Our targets and performance

In 2006, we set an ambitious CO2 emissions target for our global production: To achieve an absolute reduction of 10% by 2014 compared with 2004 emission levels. When the agreement was made, the absolute target represented a relative reduction of approximately 65%. In light of the projected significant growth in production capacity, meeting the target required that growth in production was decoupled from growth in energy consumption and called for both incremental advances and radically innovative solutions. The reduction is achieved through three levers:

• Novo Nordisk’s LEAN programme, cLEAN®
• Energy savings in production
• Renewable energy


Download backgrounder on our climate strategy 

Breaking the curve

Since 2004, CO2 emissions from global production have decreased by 55% while sales have doubled. While emissions are expected to increase with the planned opening of a new production facility in China in 2012, we are confident that the 10% CO2 reduction target will be exceeded by 2014.

In 2011, CO2 emissions related to production fell by 2.1% compared to 2010.


From 2005 to 2011, Novo Nordisk has implemented approximately 580 energy saving projects resulting in an estimated 35,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions. Accounting for the biggest reduction is the optimisation of cooling and ventilation in production. The average pay-back period is two years.

Good business

During 2004-2009, Novo Nordisk has invested approximately 21 million US dollars in climate action. Since 2004, the energy savings have realised a total of 24 million US dollars in cost savings corresponding to a 10% reduction in global energy consumption. Read the full business case here.

Looking towards 2020

In 2010, the Novo Nordisk climate strategy was updated setting direction for climate action towards 2020. The updated climate strategy extends the scope of climate action in Novo Nordisk to embrace the majority of our business activities and aspires to make continuous absolute cuts in emissions from production at a level reflecting the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This aspiration entails significant challenges as production will continue to grow to meet the increasing global demand for diabetes medicines. In addition, newer more energy-intensive diabetes treatments in our research and development pipeline will increase energy consumption if these are approved for market. Furthermore, continued absolute reductions require finding solutions to green our steam supply at the insulin production plant in Kalundborg, Denmark.

Reporting and reducing emissions from company cars, business travel and product distribution is another key focus area of our updated Climate Strategy 2020.

Carbon Disclosure Project

The 10th Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) report, a global survey of how the world's largest companies are responding to climate change, was launched in September 2012. Novo Nordisk achieved a score of 90 (out of 100), which is the sixth best score in the healthcare sector. Novo Nordisk has participated in the CDP survey since it was launched in 2003.

Read our 2012 response here (pdf).

Click here for more information on Novo Nordisk’s climate and environmental performance in 2011.