Environmental footprint & compliance

UCB applies the precautionary approach in innovation and development of new products as a tool for patient safety and environmental risk management, and considers the benefits and potential health and environmental risks of innovation and new technologies in a scientific and transparent manner.

In 2016, we strengthened our corporate environmental strategy by adopting absolute targets aimed at reducing the footprint of UCB’s most significant environmental impacts: the emission of Green House Gases, water depletion, and waste generation. In 2017, we accelerated the translation of this strategy into concrete action programs.

Currently, ISO-certified environmental management systems are implemented in our research and production sites in Slough, Braine, Bulle and Zhuhai. An ISO-compliant environmental management system is implemented in our production site in Saitama. The systems are used to ensure regulatory compliance and to continuously improve our environmental performance, focusing on the three areas that matter most.

Climate Change (Regulations)

As relates to our most significant environmental impact, the continuously changing and new or emerging regulatory requirements aimed at mitigating climate change, by driving the transition to a low carbon economy, may potentially adversely impact UCB’s compliance status with the applicable regulations and value chain encompassing negative impact on UCB’s reputation.

The international (political) debate around Climate Change resulted in the Paris Agreement (COP21)  in late 2015 . 197 countries, including all leading economies, engaged to take the necessary actions to limit the rise of the global temperature to well below 2°C. So far, 170 countries actually ratified the agreement.

The COP21 ambition includes a reduction of GHG emissions by at least 25% by 2030 through a combination of policy and regulatory measures and market-based mechanisms, which most likely will impact future business practices and investments. It may result in the need to tailor actions to meet specific emerging (regulatory) requirements that may be introduced at local, regional and/or national level. It may also result in an increased cost of carbon in the value chain.

The expected outcomes of our strengthened environmental strategy include:

  • a reduced environmental footprint;
  • improved employee engagement;
  • reduced operational expenditure; and,
  • reduced exposure to taxation schemes or other regulatory requirements impacting compliance and/or cost of goods.

In order to measure our success, the relevant KPI’s are listed in the GRI G4 Sustainability Indicators, category ‘Environment’.