Our progress against Green Goals1,2,3

Our progress against Green Goals1,2,3

UCB has taken several initiatives across our local and global operations to achieve our ambitious green goals. These combine strategic company-wide investments into more sustainable infrastructure and operations and extending our environmental key performance indicators throughout development, manufacturing and supply.

In 2019, we further strengthened our commitment to reduce our GHG emissions by submitting our environmental targets to the Science Based Target Initiative and further extended our impact across our network of partners and our value chain.

These activities contributed to the progress made since we implemented our green goals in 2016, with a 31% reduction in our energy consumption, 27% reduction in our water withdrawal, 32% in our waste production. Our scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) were reduced by 55% compared to our benchmark year 2015, which positions UCB well to achieve our ambition to reduce the GHG emissions due to operations we control directly (and which also include part of our scope 3 emissions) by 35% by 2030. As all targets set are absolute, the expected growth of UCB’s operations in the coming years will nevertheless require continued efforts to meet our 2030 targets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015
(benchmark year)

2017

2018

2019

Variance 2019/2015

Scope covered (% employees)

86%

90%

90%

89%

3%

Energy (MegaJoules)

1 137 502

797 900

829 248

781 301

−31%

Electricity from renewable sources

59%

92%

92%

94%

35%

CO2 emissions (tons)

112 415

86 965

78 328

73 156

−35%

Scope 1 – Direct CO2 emissions

37 573

26 090

27 508

26 121

−30%

Scope 2 – Indirect CO2 emissions
(market-based)

28 108

5 888

5 818

3 655

−87%

Scope 2 – Indirect CO2 emissions
(location-based)

 

 

20 703

18 414

 

Scope 3 – Other indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

46 734

54 987

45 009

43 381

−7%

Water (m3)

804 360

663 359

799 469

590 867

−27%

Waste (tons)

9 746

7 090

6 970

6 605

−32%

Waste recovered

95%

91%

92%

91%

−4%

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more visit Environmental data section.

To learn more visit Environmental data section.

Reduce GHG emissions by 35% and become carbon neutral for the operations we control directly by 20304,5,6,7

We have already committed to carbon neutrality in 2030 for the operations we control directly, by decreasing our emissions and compensating for those we cannot reduce in the short-term. We dedicate 80% of our efforts to reduce our GHG emissions and 20% to GHG compensation programs.

This ambition includes:

  • Our scope 1 emissions (due to gas and fuel consumed as an energy source at UCB sites as well as UCB’s car fleet),
  • Our scope 2 emissions (due to electricity consumed as an energy source at UCB sites) and
  • Part of the scope 3 emissions, covering activities performed at UCB sites (e.g. product research, development and manufacturing), the distribution of UCB products, business travel and employee commuting.

Our strategy is to:

  1. Optimize our energy consumption by making our operations more energy efficient,
  2. Reduce our GHG emissions by increasing (on a percent basis) the usage of energy generated from renewable sources,
  3. Compensate for any GHG we cannot reduce on the short-term (applying the above mentioned 80/20 principle) and
  4. Mobilizing employees and to change behavior by implementing internal awareness campaigns on energy consumption and carbon emissions

Our overall aim is to reduce the carbon footprint of our entire value chain, in line with the ambition set in the Paris Agreement (2015).

UCB joined the Science Based Targets initiative in 2017 and has further strengthened its engagement in 2019 by adding specific objectives for the scope 3 emissions to our overall objectives. Furthermore, in order to cover our entire value chain, we reached out to our suppliers and contract manufacturing organizations, requesting our partners to also define ambitious climate targets. Our target is to engage 60% of our external partners (on an emission basis) to have ambitious GHG reduction targets by 2024.

This year we are proud to have renewed and submitted our value chain-wide ambition and targets to the Science Based Targets initiative in November 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRI Indicator

Definition

Unit of measure

2015
(benchmark year)

2019 Actual

Variance (%)

305-1

Direct CO2 emissions – scope 1

Electricity

Ton CO2

0

0

N/A

 

 

Gas

Ton CO2

36 610

25 176

−31%

 

 

Fuel

Ton CO2

963

944

−3%

305-2

Indirect CO2 emissions – scope 2

Electricity
(market based)

Ton CO2

28 108

3 655

−79%

 

 

Electricity
(location based)

Ton CO2

N/A

18 414

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

43 381

−7%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a. Towards becoming more energy efficient 

Various energy saving initiatives implemented in 2019 at the sites in Bulle (Switzerland), Braine-l’Alleud (Belgium) and Zhuhai (China) led to a recurrent energy saving of 7 092 Gigajoules, which is 0.9% of UCB’s scope 1 and scope 2 on-site energy usage. 

