We will seek to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment by developing more environmentally sound processes and minimizing emissions, consumption of raw materials and energy.
(From Novo Nordisk's Environmental Policy)
Figure 1 in the summary gives an overview of the significant resource inputs to and emissions from our production in 1995. In the next sections these inputs and outputs are considered individually. Data for FeF Chemicals and for the factory in Anagni, Italy, are not included in the stated totals and calculated eco-productivity indices since they do not contribute to the turnover figure used in the eco-productivity index.
Each year we calculate an eco-productivity index (EPI) for raw materials, water, energy and packaging. This index is the indicator we use of effective resource utilization. An increase in EPI is positive since it indicates that we have become better at utilizing a specific resource.
1995–97 Target: An average annual increase in raw materials eco-productivity by 2 percentage points.
The raw materials eco-productivity index in 1995 has risen by 1 percentage point against the 1994 index. Due to process reorganization and focus on quality certification the development of production processes has achieved only small savings of raw materials in 1995. In the next few years we expect process optimization on a normal scale. We will therefore retain the same target for the next two years.
1995–97 Target: An average annual increase in water eco-productivity by 5 percentage points.
The water eco-productivity index rose by 12 percentage points from 1994 to 1995, which is 7 percentage points more than targeted.
The water consumption of our factory in Hokkaido has fallen in step with production, whereas the Franklinton factory's water consumption has risen since it is now fully operative after commissioning in 1994. Water consumption by the Copenhagen factory has dropped by approx. 14% after the introduction of a new, less water-consuming filtration process.
1995–97 Target: An average annual increase in energy eco-productivity by 4 percentage points.
The energy eco-productivity index rose by 6 percentage points from 1994 to 1995, which is 2 percentage points above target. For several years the company has made an effort to reduce energy consumption. The increase in the eco-productivity index over recent years shows that these efforts have been successful. Due to the new energy taxes introduced in Denmark, in 1995 a working group was appointed to investigate how further energy savings can be made.
At Novo Nordisk most of our waste is liquid waste originating from our fermentation and recovery processes. The most concentrated part in terms of nutrient salts and dry matter is called biomass. The biomass from enzyme production is recycled as agricultural fertilizer after inactivation. The remainder is waste water which is treated at our own and/or municipal waste water treatment plants before discharge to the aquatic environment. At our factory in Franklinton, USA, however, all waste water is used to irrigate agricultural areas.
In 1995 approx. 1.9 million m3 of spent biomass was used as fertilizer. The biomass contains large quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus. In step with our efforts to improve the treatment of waste water, the recirculation of these two nutrients has been increasing in recent years. In 1995 over 90% of both nitrogen and phosphorus were recirculated (see Table 13).
1995 Target: A further 5% reduction in the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus discharged.
As all spent biomass from the factory in Copenhagen throughout 1995 was collected and transported to the Kalundborg factory, the total quantity of nitrogen and phosphorus discharged in waste water from our factories fell significantly in 1995. Discharge of nitrogen in waste water has fallen by 59%, while phosphorus discharge fell by 70%.
Transportation of biomass
Biomass from the factory in Copenhagen is transported in tankers to the factory in Kalundborg. After inactivation around one quarter of the biomass from Kalundborg and Copenhagen is transported via a pipeline distribution system to agricultural land in the County of Western Zealand, while the rest is transported out to the fields in tankers.
The spent biomass from insulin production – called yeast slurry – is reused as a protein supplement in pig feed after heat treatment and addition of lactic acid bacteria. In 1995 27,000 m3 of yeast slurry were used as pig feed.
Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste
Solid waste from Novo Nordisk's production comprises materials dumped in controlled land fills such as filter materials, materials for incineration such as empty packaging, and materials for recycling such as glass, paper and metal. We endeavour to recycle as much of the solid waste as possible. In 1995, the total quantity of solid waste was 16,250 metric tons, of which 25% was recycled. Hazardous waste for controlled destruction is oil and chemicals, which make up 6% of the total quantity of solid waste.
