Carbon emissions from onsite combustion of fuel and purchased energy in 2020 decreased by 21,000 metric tons (MT) from 2019. Our carbon reduction projects in 2020 resulted in 5,900 MT of annual carbon emission reductions to achieve a total of 139,000 MT, or 33%, since 2007, and saved more than $35 million in operating costs annually. We measure progress toward our targets by quantifying results of projects independent of growth or contraction of the business. We do not count facility or building closures in our target progress. Amgen has also made an impact on carbon emissions by reducing carbon emissions from our sales fleet.
Amgen has a comprehensive carbon reduction strategy that focuses on innovation, efficiency, and renewable electricity.
- Innovation: Reducing the amount of energy (carbon) required to develop and produce our medicines is the best way to eliminate carbon and prevent climate change. Through innovative manufacturing technologies, we have reduced ongoing carbon by 69%*, and water use by 54%*, as compared to conventional biotechnology manufacturing.
- Efficiency: We will embed sustainability-by-design into our facilities to maximize their operational efficiency. We plan to convert 30% of our fleet vehicles to all-electric vehicles by 2027. Selections of vehicles will be prioritized to maximize emission reductions based on sales representatives’ territory and the availability of low carbon-emitting electrical grid power. We are also installing EV charging stations at our sites.
- Renewable Energy: We are striving for 100% renewable electricity use at all of our operations where feasible by 2027, resulting in a ~50%* reduction in our carbon emissions from operations. Across our network, each facility has a portfolio of renewable energy projects that are a part of our long-range planning. Projects range from installing innovative renewable energy technologies, such as on-site solar arrays, to purchasing electricity from renewable sources. Where renewable sources are not available, we will evaluate options for the purchase of carbon offsets and prioritize offsetting based on the quality of the credit/offset.
Our carbon reduction progress is managed through a formal project measurement and verification process and is tracked through deliberate efforts—without influence from growth or contraction in our business. For example, we do not count the closure of a facility or building or a downturn in our business toward the progress of our conservation targets. We have created a portfolio of projects and initiatives that we specifically execute, counting results of validated projects and initiatives only.
1. Eliminating Energy Use
Amgen’s process and technology innovations for manufacturing have significant energy conservation and carbon reduction benefits.
Examples of eliminating energy use through better design:
- Major international regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, licensed Amgen’s pioneering next-generation biomanufacturing plant in Singapore for commercial production of biologic drug substance in 2017. Compared with the manufacture of the same amount of product in a traditional facility, the plant has demonstrated a 73 percent reduction in energy consumption, 54 percent reduction in water use, and 69 percent reduction in carbon emissions.
- In recent years, we have expanded the use of isolator technology in drug product manufacturing, which creates an airtight barrier around a process eliminating the need for large conventional clean rooms. This technology provides substantial energy savings, as much as 60 percent over a conventional clean room, and helped us to attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification for a building in Puerto Rico.
2. Increasing Energy Efficiency of Products, Processes, Facilities, and Transportation
Amgen’s energy management and efficiency improvement program has steadily matured over the years as we incorporate industry best practices and share successful projects across our network of international locations. Over the years, Amgen has participated in ENERGY STAR Industrial Partner and Focus meetings. We were a featured presenter at the 2017 ENERGY STAR Industrial Partner meeting with a talk about our Smart and Integrated Facility Utility Monitoring Program. Our site in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, achieved the International Energy Management System Standard ISO 50001 Certification in 2015 for electrical, natural gas, and water consumption.
Examples of increasing energy efficiency of facilities:
In 2020, we expanded our Smart and Integrated Facility Utility Monitoring Program, which assessed existing automation and monitoring systems and delivered a prioritized list of opportunities for improvements at targeted manufacturing and research facilities at six Amgen sites. Opportunities identified in 2020 through the program resulted in conservation of 12,300 GJ of energy, and reductions of 1,300 MT of carbon. Since implementation in 2016, this program has resulted in savings of 243,000 GJ, 15,700 MT carbon and approximately $4.2 million.
3. Increasing Proportion of Renewable and Alternative Energy Used
In 2020, our total renewable energy use was 38% of our electricity consumption. Our sites in Ireland, the Netherlands and Singapore procure 100% renewable energy, and our San Francisco facility procures 89% renewable energy.
The newest addition to Amgen’s buildings designed with environmental sustainability as a central feature, is the new visitor center in Breda, Netherlands. The visitor center is certified with an A++++ label and has a minus energy index.1 The building is the first building in Breda to earn the combination minus energy index and A++++ label.
Features that contribute to this building’s zero-emission status include a 26-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, adaptive lighting which modulates the light intensity based on solar position and occupancy, heat-resistant glazing to keep the interior cool in warm months and an innovative ventilation system to optimize heating and air quality in cooler months.
A worldwide team of engineers continuously takes opportunities to reengineer existing utility systems and add new technologies to make facilities or processes more energy efficient. Through our Global Utility Network, we manage a portfolio of projects for every application and facility at Amgen.
We have evaluated renewable and alternative energy technology options at every major Amgen site and include renewable and alternative energy projects in our long-range plan. We have worked with peers and organizations to assess best practices in the area of renewable energy as part of our ongoing efforts to increase our proportion of renewable energy usage.
Carbon from Commuting and Transportation
Amgen encourages and, in some cases, incentivizes staff to commute to work in environmentally responsible ways that help decrease carbon emissions that result from transportation. Amgen began reporting carbon emissions related to staff commuting for the first time in 2017. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation awarded Amgen with a 2018 Excellence in Commuter Options Award at the Gold level. This award recognizes companies that promote healthier, more environmentally friendly commuting options.
Virtual meetings save money and travel time and help reduce carbon emissions. Amgen conducts a percentage of our job candidate interviews and staff meetings using facility- and desktop-based virtual meeting technology.
See our Approach section on Sales Fleet Fuel Efficiency for information on fleet carbon management.
1 Energy label and energy index ratings are in accordance with The Netherland’s BRL 9500 Assessment Guideline