Responsibility for the environment is one of Orion’s guiding principles. Orion has wanted to set a more ambitious target for reducing its GHG emissions, and its new goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. This challenging goal calls for many measures related to the selection of energy forms, for example.
Orion’s first sustainability agenda was published in 2019. The agenda covers four sustainability themes, one of which is the environment. Climate change is an essential part of the environmental theme. For years, Orion has worked to reduce its carbon footprint, and this work has proven effective. The achievement of its previous target – a reduction of 75% by 2025 from 2016 – is progressing well. The company is therefore making a commitment to an even stricter goal, which is to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2030.
“We have raised the bar because our work has progressed well,” says Timo Lappalainen, President and CEO of Orion. “Based on our work in recent years, we are thoroughly familiar with the impacts of our operations on our carbon footprint. Energy consumption plays a major role in this respect. Of the energy we use, 45% is electricity, meaning that its production method has a considerable impact on the whole.”
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are mainly reduced through energy efficiency measures, in addition to using renewable energy sources. The reduction of the carbon footprint is a concrete and measurable goal. By the end of 2020, Orion had already reduced its GHG emissions by 58% compared with 2016.
Most of the emissions generated by Orion’s own operations arise from the heat used by its properties and operations, as well as from the steam needed for maintaining process conditions – that is, for drying and heating the air.
How will carbon neutrality be achieved?
Orion continues to systematically implement energy efficiency projects to reduce its use of purchased energy and carbon dioxide emissions. The next key measure towards carbon neutrality is increasing the proportion of heat and steam produced using renewable energy. This calls for future investments in changes to steam production, such as the transition from natural gas and heavy fuel oil to renewable energy forms. These concrete measures enable Orion to reduce the carbon footprint of its own operations. In addition to implementing ambitious concrete emission reduction measures, Orion will compensate for the remaining carbon footprint necessary for the continuation of its business operations by 2030.
In 2019, Orion conducted a life cycle assessment of the carbon footprint of its dry powder inhaler. Various environmental load factors, from raw materials to the distribution and disposal of the final product, were taken into account in the extensive assessment. The life cycle assessment provided detailed information about how much carbon footprint is accumulated in the value chain of the product, and in which parts of the value chain the footprint is generated. According to the assessment, a major part of the emissions related to the product is generated in the supply chain outside the company’s own operations.
The analysis of such data is important, as is the assessment of emissions from Orion’s supply chain. The environment, and thereby also matters related to climate, are part of the company’s supplier requirements, risk assessments and supplier management. Orion will increasingly invest in these aspects, because carbon neutrality throughout the value chain can only be achieved through cooperation.
Head of Corporate Responsibility
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Orionintie 1A, FI-02200 Espoo, Finland
Orion is a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company – a builder of well-being. Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company is continuously developing new drugs and treatment methods. The core therapy areas of Orion’s pharmaceutical R&D are neurological disorders, oncology and respiratory diseases for which Orion develops inhaled pulmonary medication. Orion’s net sales in 2020 amounted to EUR 1,078 million, and the company had about 3,300 employees at the end of the year. Orion’s A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.