Emissions to Air
In order to reduce emissions to air from production we have established different types of filter system. Dust-forming emissions are reduced by using bag filters and special, airtight HEPA filters. In Kalundborg biofilters considerably reduce odour emissions from production and emissions of enzyme dust to a degree. Carbon filters are used in plant where organic solvents are used.
Previous reports included only details of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from combustion of fossil fuels at our own combined heat and power stations. As from this year we also include corresponding emissions from external power stations for 1993–95. 16% of CO2 emissions and 8% of SO2 emissions originate from Novo Nordisk's own plant. Table 15 provides an overview of total emissions, while CO2 and SO2 for the individual sites are stated in environmental data.
Effect potentials for energy consumption
Table 16 states the effect potentials for the greenhouse effect, acidification and photochemical ozone formation related to Novo Nordisk's total energy consumption. The effect potentials for the individual factory sites are stated in environmental data. For all three environmental impacts there is an increase in the absolute figures as a consequence of our increasing energy consumption. However, if the effect potentials are related to energy consumption their development has been by and large constant since 1993.
At Novo Nordisk organic solvents are primarily used in the recovery of insulin and certain enzyme products and for chemical synthesis. More than 99% of the total emission to air of organic solvents is acetone and ethanol. The total emission in 1995 is estimated at 50–70 metric tons. The emissions are calculated on the basis of relatively few measurements. The figures are, therefore, subject to some uncertainty. Emissions of organic solvents from the individual factory sites are stated in environmental data.
Storage and consumption of ozone-depleting substances
At end-1995 the stocks of chlorinated refrigerants and other halogenated substances with ozone-depleting effects shown in Table 17 were registered. The stocks of individual sites are stated in environmental data.
Table 18 indicates the quantity of refrigerants and other ozone-depleting substances purchased.
The strong ozone-depleting substances such as CFC compounds and halons are currently being phased out in accordance with current national and international resolutions.
Methyl bromide is used by FeF Chemicals to produce quaternary ammonium compounds. Production takes place in closed reactors to ensure minimum emission of methyl bromide to the atmosphere.
Enzymes – Biological Solutions to Industrial Problems
Industry can use enzymes to develop processes which are more economic, safer, less polluting and more energy- and resource-effective.
Novo Nordisk manufactures enzymes for a wide range of industries, the largest being the detergent, textile, starch and feed industries. However, the need for more environmentally sustainable processes and products is creating new opportunities to use enzymes in industry. Novo Nordisk is therefore working intensively to develop new enzymes for new purposes.
Life-Cycle Assessments – documentation of environmentally sound products
1995–97 Target: To perform Life-Cycle Assessments of a selected range of products in order to demonstrate and improve the environmental performance of these products and their applications.
We consider Life-Cycle Assessments (LCA) to be a comprehensive environmental management tool which makes it possible to identify and improve particularly environmentally unsound process stages from "cradle to grave". This gives us an opportunity to improve the product's environmental performance and also to document the environmental benefits of using enzymes for a range of industrial purposes.
Our work on LCA will for the time being focus on preparing environmental profiles of selected enzyme products comprising the production process from recovery of raw materials to the finished product leaving Novo Nordisk.
More than 20 different raw materials and auxiliaries are used to produce enzymes, each with its own environmental profile. Often several suppliers of a given raw material are used, and supplies can be manufactured in different ways and have different environmental profiles. Each enzyme product is manufactured in several different formulations and is supplied in different packaging types and sizes.
Experience from data collection so far shows that suppliers normally can only provide details of the environmental impacts of their own production, and not of the impacts of manufacturing the raw materials they use in production. Some suppliers provide only very scant details to protect production secrets. It is therefore often necessary to use data from accessible LCA literature and assessments of the environmental impact of similar processes to achieve a reasonably comprehensive picture of a raw material's environmental profile. In order to ensure that individual raw materials and thus the enzyme product's environmental profile are as correct as possible, in each case the data collected is subject to quality assessment.
