Novozymes’ Commitment to Climate Change
Novozymes believes that a transition towards a biobased economy that relies on renewable biological resources can assist the planet in being more resource efficient and tackle climate change.
Addressing Climate change is well-integrated in our business strategy. Novozymes has been recognized as a global corporate leader for climate action as our biosolutions enable climate change mitigation across the value chain. Learn more about Novozymes’ commitment to climate change.
Mitigating climate change impacts across the value chain
Novozymes believes that a transition towards a biobased economy that relies on renewable biological resources can assist the planet in being more resource efficient and tackle climate change. Its biosolutions typically offer customers reduced CO2 emissions due to lower energy, water, raw material and chemical consumption compared with conventional technologies.
Novozymes measures how its biosolutions contribute to more sustainable business practices, and since 2004, has used lifecycle assessment (LCA) studies to assess the environmental impact of new and existing biological solutions from cradle to grave. These findings are shared publicly, and Novozymes works closely with customers to help them realize and demonstrate emission reductions within their own operations.
By 2020, Novozymes aims to save 100 million tons of CO2e annually through customers’ application of its products. In 2015, Novozymes’ customers avoided 60 million tons of CO2e emissions by applying its products, equivalent to taking 25 million cars off the road.
Lowering Novozymes’ operational footprint
With growing constraints on global resources, Novozymes is dedicated to optimizing its operations year on year, so as to reduce the consumption of natural resources and mitigate the negative environmental impact of its production processes.
Novozymes’ has invested heavily to improve productivity and reduce the carbon footprint of its production. Since 2009, Novozymes has decoupled absolute CO2e emissions from business growth, and improved CO2 efficiency by 18 percentage points. These improvements have been driven by two key factors – improvements in energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy.
Between 2009 and 2014, Novozymes implemented 188 energy-saving projects across its global production sites, resulting in emission reductions of approximately 100,000 tons of CO2e. In 2015, Novozymes set a new target to further improve its energy efficiency by 30% by 2020, compared with a 2014 baseline.
In terms of renewable energy investment, Novozymes currently sources 24% of its energy mix from renewables, and since 2011, 100% of its electricity in Denmark from Horns Rev II, one of the world’s largest wind farms. In 2015, Novozymes also committed to sourcing 30% of its global energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.
Reducing Novozymes’ water use
Water is increasingly being recognized as a critical sustainable development issue. At Novozymes we have set ambitious targets to reduce the use of water in our production.
Novozymes is committed to improving its water efficiency. Looking at the full period from 2009-14, Novozymes has successfully managed to decouple absolute water consumption from business growth. In the same period, the company improved its water efficiency from 27% to 37%, compared with 2005 levels. Water efficiency improved by 9% compared with 2014. This improvement was less than expected, as a new system for water reuse at a major production site could not be implemented to its full capacity in time. It is now ramping up.
These improvements have been achieved through a number of environmental initiatives to reduce water consumption and reuse water by optimizing the company’s production processes.
In 2014, Novozymes implemented specific absolute targets for energy and water consumption and established local task forces to encourage local ownership of efficiency targets for its production sites. In North America, Novozymes’ engineers successfully developed a new way to map water usage in production, which resulted in a reduction of more than 250,000 cubic meters (roughly 15% of total consumption) with no additional investment. Additionally, in China, the company was able to successfully address one of its biggest challenges from 2013 and resolve a leakage from underground pipes at one of its facilities.
It is important to note that the return on investment for water savings projects are typically not as good as for energy savings projects, as water is comparatively inexpensive. This is why Novozymes focuses on efficiency projects with positive effects on both energy and water consumption, which generate greater cost savings and a better return on investment. However, for this reason, it is challenging to disclose the specific investments and annual cost savings from water efficiency projects alone.
To continue Novozymes’ path to water sustainability, the company adopted a new long-term target for 2020 to: Improve water efficiency by 25%, compared with a 2014 baseline.
Our improvements in operational efficiency have helped to decouple environmental impact from growth in sales and gross profit.
For more information on our performance and targets, please see our Novozymes Annual Report 2015.