Novartis is committed to using resources efficiently and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which affect the climate. Our ambition is to make the company both energy and climate resilient.
As a stepping stone to achieve our ambition, we have an approved Science Based Target which commits us to a 35% reduction in absolute emissions across our value chain without using carbon offsets. Our science-based target is consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Within the scope of this commitment, we have joined Business Ambition for 1.5°C and have also become part of Race to Zero, the UN-backed campaign led by the High-Level Champions for Climate Action. We are committed to achieving net zero by 2050 at the latest. We anticipate the alignment of our strategy with a credible science-based net-zero standard, as soon as it is available.
We are also a member of RE100, to help accelerate progress toward 100% renewable electricity, and EV100, helping drive the transition to electric vehicles.
We need to think big to tackle climate change.
A former US Navy Captain, who late during his career at the Pentagon in Washington once held a role equivalent to a two-star Navy admiral, James Goudreau is as passionate about the environment as any green activist. In this interview, James, Head of Climate at Novartis, shares insights on climate adaptation, carbon reduction and the company’s ambitious climate strategy. Read More
Our first priority is to reduce our demand for energy, and we have a longstanding, comprehensive energy and climate program, which aims to improve energy efficiency for all industrial and commercial operations. This program helps ensure that all major sites are routinely assessed, and investments in energy efficiency are prioritized based on forecast energy savings.
Novartis has set an internal carbon price of USD 100 per ton (t) of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). This is used to determine the financial impact of climate emissions from significant investments. Building a carbon price into investment decisions is important because it helps us ensure that projects are selected which have the lowest overall climate impact, and it is more effective to build in energy efficiency from the beginning than to redesign an existing system.
We are also making investments to decarbonize the energy we need by using renewable energy sources where available and feasible.
In 2017, we struck our first major wind power deal, allowing us to neutralize the carbon footprint for all the electricity bought for our operations in the United States and Canada. In 2020, we signed five virtual power purchase agreements to help us achieve 100% renewable electricity in our European operations. Read More
In order to achieve our carbon neutrality targets, we are in the process of greening our car fleet. Read More
Working together with our suppliers around the world, we are taking steps to decarbonize our supply chain. Read More
Furthermore, we have developed our own forestry projects as carbon sinks to compensate for parts of our operational climate emissions that cannot be avoided.
In Argentina, we are growing a forest of more than 3 million trees to sequester carbon and create sustainable wood products.
In addition, we have started to assess how climate change will affect facilities and are taking actions to improve our climate resilience and make our facilities less susceptible to extreme weather events.
To achieve our 2030 climate target, we need to engage with our suppliers. We have identified the climate hot spots in our value chain and have started to work with our suppliers to address these. In addition, we published the Novartis Green Expectations (PDF 0.4 MB), to formally communicate our Environmental Sustainability Strategy to our third-party suppliers, setting out clear objectives and deliverables, as well as details on monitoring progress.
We have also begun to investigate the carbon footprint of our key products to identify the steps we can take to minimize it. For example, we have completed lifecycle assessment studies of two BREEZHALER® inhaled products.