In future, environmental considerations will play an increasing role in the company's planning and management. We are convinced that good environmental management is also good business management. However, we will not be able to achieve our goals without the involvement of our employees at all levels.
Environmental Organization – Responsibility and Authority
Novo Nordisk's highest environmental authority is the Corporate Environmental Board. It is responsible for setting the overall guidelines and policies and for promoting the implementation of the ICC Business Charter for Sustainable Development, which Novo Nordisk signed in 1991. The Chairman of the Corporate Environmental Board is a member of Corporate Management.
Two Green Initiative Groups work to identify focus areas, initiate new environmental projects and establish new specialist groups. The chairmen of these two groups are members of the Corporate Environmental Board.
The specialist groups are staffed by individuals whose everyday work is in specific areas such as packaging, animal testing and experimentation, transportation, etc. A newly established specialist group will begin with a review of its area to identify any environmental problems. Then solutions are put forward, together with priorities and targets for the group's work. The chairmen of the specialist groups are members of one of the two Green Initiative Groups.
Overall environmental management is coordinated by Corporate Environmental Affairs, a staff function comprising three departments: Corporate Risk Management, Health and Safety and Corporate Environmental Department.
Line management in research and production is responsible for compliance with environmental requirements and permits for day-to-day operations, and compliance with Novo Nordisk's environmental policy.
Status of 1995–97 Target: We shall aim to complete the outstanding tasks in relation to British Standard 7750.
In 1995 we have worked on an internal environmental management manual in preparation for the introduction of a certifiable environmental management system. Enzyme Business achieved quality certification (ISO 9002) in March 1996 and will commence work on environmental certification of its area with a pilot project at the factory in Copenhagen. The experience gained here will be used in ongoing work.
1996–97 Target: Environmental certification of Enzyme Business, starting with the factory in Copenhagen, which must have a certifiable environmental management system by the end of 1997.
1996–97 Target: Environmental certification of the printing works (The printing works produces printed packaging materials, boxes, labels and user instructions) in Bagsvaerd in 1997.
1995 Target: Establishment of a formal management system to track progress and generate the necessary data for the Environmental Report.
This target was not completely achieved in 1995. An environmental database is being developed and is expected to be implemented by the end of 1996. The database will organize and process environmental data from all Novo Nordisk's production plants throughout the world and will be an important element of our environmental management work, environmental applications and environmental audits. It will also be used for reporting purposes such as environmental statements and reports, and green accounts.
As a new initiative for control of reported data in 1995, Novo Nordisk's internal audit department reviewed data from the factories in Kalundborg, Bagsvaerd, Copenhagen and Gentofte. The internal auditing department will continue this work in 1996.
Status of 1995–96 Target: We will review Novo Nordisk's international environmental standards.
The Enzyme Business plants abroad have reported on the local environmental requirements of waste water, biomass and emissions to air. We will continue this work and present an overview of Novo Nordisk's environmental standards in the 1996 Environmental Report.
Compliance with Environmental Legislation Worldwide
The production permits applying to our factories around the world set out a number of regulatory limits for production. A regulatory limit value is thus set for each type of emission, e.g. emission of a particular substance in waste water or to the atmosphere. Overall Novo Nordisk is subject to several hundred different environmental regulatory limits.
1995 Target: Repeated breaches of the regulatory limits must be solved by the end of 1995.
Breaches of 19 regulatory limit values were recorded in 1995, of which 12 were breached two or more times. We have therefore not achieved the target set out in last year's environmental report. However, in each case corrective action has been initiated to
prevent further repetitions. Table 4 presents an overview of breaches of regulatory limits in 1995. All cases were reported to the local environmental authorities.
Repeated breaches in 1995
Bagsvaerd: On two occasions excessive quantities of zinc have been measured in waste water.
Kalundborg: Repeated breaches of regulatory limit values for respectively dust (4) and enzyme dust (30) in air emissions from the fermentation and enzyme recovery factories were measured in 1995. Trials in 1995 and 1996 will find new and better methods of purifying the emissions from the fermentation factories.
The regulatory limit for the number of production organisms in air emissions from the fermentation plant has been exceeded 8 times. This issue has been taken up with the environmental authorities and will be resolved in 1996 when the Kalundborg factory will be subject to new approval under the Danish Environment and Gene Technology Act.
Clayton, USA: At our pharmaceutical plant in the USA repeated breaches of regulatory limits have been recorded for respectively water volume (7), pH (acidity) (11) and mercury (2) in waste water. The factory is subject to approval and these problems will be solved once it is operational.
