Oct 11, 2021 - 12:00pm

Genentech Sees Action on Climate as Action on Health

Ambitions

  • Addressing the climate crisis as a health crisis: Genentech is a biotechnology company dedicated to pursuing groundbreaking science to discover and develop medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. As such, the company understands that the climate crisis and the health of its patients and business are inextricably linked. To deliver on its commitment to the health and well-being of patients, people, and the planet, Genentech has pledged to reduce its environmental impact 50% by 2029 across all operations, including employee air travel emissions and the product life cycle of medicines and diagnostic products.
  • Eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: Genentech has pledged to reduce scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 75% of 2019 levels by 2029 and reach real zero emissions by 2050—both without carbon offsets. In addition to these goals, the company is committed to significantly reduce GHG emissions in its supply chain (scope 3).

Investments

  • Renewable energy: Genentech has transitioned its grid power to be CO2-free and is committed to using 100% renewable electricity for all site operations by 2025. The company’s South San Francisco headquarters is home to one of the largest corporate solar installations (6MW) on the San Francisco Bay Area peninsula.
  • Removal of fluorocarbons: Genentech has eliminated all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) from its operations and will eliminate all hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 2022.
  • Vehicle electrification and sustainable commute options: Genentech has begun transitioning its sales fleet, commuter buses, and campus coaches to electric and using renewable electricity to charge these vehicles. This transition will be completed by 2029. Genentech’s industry-leading sustainable employee transportation program received the Best Overall Commuting Options Award at the Association for Commuter Transportation 2021 International Conference.
  • Healthy work environments: To support the health and well-being of employees working on its campuses, Genentech has pledged to be a Fitwel Champion through the Fitwel Building Certification system. The company achieved its first WELL certification for one of the newest buildings on its South San Francisco campus. 
  • Low-carbon nutrition: Genentech has taken the World Resource Institute’s COOL Food Pledge, committing to reduce the climate impact of food served on its campuses 25% by 2030. In addition to helping lower food-related CO2 and methane emissions, Genentech is offering diners healthier choices by adding more plant-forward meals to its cafe menus.

Innovations

  • Sustainable manufacturing: Genentech is building a new manufacturing facility on its South San Francisco campus that applies single-use bioprocessing technology to significantly reduce its carbon, energy, and water footprint.
  • Minimization of water use: To optimize water use on campus and decrease consumption, Genentech has introduced a number of cutting-edge upgrades to its operations, including greywater systems, weather sensors, and drought-resistant landscaping. The company reduced its water use more than 20% between 2010 and 2020 and is striving for a further 20% reduction from 2019 numbers by 2025.
  • Climate action engagement: Genentech involves its employees in sustainability efforts, offering programs to help individuals assess their carbon footprint and adapt their behavior at work and at home.

Other Actions

  • Community collaboration: Recognizing that change takes collective action, Genentech partners with organizations in its local communities to identify reuse or recycling opportunities, including donations of labware to schools and office supplies to teacher resource centers. 

For more information, visit https://www.gene.com/good/sustainability

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