highly efficient facilities and manufacturing processes including energy-efficient heating and cooling, power through co-generation, and advanced distribution systems to conserve water.
- Coordination with its top suppliers to help manage their overall environmental impact and encourage regular reporting of their energy usage and carbon emissions in order to set and meet reduction targets. Currently, about 70 percent of the carbon emissions associated with Biogen’s business comes from its suppliers.
- Investments in programs that fund wind, solar and low-impact hydroelectric power in the United States, Denmark, and Switzerland. Biogen is also investing in landfill gas projects that take naturally occurring methane gas and use it to produce energy.
Biogen followed the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard methodology, the most widely used international accounting tool for quantifying and managing carbon emissions, in calculating carbon emissions from its global operations. These calculations were validated by third-party auditors to confirm Biogen’s statement of carbon neutrality.
Biogen’s leadership in operational sustainability has received numerous and wide-reaching recognition. Earlier this month, Biogen achieved the number one ranking on the Newsweek list of “Top Green Companies in the World 2015,”. In January, Biogen was also named the most sustainable company in the world on the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 list, and was named the biotechnology Industry leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World last October.
Carbonfund.org Foundation is proud to continue to partner with Biogen in achievement of its milestone carbon neutrality goals.
A simple suggestion five years ago to a client, recommending that they publish the company’s carbon footprint in their annual report, led Smart Media to adopt a broad and continuous sustainability commitment in its own operations and in the production of its award-winning annual reports.
One of the very few companies in the world to focus exclusively on annual reports, Smart Media The Annual Report Company (‘Smart Media’) helps organizations produce annual reports which go beyond statutory disclosure and compliance to become effective instruments of corporate communications.
In 2008, Smart Media encouraged a client to voluntarily publish their carbon footprint in the annual report. Since then, the numbers of client companies including this operational emissions information in annual reports have grown. Some clients depend upon Smart Media’s consultancy assistance which includes training, development of data entry forms and computation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.
By way of setting an example, Smart Media commenced producing carbon neutral annual reports in 2009, by thoroughly analyzing the carbon emissions associated with the full annual report production process. Then, Smart Media chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to neutralize these emissions by supporting global reforestation projects. In 2012, Smart Media became completely carbon neutral under Scopes 1 and 2 as well as selected sources under Scope 3 of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard by mitigating its own operational emissions with Carbonfund.org.
“Our strategy was to reduce our GHG emissions as much as possible and to offset the rest thereafter. Our philosophy, when in comes to partnerships is ‘the best or not at all’. Having looked around we chose Carbonfund.org, as it is an independent foundation having a great track record and credibility. They have the experience and expertise to help clients in almost any sector in any part of the world. Thus, their capabilities matched our requirements as well as those of our varied group of clients" says Dr. Vijith Kannangara, Chairman, Smart Media The Annual Report Company.
Doing business in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and UAE, and with a track record spanning over 15 years and 1,500 reports, Smart Media is the acknowledged leader for annual reports in the Asia-Pacific region. This is borne out by the numerous international awards and accolades earned year after year, including the Platinum Achievement Award at the International ARC Awards, USA - popularly dubbed as the Oscars of Annual Reports - in 2010 and 2012 – and in 2013, Smart Media received an unprecedented 94 awards, including 25 Gold awards and 7 Grand awards.
Smart Media clients get the benefit of working with a certified carbon neutral company and neutralizing the GHG emissions resulting from annual report production activities outsourced by Smart Media in the production of their annual reports, including the usage of paper and printing, offset through verified sources. As a result of Smart Media’s leadership, some clients have begun setting targets to reduce their GHG emissions intensity through the adoption of energy efficiency and conservation measures as well as fuel switching, with the added benefits of operational cost savings. For Smart Media, this may well be its single largest contribution – though indirect – towards environmental stewardship. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Smart Media in these efforts.