These achievements add to the previous reductions of our energy consumption through the divestiture of the sites in Seymour (U.S.) and Shannon (Ireland) in 2015 and 2016. In 2019 we divested our site in Monheim (Germany).

Business travel associated with scope 3 CO2 emissions resulted in 43 381 tons of CO2 emissions, a decrease of 7% compared to our baseline in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRI indicator

Definition

Unit of measure

2015 (benchmark year)

2019 Actual

Variance (%)

302-1

Total

Total energy consumption

GigaJoules

1 137 502

781 301

−31%

 

Gas

Gas consumption

GigaJoules

652 584

442 118

−32%

 

Fuel Oil

Fuel oil consumption

GigaJoules

12 956

15 279

18%

 

Fuel Vehicle

Utility vehicle fuel consumption

GigaJoules

158

91

−42%

 

Electricity

Electricity consumption

GigaJoules

471 804

323 812

−31%

302-4

Energy Saved

Energy saved due to consideration & efficiency improvements

GigaJoules

6 743

7 093

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b. Using energy generated from renewable sources 

For the past years UCB focused on sourcing the electricity consumed at the sites from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass. The percentage of electricity globally sourced from renewable sources has increased to 94% in 2019, compared to 59% in our benchmark year 2015.

In addition, UCB invested in solar panels installed at the sites in Bulle (Switzerland), Braine-l’Alleud (Belgium), and Brussels (Belgium). The three solar parcs did generate 2 611 GigaJoules of electricity in 2019 (0.3% of UCB’s global energy consumption).

c. Compensating for Green House Gas emissions

Even though our focus is to reduce GHG emissions, we need to compensate for the emissions we cannot reduce in the short-term. This is why, in 2017, UCB partnered with COLogic and WeForest on re-forestation and environmental protection projects.

In 2019 we continued our reforestation efforts at the Virunga Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Desa’a Forest in Northern Ethiopia. Our ambition is to restore an area of 22 000 ha by 2030.

EcoMakala8

Desa’a Forest

Carbon compensation – location (icon)

Virunga Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Northern Ethiopia

Carbon compensation – partner organization (logo)
Carbon compensation – CO2 logic (logo)
Carbon compensation – WeForest (icon)
Carbon compensation – deadline (icon)

2025

2030

Carbon compensation – affected area (icon)

10 000 hectares

12 000 hectares

Carbon compensation – CO2 saved (icon)

+/−300 000 tons of CO2 saved

+/−200 000 tons of CO2 saved

Carbon compensation – vertification (icon)

currently being certified by the Gold Standard

currently being certified by the Plan Vivo standard

Carbon compensation – further information (icon)

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.

d. Our Green teams

Green Teams are groups of motivated UCB employees that are empowered to drive environmentally friendly activities including recycling initiatives, local waste and water reduction initiatives. Ten Green teams have been set up at 5 different UCB sites: Brussels and Braine-l’Alleud (Belgium), Monheim (Germany), Slough (the U.K.) and Atlanta (the U.S.).

Uta, UCB (photo)

Uta, UCB

In 2019, we celebrated World Environment Day by inviting COLogic and WeForest to share the impact of UCB’s carbon compensation projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Ethiopia with the UCB team. Close to 1 200 UCB colleagues joined the event, physically or remotely – demonstrating a strong interest and commitment in this topic.

Reducing water withdrawal by 20% by 2030

Our 20% reduction target versus 2015 baseline is ambitious, as our research and development pipeline include several antibodies with production processes more water demanding than for chemical entities. Nevertheless, compared to 2015, our 2019 water withdrawal decreased by 27%

This reduction was partially achieved thanks to the strategic divestiture of manufacturing sites in Seymour, Shannon and Monheim. In 2019 we also implemented water saving projects resulting in a recurrent 26 328 m3 of water saved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRI Indicator

Definition

Unit of measure

2015
(benchmark year)

2019 Actual

Variance (%)

303-1

Water

Total water

m3

804 360

590 867

−27%

 

 

Main water

m3

624 427

509 629

−18%

 

 

Ground & surface water

m3

179 933

81 238

−55%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reducing waste generation9,10

UCB set the absolute target to reduce our waste generation by 25% in 2030 compared to its base year measurement in 2015. 

