The challenge

The life science and biotech sector has been concerned with the environmental and sustainability agenda for many years. As a result, many companies have already implemented a wide range of measures to reduce their own CO2e emissions in production. A questionnaire survey used by the partnership for its report shows that 9 out of 10 companies in the sector have already set targets for reducing their climate impact. Similarly, large Danish companies have similar targets for their own operations ...

The life science and biotech sector has been concerned with the environmental and sustainability agenda for many years. As a result, many companies have already implemented a wide range of measures to reduce their own CO2e emissions in production. A questionnaire survey used by the partnership for its report shows that 9 out of 10 companies in the sector have already set targets for reducing their climate impact. Similarly, large Danish companies have similar targets for their own operations in Denmark and their subsidiaries located around the world.

In Denmark, the sector has reduced CO2e emissions from 118,000 tonnes in 1990 to 53,000 tonnes in 2017, which equates to a reduction of 55 per cent. This means that CO2e emissions from the life sciences and biotechnology sector accounted for 0.1 per cent of all CO2e emissions in Denmark in 2017. Optimisation of production and conversion to green energy can take a significant share of the credit for the low CO2e emissions.

The potential

In the short term, the sector wants to ensure resource efficiency through energy efficiency, reduced and circular resource consumption and use of materials – both in its own operations and in the biotech solutions it provides. In the long term, the life science and biotech sector suggests that society should consider – if technically achievable – the use of excess CO2 from point sources as well as biological production of e.g. pharmaceuticals,
micro-organisms, enzymes, biological ...

In the short term, the sector wants to ensure resource efficiency through energy efficiency, reduced and circular resource consumption and use of materials – both in its own operations and in the biotech solutions it provides. In the long term, the life science and biotech sector suggests that society should consider – if technically achievable – the use of excess CO2 from point sources as well as biological production of e.g. pharmaceuticals,
micro-organisms, enzymes, biological molecules etc.

Biotech companies are also developing solutions, offering great potential to reduce global CO2 emissions if implemented on a large scale in sectors with significant emissions challenges. These include biofuels for transportation, bio-based alternatives in food production, agriculture, textile manufacturing, cleaning etc. and circular bio-recycling solutions for residual and side streams from production, household, processing, agriculture, etc., resource optimisation of energy, water and crops in the production and processing of textiles, food, feed, biological farming solutions (alternatives to pesticides and fertilisers) and improved feed efficiency and production of alternative proteins for food and feed.

Recommendations

01
Order in own house
  • Better framework for the use of excess heat – remove taxes and change regulation
  • Better framework for recycling – strengthening the circular economy
  • Better framework for climate optimisation of production within Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
02
Green demand from customers and for subcontractors
  • Purchasing green transport
  • Purchasing green energy
  • Green public procurement
03
Innovation
  • Biotech solutions in food production and agriculture
  • Biotech solutions in transport and biorefining
04
Knowledge and international outlook
  • Strengthened Danish climate engagement in the EU and globally
  • Strengthened framework conditions for increased research and development
  • Development and sharing of competences

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The climate partnership for Life science and biotech

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Contact

Danish Chamber of Commerce
Ulrich Bang
[email protected]

55%

reduction in CO2 emissions has been achieved by the sector from 1990 to 2017, corresponding to 65,000 tonnes CO2

18%

In 2019, the life science and biotech sector accounted for over 18 % of total goods exports abroad, equivalent to over EUR 17.4 billion

About the partnership

Chairman
Ester Baiget, CEO, Novozymes

Private partners

  • ALK-Abelló
  • BioPhero
  • BioSyntia
  • Coloplast
  • Demant
  • Ferring
  • Gubra
  • LEO Pharma
  • Lundbeck
  • Novozymes
  • Siemens Healthineers
  • Danish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (LIF)
  • Danish Chamber of Commerce
  • Confederation of Danish Industry
  • Dansk Biotek (Danish Biotech)
  • Medtech Denmark Public partners
  • Danish Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities
  • Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs