Renewing Our Commitment to Sustainability


When it comes to setting our sustainability goals, we follow the same principles that guide us in our scientific research: we show up every day and do the small work that ultimately leads to big advances. The progress we make in reducing our footprint, the risks we take in testing new technologies, and even the setbacks we encounter, help us make a positive impact on our workspaces and the resources we use within them.

In 2011, we set five-year environmental sustainability goals for our South San Francisco Campus around energy, water and waste relative to our 2009 performance. 2014 marked the final year of these goals and we are pleased to share our success.

Our 2014 goals were to reduce onsite energy use per employee by 15%, reduce manufacturing water use per kg of product by 10%, reduce total non-manufacturing water use by 10% and reduce waste to landfill per employee by 50%, based on 2009 levels.

We met our energy efficiency and landfill reduction goals. For energy efficiency, this was thanks to efforts focusing on HVAC, lighting, air balance, and steam. Our success in reaching our landfill reduction goal is due to expanded compost and lab plastic collection in multiple buildings across our campus.

We weren’t able to meet our 10% non-manufacturing water reduction goal, but we did make significant improvements in our manufacturing water efficiency, reducing water use per kg product by 87%—far exceeding our 10% reduction goal. We also reduced total non-manufacturing water use by 4%, and had successes in specific areas such as irrigation usage, which we reduced by 25% between 2013 and 2014.

But we’re not stopping there. For Earth Day 2015, we’re announcing a new set of goals that we’re aiming to achieve by 2020. There will be challenges and setbacks to be sure, but we’re going to keep doing the work until we reach them. Learn more about our efforts here.