Hokkaido: 3 breaches of the regulatory limit for BOD5 and 8 breaches of the regulatory limit for suspended matter in waste water have been registered.
Curitiba: 20 breaches of the regulatory limit for BOD5 and 130 breaches of the limit for suspended matter in waste water have been registered. These breaches are due to a technical fault in the biomass treatment plant. The fault has been repaired so that regulatory limits will be complied with in future.
1996 Target: No repeated breaches of regulatory limit values in 1996.
Accidental releases of GMOs
1995 Target: No accidental releases of GMOs.
There have been no accidental releases of GMOs from Novo Nordisk's sites in 1995.
1996 Target: No accidental releases of GMOs in 1996.
Other accidental releases
In 1995 there were 15 accidental releases of chemicals and liquid waste to the environment outside our factory areas, see Table 5. All accidental releases have been reported to the environmental authorities. After an accidental release recovery or neutralization are initiated as a routine procedure where possible. We have not observed any serious consequences for the environment from the releases.
Bagsvaerd: 750 litres of 30% ethanol were released to the soil. This resulted in 50 metric tons of contaminated gravel, which were dumped at a controlled site.
Copenhagen: 22 metric tons of 75% phosphoric acid leaked from a storage tank, of which 18 metric tons were recovered, while 4 metric tons ran out into the waste water system.
Maaloev: Approx. 30 m3 of cleaning water containing 225 g oestradiol were discharged to the waste water system.
Kalundborg: 9 cases of spillage of a total volume of approx. 13 m3 of inactivated biomass to water courses, water bodies and soil areas without a permit.
Franklinton: 3 accidental emissions of waste water and inactivated biomass with a total volume of 11 m3 were discharged to a pond on a site neighbouring the factory and to a water course.
Complaints from neighbours
In 1995 we received 56 complaints from our neighbours at different locations around the world, particularly the factory in Copenhagen which is close to a residential area, and the factories in Kalundborg and Franklinton, USA, respectively, which received complaints about noise and odour. We attach great importance to good relations with our neighbours and therefore take these complaints very seriously. Where technically possible measures are initiated to minimize noise and odour nuisances.
Legal actions and fines
Novo Nordisk has not been involved in legal actions or incurred fines related to environmental claims in 1995.
Insurance to cover environmental claims
Novo Nordisk has two insurance policies – a third party liability policy and a property policy – to cover potential environmental claims. The third party liability insurance covers the legal liability arising from sudden unexpected pollution by our business activities. The property insurance covers the costs of, for example, cleaning soil and water courses on Novo Nordisk's property which have become polluted as a consequence of an event which is covered by the insurance. The clean-up requirement must be put forward by the public authorities. There were no claims under either policy in 1995.
Polluted sites in Denmark
Approx. 7% of Novo Nordisk's total site area in Denmark is fully or partly registered as polluted, or recorded in the Land Register as a waste dump. In addition, we have six sites which are partly polluted by chemicals. The latter sites are estimated to constitute a total area of less than 20,000 m2. Table 6 provides an overview of our polluted sites, the extent of the pollution, and the remedial or control measures initiated. These measures are handled in accordance with the authorities' requirements so as to prevent the pollution spreading to the surrounding environment, e.g. to drinking water supplies.
In May 1995 the Danish Parliament adopted the Act on Green Accounts as an integrated element of the Danish Environmental Protection Act. This Act contains the currently most wide-ranging requirements in Europe of business enterprises' reporting of their own environmental impacts to the general public. The Act, which came into force on January 1, 1996, requires nearly 3,000 Danish companies to prepare and publish green accounts.
In practice this means that we must prepare separate environmental accounts for several of our sites in Denmark. In 1996 we must prepare green accounts for the factories in Kalundborg and Gentofte. In 1997 our factory in Copenhagen will also be covered by the Act, while the site in Bagsvaerd will not be required to prepare green accounts until the year 2000.
We will publish 1995 green accounts for Kalundborg, our largest production site. The accounts can be ordered by completing the coupon at the back of this report.
KARTA – new cooperation with the public authorities
In the Greater Copenhagen area Novo Nordisk has joined forces with four other business enterprises and the local municipal authorities on a pilot environmental protection project called "Copenhagen County Cleaner Technology Activities" (KARTA). The project's overall objective is regional development which provides for further industrial growth, but with companies themselves taking responsibility for both economically and ecologically sustainable growth. Novo Nordisk's share of the project is a framework approval of the enzyme granulation plant in Bagsvaerd, which includes various environmental management elements.