Switching to a circular mindset

Today’s environmental challenges have never been more critical or more urgent. Growing consumption, industrialisation and urbanisation threaten not only the sustainability of the environments we live in but also the health of people around the world. 

Every year at Novo Nordisk we use billions of litres of water and large amounts of energy and resources to manufacture medicines. We distribute hundreds of millions of vials and injection pens to people who need them – and demand for our life-saving treatments is growing. That puts us on the frontline of some of the biggest environmental issues: climate change, water and resource scarcity, pollution and plastic waste.

We are transitioning from a linear economy of “take-make-dispose” to a circular economy based on three principles: Design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems.


Our strategy to get to zero impact

We are driving change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases, and to do that we must play our part in creating a sustainable, healthy environment for the long-term.

Our new environmental strategy, Circular for Zero, sets a new direction for our organisation. Our ambition is bold and simple: to have zero environmental impact. To get there we are embracing a circular mindset – designing and producing our products so that they can be recovered and reused, and reshaping our business practices to minimise consumption and eliminate waste by turning it into new resources. We know that many people are working to make the circular economy a reality, and we want to be part of that change.

This will be a long, challenging journey and it won’t be easy, but it is one we are committed to pursuing for the long term.


Circular for Zero

Our three strategic focus areas

By 2030 we’re aiming to hit zero carbon emissions in our own operations and with key suppliers, eliminate waste of energy, water and materials in the company and make big strides towards reuse and recyclability through product innovation. We will meet the ambitions of our Circular for Zero strategy by having a focus on three areas – our supply chain, our global operations and our products.



We're partnering with suppliers to reduce indirect CO2 emissions and waste.

See how we are working towards zero impact in our supply chain

At all levels, we're changing how we operate to minimise our environmental footprint.

See how we are working towards zero impact across our company

We are working to redesign our products so they can be recycled and reused.

See how we are working towards zero impact from our products



At the forefront of circular economy


Kalundborg industrial symbiosis

Alongside our local partners we’re repurposing biomass residue – having already converted roughly 300,000 metric tons into bio-natural gas and fertiliser. 

The Kalundborg Symbiosis is a partnership between nine public and private companies and is the world's first industrial symbiosis with a circular approach to production.

See circular economy in action

Kalundborg industrial symbiosis



Our environmental performance

Our environmental performance

We believe that reducing our environmental impact is both our corporate responsibility and a way to mitigate long-term risk.

See our latest environmental performance