We globally managed to recover 91% of our waste, predominantly through recovery of waste as a fuel to generate energy and recovery and regeneration of solvents, which is slightly lower than the recovery rate of 94% achieved in baseline year 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRI Indicator

Definition

Unit of measure

2015 (Benchmark year)

2019 Actual

Variance (%)

306-2

Waste disposal

Total waste

Tons

9 745

6 605

−32%

 

 

Total waste not recovered

Tons

520

626

20%

 

 

Total waste recovered

Tons

9 255

5 979

−35%

 

 

Subtotals

Tons

 

 

 

 

 

Subtotal waste used principally as a fuel or other means to generate energy (EU waste recovery code R1)

Tons

2 919

1 867

−36%

 

 

Subtotal waste recovered through solvent reclamation or regeneration (EU waste recovery code R2)

Tons

2 839

2 207

−22%

 

 

Subtotal waste recovered through recycling/reclamation of organic substances which are not used as solvents (EU waste recovery code R3)

Tons

1 604

1 286

−20%

 

 

Subtotal waste recovered through recycling/reclamation of inorganic materials other than metals (EU waste recovery R5)

Tons

1 790

439

−76%

 

 

Subtotal waste recovery by other methods (EU waste recovery R4, R6 & R9)

Tons

74

179

143%

306-3

Total number and volume of significant spills

Number

 

0

0

N/A

 

 

Volume

Tons

0

0

N/A

306-4

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste as defined by locally applicable regulations

Tons

6 455

3 913

−39%

 

Non-hazardous waste

Other solid waste (excluding emissions and effluents)

Tons

3 291

2 692

−18%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Scope of reporting: Planet data are consolidated for all research, development and manufacturing sites, HQ, and affiliates from Brazil, China, India, Italy, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Russia, and the U.S. This scope covers 90% of UCB’s workforce, compared to 86% in 2015 (benchmark year).

2 Scope changes in the last years:
2015: Start of the bioplant in Bulle (Switzerland) and divestiture of the Kremers Urban operations including production site in Seymour, (the U.S.).
2016: Divestiture of the production site in Shannon (Ireland).
2017: Consolidation of 2 additional affiliates: Brazil & Russia.
2019: Divestiture of the site in Monheim (Germany). Facilities are currently rented at the site.

3 Scope of reporting: In Atlanta (the U.S.) facilities are rented to third parties and there are no separate utility meters installed. As a result, consumption is overestimated for which the impact cannot be reliably measured.

4 Scope of reporting: Scope 1 COemissions do not (yet) include emissions from UCB’s car fleet.

5 Scope of reporting: Direct COemissions for natural gas consumption is calculated considering the high or low heating value. As of 2016, conversion factors published in the Bilan Carbone guidelines, version 8.2 are used. Previously, conversion factor published in the intergovernmental panel on Climate Change 2006 Guidelines for national Greenhouse Gas inventories and the U.K. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2013 Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting: Methodology Paper for Emission Factors were used. The new factors were chosen in order to be consistent with a COmapping exercise completed by UCB in 2015 and based upon the Bilan Carbone methodology.

6 Scope of reporting: Considering the growing percentage of electricity being generated from renewable sources, CO2 emissions resulting from electricity consumption were calculated on market-based CO2 equivalents of the electricity mix consumed as reported by the UCB sites. When for a given site a specific ratio was not available, location-based ratios published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) 2019 were applied. In the GRI Sustainability Indicators section location and market-based emissions are both reported. Conversion factors used to calculate the COemissions caused by business travel by air take radiative forcing into account.

7 Scope of reporting: The other indirect GHG emissions (scope 3) reported under GRI indicator 305-3 relate to domestic and international air travel performed by UCB employees working in 30 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South-Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.

8 Our partner also provides the local population with energy efficient cook stoves and sustainably produced charcoal, over 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.

9 Scope of reporting: A total of 91% of waste generated by UCB is recovered and the methods by which waste is recovered are classified according to Annex B to the EU directive 2008/98/EU.

10 Scope of reporting: Waste generated at our offices in Mumbai (India), Milan (Italy), Polanco (Mexico), Shanghai (China), Tokyo (Japan) and Moscow (Russia) are not included in the reporting scope as waste tonnages that were generated are not known.