Focussing our energy: how we re reducing our environmental impact

  • Roche's Thomas Wolf and Christopher Earl, receiving the CDP environmental award on November 4th in Bonn
    Roche's Thomas Wolf and Christopher Earl, receiving the CDP environmental award on November 4th in Bonn
  • Roche's Building 1: the new flagship HQ in Basel is an example of energy efficiency in action
    Roche's Building 1: the new flagship HQ in Basel is an example of energy efficiency in action
  • Roche's Building 1 sets new energy performance standards with its LED lighting
    Roche's Building 1 sets new energy performance standards with its LED lighting

Roche recently became the only healthcare company worldwide to be awarded maximum score for its response to climate change mitigation. In November 2015, Roche was awarded an "A" for performance for its actions and strategies in response to climate change at a global level, and 100 out of 100 for disclosure on the subject in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

The scoring is calculated for thousands of companies by CDP (formerly the "Carbon Disclosure Project"). This well-regarded international not-for-profit organisation seeks to promote sustainable economies by reporting companies’ emission data.

So why and how is Roche mitigating climate change?

1) We care about what’s important for society  

We believe it is essential that responsible corporations consider what is important for society at large. Environmental protection is an important and enduring issue in a changing world. At Roche, we consider it both a social obligation and integral to the way we work.

"Like all major companies, Roche has a choice in terms of how active a role to play in this area," says Dr. Peter Schnurrenberger, Roche Group Chief SHE (Safety, Health and Environmental Protection) Officer. "We made a clear decision many years ago that reducing the impact of climate change should be a central issue for us and we are committed to reducing our environmental impact. It is encouraging to have the recognition from the CDP to show we are going in the right direction."  

2) We lead by example in our field

We are helping to minimise our environmental footprint by improving environmental efficiency with innovation in our own operations.

Take our new flagship HQ in Basel as an example. Building 1 as it is known, is an incredibly energy-efficient building. It is heated with waste heat and cooled with groundwater, while setting new energy performance standards with its efficient façade design and LED lighting.

Or our Pharma and Dia R&D location in Penzberg Germany, which operates a tri-generation plant, generating heat, cooling and electricity at the same time. This represents an extremely efficient use of energy.  

Meanwhile in our site in Pleasanton, USA, a fuel-cell co-generates electricity and heat in an environmental-friendly and efficient way.

3) Environmental protection is integrated into our business

"Ultimately, energy efficiency and environmental protection are an integral part of our daily business and our organisation is well positioned and very committed for a sustainable energy future, explains Thomas Wolf, Roche’s Chief Environmental Protection Officer.  "In 2006, Roche published a Directive on Energy Conservation to ensure that all decision making at the company supports an efficient, appropriate and cost-effective energy use. Our highly talented and skilled people are working together to make things happen and they are crucial for future success."

We have also built energy efficiency into the Roche corporate goals and tied these to the bonus system for our staff. What’s more, all Roche affiliates are obliged to develop and implement action plans aimed at meeting specific climate change targets.

4) We never stop seeking how to improve

"Although we have made great progress in this area, there is always room for improvement," said Chris Earl, a Roche SHE Manager and responsible for the CDP submission.  

"We set ourselves a long-term goal back in 2005 to improve energy efficiency by 50% and to use 100% sustainable energy. We are not there yet but that remains our long-term vision. In the meantime, we have set ourselves new goals for the next five years to improve in areas that we know need further focus."

"We are proud of where we have got to and for the status we have been awarded by the CDP," he adds. "But let’s not stop there – let’s challenge ourselves to keep improving and to be the most energy efficient we can possibly be."

Tags: Sustainability, Environment