Innovation - Carbon Neutrality

Leadership in protecting the environment

June 23, 2015

At Biogen, we have taken another bold step to extend our widely recognized environmental leadership. We are now a carbon neutral company, having effectively neutralized all the carbon emissions associated with our business.

In the past decade, we have made significant progress in reducing our environmental impacts. Since 2006, we have cut our carbon emissions intensity 70 percent within our operations, all while growing our business significantly. We did this through sustainable innovations that allowed us to increase our manufacturing and building efficiencies.

By 2014, these dramatic improvements put us in a position where the vast majority of the remaining carbon emissions connected to our business came from sources outside of our direct control. It also meant that the investment needed to neutralize the balance of this broader footprint was eminently manageable. So we seized the opportunity and funded external projects that enabled Biogen to achieve a Net Zero Carbon Footprint.

In selecting these projects, we set stringent requirements. The renewable energy certificates, guarantees of origin, and carbon offsets projects we funded had to be verified as respected, leading programs that are taking carbon emissions off the grid today. They had to be within our company’s geographic footprint, and they had to offer an option for a multi-year commitment because we plan to maintain our carbon neutral status. And before we announced this achievement, we engaged external auditors to assure both our value-chain emissions and our carbon neutrality assertion.

This has resulted in support for wind, solar and low-impact hydroelectric projects throughout the United States and Denmark, low-impact hydroelectric projects in Switzerland and landfill gas projects to provide energy in Massachusetts, New York and Utah. These are parts of the world where our employees live and work every day, so we are making a real-time difference in these communities.

A portion of our investments also supports Solar 4R Schools, which uses solar technology as a hands-on, interactive education tool to cultivate a new generation of clean energy leaders. This complements our company’s strong record of enhancing science technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education opportunities for students and teachers.

As a healthcare company committed to improving patients’ lives, achieving carbon neutrality was simply the right thing to do – not tomorrow, not five or ten years down the road, but today. Because that’s what leaders do. They hold themselves to the highest standards and take decisive action. Because of the innovations and reductions we had already accomplished, we were able to become carbon neutral in a fiscally responsible way, making an important investment in the future of our planet, our business, and our many stakeholders.

Hector Rodriguez
Senior Director
Global Environmental Health, Safety and Sustainability

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