Reducing Energy Use & Climate Change Impacts

Since 2010, our total scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions have reduced by 17%.

The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2010 has been driven by a combination of building energy efficiency measures, a greening of the electricity we purchase and a streamlining of our vehicle fleet coupled with increased vehicle fuel efficiency. Between 2014 and 2015, we saw a 5% decrease in our scope 1 and 2 emissions, thanks to a 2% reduction in our total energy use, despite an increase in total headcount and production output across our manufacturing sites, as well as an improvement in the emission factors used to calculate our scope 2 emissions.

The reduction in vehicle fleet emissions in 2015 is mainly driven by an improvement in the average fuel efficiency of vehicles used by our sales employees. Fuel efficiency is an important criterion for the group responsible for selecting vehicles for inclusion in our Leased Vehicle program.

During 2015 GHG emissions from HFC refrigerants were down by almost 40%. We should see refrigerant emissions continue to reduce as we work to eliminate halogenated hydrocarbons from our sites, in support of our parent company Roche’s commitment to do so group-wide.

In addition to scope 1 and 2 emissions, we track emissions from air travel by all employees on business, and commuting by our SSF based employees. In combination, these emission sources comprise 35% of our total tracked emissions and we are continually taking measures to reduce them. Our 2015 employee commute emissions were up by 2% in 2015, driven by an increase in the number of employees traveling to and from the site as well as a slight increase in drive alone rate. The total emissions per employee were flat over this period.

Between 2010 and 2015, we have seen an increase in emissions from air travel, due primarily to increased international travel. We are pursuing ways to reduce our air travel, including raising employee awareness about the environmental impacts of, and available alternatives to, traveling such as use of the virtual meeting technologies installed at our sites.

Onsite energy use is responsible for 90% of Genentech's Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG emissions). Since 2010, our total onsite energy use has decreased by 8%. Our total onsite energy use was down by 2% between 2014 and 2015 in the face of a 2% growth in headcount and an increase in manufacturing activity associated with the re-commissioning of a manufacturing building at our Vacaville site.

Our South San Francisco (SSF) site is responsible for 62% of Genentech’s total onsite energy use. Between 2014 and 2015, SSF achieved a 2% reduction in total energy use. These efficiency gains were thanks to a sustained focus on energy reduction projects during 2015 including installation of variable air volume controls on fume hoods in our labs, implementing lab occupancy HVAC setbacks and upgrading steam traps installed in our R&D process areas.

Our Hillsboro, Oregon site implemented LED lighting and HVAC improvements in 2014 and 2015. The LED upgrades improved energy efficiency, work area light quality, area security and removed all metal halide lights from the site. HVAC scheduling was introduced to avoid heating and cooling of administration areas during hours when the areas are not in use. These measures will deliver annual savings of about 970MWH.

We are integrating high levels of energy efficiency in new buildings at our SSF campus. Our newest office building which opened in 2015 and has achieved LEED Gold certification uses 76% less energy per employee than similar campus buildings. This building was modeled and tested at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's FLEXLAB (see story here). This helped us to understand how different components of the building, such as window shades, glazing, lighting, air conditioning and office layout all interact and informed optimization of the design of the building for energy efficient performance.

As we plan the future of our SSF campus, we are addressing energy efficiency and other sustainability objectives strategically. We have plans to roll out more LEDs and lighting control systems throughout our campus, and as we consider how to eliminate halogenated hydrocarbons (CFC, HCFC and HFC refrigerants) from the campus, we are evaluating strategies that will enable us to not only realize this significant commitment, but to do so in a way that reduces our energy consumption.

Beyond energy efficiency, we are working to increase our use of renewable energy through a variety of measures including on-site generation and purchase. Our Hillsboro site participates in Portland General Electric’s Clean Wind Program and we are a member of the WWF/WRI Renewable Energy Buyers Principles. We are making significant investments in onsite renewables. With the installation of 4,000 solar panels, our Oceanside site completed the largest non-utility solar installation in San Diego County in early 2016. Our SSF and Vacaville sites are also implementing onsite solar projects, and SSF is leveraging the San Francisco Bay weather and piloting an innovative wind turbine technology. By the end of 2017, we expect to have almost 18 MW of installed renewable energy generation capacity across our Californian sites.