Greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change poses risks to the pharmaceutical industry. Through our Sustainability 2020 Goals and our corporate greenhouse gas management directive, we are committed to making progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our operations.

Our Sustainability 2020 Goal

Our Sustainability 2020 Goal for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) calls for a 5% absolute reduction of our total emissions (baseline year 2015) [1].

Performance against this goal currently stands at a 10.4% reduction through 2018. This correlates to a reduction of our total annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 42,600 metric tons, which is equivalent to:

  • The annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 9,000 passenger vehicles
  • The carbon dioxide emissions from electricity use of over 7,000 homes per year
  • The carbon dioxide emissions from burning nearly 4.8 million gallons of gasoline
  • The carbon sequestered annually by 50,000 acres of U.S. forests (based on U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator).

[1] For the purpose of our Sustainability 2020 Goal, “total emissions” are defined as Scope 1 & 2 only; Scope 1 is inclusive of U.S. sales fleet vehicle emissions. We do track and verify business air travel (Scope 3) emissions, but these are not included within the 2020 Goal boundary.

How we reach our goal

To help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we support:

  • Voluntary reporting of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Funding energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction projects
  • Implementing high efficiency and innovative technologies
  • Procurement of green/clean power for certain sites
  • Selecting fleet vehicles to reduce fleet emissions
  • Voluntary participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives

Driven by our internal design standard for new construction, which focuses on energy efficiency and green building design, and our commitments as a member of the U.N. Global Compact, Advanced submitter and both a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star® Partner and U.S. Department of Energy Better Plants® Challenge Partner, we are incorporating environmental efficiencies across our global network of facilities.  

Our Cruiserath, Ireland, facility utilizes 100% “green power,” and our Redwood City, California and Munich, Germany, sites consume significant percentages of “green power,” relative to their annual electrical usage.  In addition, our Munich, Germany, office building is heated 100% by renewable geothermal energy. Several sites have switched from burning diesel and kerosene as their primary fuels, to natural gas, while photovoltaic systems are currently active in multiple facilities in New Jersey as well as our manufacturing site in Shanghai, China.

These efforts have resulted in continual improvements in reducing our GHG emissions. In addition, we have been awarded 12 LEED® certifications (with 2 pending), Energy Star® Partner of the Year award for five consecutive years and the advanced honor of Energy Star® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence for the past two consecutive years.

How We Calculate Our Results

We report greenhouse gas emissions in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents. This includes:

  • Direct CO2 from fuels used and other greenhouse gases from our operations
  • Indirect carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from purchased electricity
  • CO2e from United States/Canada sales fleet
  • CO2e from the use of sulfur hexafluorides for laboratory fume hood testing
  • Indirect carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from global business air travel

We calculate greenhouse gas emissions from fuel use, using emissions factors from:

  • U.S. EPA Mandatory Reporting Rule – Final Rule (40 CFR 98) – Industrial Sector, 2013 Publication
  • U.S. EPA eGRID 2018 (w/2016 data)
  • RE-DISS Residual European Mix – European Residual Mix 2017
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) – CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2018-Year 2016
  • IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
  • Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs – 2018 Guidelines to DEFRA

We report our emissions through multiple external surveys, including CDP.

The risks and opportunities associated with climate change

Our enterprise risk management process identifies, quantifies and addresses the risks facing the company. Climate change poses potential commercial risks for our company and the pharmaceutical industry in general.

Bristol Myers Squibb has commercial operations worldwide, exposing us to diverse climates and regulatory environments. Contingency plans are in place to mitigate potential risks associated with operating globally, including supply chain, weather patterns, regulations and energy costs.

Our long-term ability to operate and provide patients with the medicines they need is at risk without reliable sources of energy and clean water. We have therefore identified these as key sustainability issues for our company and have implemented programs to maximize our efficient use of these resources.

The ability of our global operations to manage energy efficiently, reduce operating costs and GHG emissions, leverage innovative technologies and quickly adapt to changing physical conditions resulting from climate change may produce sources of competitive advantage.

Healthcare needs may also change as a result of regional climate changes, potentially resulting in shifting or new markets for medicines. Climate change may result in outbreak or spread of diseases, and possibly an urgent need to develop new medicines to address unmet needs.

We continue to closely monitor regulatory developments in the U.S. and abroad. We anticipate continued volatility and potential increases in the cost of energy commodities. In the EU, our operations have been, and we expect will continue to be, directly impacted by various elements of the Kyoto Protocol and Annex B country-specific national allocation plans (e.g., emission allocations, taxes, regulatory standards, etc.).

The Bristol Myers Squibb Position Statement on Climate Change