3 Towards carbon neutrality

It is UCB’s ambition to render the operations we control directly carbon neutral by 2030.

Our actions aimed to achieve carbon neutrality are based both on carbon reduction and carbon compensation mechanisms.

This ambition includes:

  • scope 1 emissions
  • scope 2 emissions
  • part of the scope 3 emissions, covering activities performed at UCB sites (e.g. product research, development and manufacturing), the distribution of UCB products, devices and packaging put on the market, UCB’s car fleet, business travel, employee commuting, etc. As part of our engagement to the Science Based Targets initiative, objectives for the scope 3 emissions, which are not yet included in the scope mentioned above will be confirmed in 2019. These will mainly relate to our suppliers and contract manufacturing partners (CMOs).

3.1 Energy consumption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRI indicator

Definition

Unit of measure

2015 (benchmark year)

2018 Actual

Variance (%)

302-1

Total

Total energy consumption

GigaJoules

1 137 502

829 248

-27%

 

Gas

Gas consumption

GigaJoules

652 584

465 729

-29%

 

Fuel oil

Fuel oil consumption

GigaJoules

12 956

16 115

24%

 

Fuel vehicle

Utility vehicle fuel consumption

GigaJoules

158

112

-29%

 

Electricity

Electricity consumption

GigaJoules

471 804

347 292

-26%

302-4

Energy saved

Energy saved due to conservation & efficiency improvements

GigaJoules

6 743

6 653

-1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy saving initiatives implemented in 2018 led to a recurrent energy saving of 6 653 GigaJoules, which is 0.8% of UCB’s scope 1 and scope 2 energy usage. Energy saving projects were completed at the sites in Bulle (Switzerland), Braine-l’Alleud (Belgium) and Zhuhai (China). Key contributors were the optimization of the functioning of HVAC1 systems in Braine-l’Alleud (Belgium), the replacement of fluorescent lamps by LED lamps at the Zhuhai site (China) and the recycling of hot blowdown water into the black steam system in Bulle (Switzerland).

In 2018, 92% of the electricity consumed by UCB originated from renewable sources, with 5 sites relying fully on electricity generated from renewable sources: Bulle (Switzerland), Monheim (Germany), Atlanta (U.S.), Braine-l’Alleud and Brussels (Belgium). Renewable electricity sources include solar, wind and hydropower, as well as, biomass.

2 641 GJ

Electricity generated by UCB
through solar panels

45 009

Tons CO2 emissions
due to business travel

In 2018 UCB generated 2 641 GigaJoules of electricity through solar panels installed in Braine-l’Alleud (Belgium) and Bulle (Switzerland), an increase of 59% compared our baseline year 2015. This increase is mainly due to the installation of additional solar panels in Braine-l’Alleud (Belgium).

Compared to our baseline-year 2015, overall scope 1 and scope 2 CO2 emissions were reduced by 49%; scope 1 emissions decreased by 27% while scope 2 emissions were reduced by 79%. These reductions are mainly due to the divestiture of the sites in Seymour (U.S.) and Shannon (Ireland) in resp. 2015 and 2016, revamping projects completed at several manufacturing plants and the fact that 92% of consumed electricity is generated from renewable sources.

Business travel, associated with scope 3 CO2 emissions resulted in 45 009 tons, a decrease of 4% when compared to 2015.

1 HVAC: Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning

3.2 Carbon reduction

Operations directly controlled by UCB

Operations indirectly controlled by UCB

3.2.1 Carbon reduction linked to operations directly controlled by UCB

UCB did set short- and long-term targets to reduce the carbon footprint of the activities we control directly (the left part of the above graph).

The evolution of the carbon footprint of these activities since 2015 is given in the graph below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRI indicator

Definition

Unit of measure

2015 (benchmark year)

2018 Actual

Variance (%)

305-1

Direct CO2 emissions – scope 1

Electricity

Ton CO2

0

0

N/A

 

Gas

Ton CO2

36 610

26 512

-28%

 

 

Fuel

Ton CO2

963

997

2%

305-2

Indirect CO2 emissions – scope 2

Electricity
(market-based)

Ton CO2

28 108

5 818

-79%

 

Electricity
(location-based)

Ton CO2

N/A

20 703

N/A

 

Gas

Ton CO2

0

0

N/A

 

 

Fuel

Ton CO2

0

0

N/A

305-3

Other indirect GHG emissions – scope 3

Business travel

Ton CO2

46 734

45 009

-4%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We aim to reduce our GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions related to operations we control directly by:

  • increasing the use of energy generated from renewable sources, on a percent basis;
  • improving the energy efficiency of our processes, installations and buildings;
  • changing our behavior where possible (e.g., smarter travelling).

Two key internal stakeholders immediately picked-up the carbon reduction challenge:

  • through active sourcing of our Procurement teams, the percentage of consumed electricity generated from renewable sources increased to 92% in 2018.
  • Technical and Supply Operations (TSO) launched the Green@TSO program in 2017. This long-term initiative challenges our development, manufacturing, distribution & logistics, devices and packaging teams to take conscious decisions aimed at developing solutions that benefit both patients and planet. In 2018, 10 workstreams continued to identify short-term opportunities and to develop longer-term roadmaps to optimize the energy efficiency of our industrial installations and processes. The Global Distribution and Logistics team for instance identified four clusters (packaging, network routing, carriers, loading efficiencies and intermodal transportation methods) around which efficiency improvement programs will be focused as of 2019.

3.2.2 Carbon reduction linked to operations indirectly controlled by UCB

In order to address our entire value chain and as part of our engagement to the Science Based Targets initiative, objectives for the scope 3 emissions, which are not included in the scope mentioned above were prepared in 2018. These relate mainly to our suppliers and contract manufacturing partners. They will together with the objectives previously site for our scope 1 and 2 objectives and the scope 3 objectives related to the operations we control directly, be submitted to the Science Based Targets Committee in 2019.

3.3 Carbon compensation

Even though our main focus lies on reducing GHG emissions, we will need to compensate for the emissions we cannot reduce in the short-term. That’s why, in 2017, UCB partnered with sustainability organizations dedicated to re-forestation and environmental protection, that will coordinate our carbon compensation efforts.

EcoMakala1

Desa’a Forest

Virunga Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Northern Ethiopia

2025

2030

10 000 hectares

12 000 hectares

+/-300 000 tons of CO2 saved

+/-200 000 tons of CO2 saved

currently being certified by the Gold Standard

currently being certified by the Plan Vivo standard

1 Our partner also provides the local population with energy efficient cook stoves and sustainably produced charcoal, during a period of 10 years. This helps to prevent the illegal harvesting of wood in the Virunga park currently used to prepare daily meals. Through this initiative, the emission of approximately 400 000 tons of CO2 will be avoided.

On top of the sequestration of CO2, these projects also provide employment to the population living in these areas and help improve their living conditions. In fact, the climate projects contribute to many of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.