In continuation of previous LCA work, in 1995 we initiated a development project comprising:
- Preparation of an environmental profile of the detergent enzyme Savinase® 10.
- Determination of a standard and a procedure for preparation of environmental profiles for enzyme products.
- Selection and testing of a computer program to handle the LCA data.
Health Care Business Packaging
The packaging eco-productivity index for Health Care Business has decreased by 6 percentage points from 1994 (see figure 13 and 14). This is due to the fact that our consumption of plastic materials has increased in step with sale of an increasing quantity of our insulin in the prefilled syringe, NovoLet®. Although Novo Nordisk now uses a larger quantity of plastic, diabetics can save up to 50% of plastic consumption by switching to NovoLet from the traditional disposable syringes used for insulin in vials.
Since NovoLet was introduced in 1989 a recycling scheme has been established in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. This scheme annually treats an increasing quantity of NovoLet.
1995 Target: To implement the Packaging Policy throughout Health Care Business.
The Packaging Policy presented in last year's environmental report has been finally approved by Corporate Management, printed as a folder and distributed to all managers in Health Care Business and Health Care Discovery & Development. As a consequence, besides product and public authority requirements, environmental requirements are now also specified for packaging and medical devices on the start-up of new projects. This implementation is continuing in 1996 with the preparation of operational guidelines for environmentally sound development of packaging and disposable medical devices.
1996 Target: Continue implementing the Packaging Policy by developing operational guidelines for environmentally sound development of packaging and disposable medical devices.
Enzyme business Packaging
1995 Target: Novo Nordisk will publish an environmental handbook to advise customers on their choice of packaging and disposal systems.
A packaging handbook has been prepared by Novo Nordisk's Enzyme Business packaging group. It covers the materials for the standard packaging used for enzymes, the impacts of the different packaging types on the environment, and how the packaging is disposed of or recycled after use.
The handbook also presents an overview of the environmental regulations for packaging, but so far only for Sweden, Germany and the USA.
In 1995 packaging consumption by Enzyme Business declined, and the quantity of products sold rose (see figure 13). This raised the eco-productivity index by 11 percentage points (see figure 14). The reduced consumption of packaging is due particularly to higher bulk sales of enzymes transported in tankers.
Transportation and Distribution
1995 Target: To reduce the relative number of transportation kilometres through more direct transportation from a primary stock to the customer.
1995 saw the introduction of a new ordering and distribution system. Instead of being dispatched from the production point to the decentralized warehouses of our sales offices, more and more goods are now sent directly to the customer. Several warehouses are therefore being phased out as dispatches are made directly to customers.
As this restructuring is gradual, the target for 1995 has not been reached. However, we expect that we will be able to report a percentage increase in the number of direct shipments in the 1996 Environmental Report.
Internal transportation in Denmark
Novo Nordisk has 14 lorries and 65 leased haulage vehicles carrying internal dispatches within Denmark. Most domestic transportation is carried out by the company's own lorries.
Biomass from the factory in Copenhagen is now also used as fertilizer instead of being piped to the Copenhagen waste water treatment plant. This new procedure also increases the transportation requirement between Copenhagen and Kalundborg.
Some of the biomass used as agricultural fertilizer is transported via a pipeline out to the fields from the factory in Kalundborg.
A centralized computer system registers the relatively small volumes of hazardous cargoes. A special service unit, the Hazardous Cargoes Office, and Novo Nordisk's transportation department ensure the necessary documentation for transports of hazardous cargoes. They also ensure compliance with safety regulations (see table 19).
International transportation by external transporters
By far the greatest part of Novo Nordisk's imports and exports of goods is undertaken via external transport contractors. Often these are combined transports involving both lorry and train, ship and aircraft, in different combinations.
Our transportation suppliers do not at present have comparable systems to provide reliable assessments of the environmental impact of the transportation of goods via the very complicated distribution system.
We will therefore continue to state which main transportation method is used to transport goods for sale from Novo Nordisk in Denmark. Figure 15 shows that this year transport by air, which is the least environmentally sound transport method, has again been reduced.