Our position on biodiversity

The threat caused by human activities to species and ecosystems has never been so high as it is today. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate and utilization of natural resources puts a pressure on biodiversity at both the genetic, species and ecosystem level.

The work to reduce pressure on biodiversity is anchored in The Convention on Biological Diversity1 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in goal 14 (Life Below Water) and goal 15 (Life on Land)2.

Novo Nordisk supports the three goals of the Convention of the Biological Diversity which is conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Novo Nordisk recognises that biological diversity is a global asset of high value to present and future generations. We support the Cartagena Protocol which aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of living modified organisms and the framework for utilization of natural resources described in the Nagoya Protocol.

 

Novo Nordisk and biodiversity

Novo Nordisk uses a broad range of natural resources for its production of pharmaceuticals and acknowledge that this consumption affects the surrounding ecosystems. Sustainable utilisation of natural resources is of great importance to Novo Nordisk. We have global responsible sourcing standards for business partners to operate in an environmentally responsible and efficient manner with the aim to avoid adverse impacts on the environment and conserve natural resources.

Novo Nordisk always operates in accordance with local law. This, as a minimum, ensures compliance with local law containing requirement to or consideration regarding biodiversity. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to biodiversity3,4,5. Novo Nordisk is engaged in projects to protect habitats and reduce the impact of our operations on ecosystems and supports conservation projects at or close to our sites.

At our production site in Brazil, the NovoECO initiative seeks to revitalise the site´s green areas and boost biodiversity by planting species of native flora, enabling animals like the small monkey species Sagui monkey to thrive. The native flora is supported by a seedling nursery that contributes to the reforestation of the area. To protect the water sources, sanitary wastewater is treated and used for irrigation of the green areas.

Forests are the most diverse ecosystems on land, because they hold the vast majority of the world's terrestrial species. Forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity6. At our site in Måløv, Denmark, 65,000 m2 land is used for planting trees. It equals 24,000 mostly Nordic trees and the area will remain undisturbed to give good conditions for high biodiversity.  

Biodiversity is included in the planning of new facilities, buildings and sites with respect to the biodiversity status of the local area. To increase biodiversity close to our facilities, Novo Nordisk is phasing out the use of pesticides at our sites that otherwise could result in contamination of surrounding soil and water sources, causing loss of biodiversity and destroying beneficial insect populations. More than 90,000 m2 lawns at our sites are converted to areas with a higher diversity of grasses and flowers.

One of the factors that put pressure on biodiversity is climate change with draughts, flooding and extreme weather. Mitigating climate change has been a focus for Novo Nordisk for many years working with sustainable solutions and ambitious targets. Novo Nordisk will continue to focus on climate change and biodiversity by shaping resilient solutions for a sustainable business.

 


1  https://www.cbd.int/

2  https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

3  Brooks TM, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, da Fonseca GAB, Rylands AB, Konstant WR, Flick P, Pilgrim J, et al. Habitat loss and extinction in the hotspots of biodiversity. Conservation Biology. 2002;16:909–923. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.00530.x.

4  Hanski I. The shrinking world: Ecological consequences of habitat loss. Oldendorf/Luhe: International Ecology Institute; 2005.

5  Groom MJ, Meffe GK, Carroll CR. Principles of conservation biology. Sunderland: Sinauer; 2006

6  https://www.worldwildlife.org/habitats/forest-habita