Idorsia aims to limit the environmental impact of our company to help ensure a safe and healthy environment for future generations. As part of the global community, we take our responsibility to curb the pace of climate change very seriously and are continuously working to find ways to build environmental sustainability principles into our operations.
Agreement with the Swiss federal government
Idorsia has entered into an agreement with the Swiss federal government whereby we have undertaken to meet a targeted reduction of our carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency at our headquarters in Switzerland.
Reducing our carbon usage
In 2021, we have further optimized the heat consumption in all our buildings. Since 2018, the increased use of a wood chip burner and the continuous optimization of the heat consumption in our buildings has led to a substantial reduction of 74% of our carbon emissions at our headquarters, totaling 311 tons CO2 in 2021 (2020: 446; 2019: 497; 2018: 1,184).
The carbon emissions in 2021 were composed of 1,120 MWh of gas (2020: 2,011; 2019: 2,220; 2018: 2,500) and 32,251 liters oil (2020: 15,100; 2019: 18,400; 2018: 258,020). The increase in oil consumption in 2021 compared to 2020 was due to a temporary outage of the wood chip burner.
Due to the increased use of a wood chip burner, our consumption of wood chips, mainly consisting of wood by-products, has increased since 2018. In total in 2021, 2,800 MWh of wood chips have been used (2020: 1,611; 2019: 1,809; 2018: 129). The wood chips have been delivered by a regional supplier, further reducing the impact on our environment.
Increasing our energy efficiency
We are continuously working to improve our energy efficiency. All our electrical supply at headquarters is obtained from hydropower and amounted to 10,835 MWh in 2021 (2020: 10,645; 2019: 10,519; 2018: 10,500). This again represents a slight increase in absolute values year-on-year, but a substantial increase in efficiency given that we increased our workforce and added more workspaces.
Wherever possible we seek to reduce our consumption. For instance, at headquarters we will continue to transition to LED lighting which will significantly reduce our electricity consumption when it comes to lighting our offices and laboratories.
Minimizing water consumption
Although our business is not water intensive, we are continuously working to minimize the use of this precious resource. Water is used for a variety of purposes, such as laboratory experimentation, drinking water, facility cooling, cleaning, and maintenance operations.
We strictly adhere to all regulations concerning water quality and potential impacts on water resources and strive to go beyond targets and regulations set by authorities. Our facilities are designed with features aimed at minimizing water withdrawal such as tap sensors. Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to identify any leaks in our buildings so that we can take immediate action and avoid losses.
In 2021, Idorsia's water consumption in our main buildings at headquarters amounted to 18,304 thousand m3 (2020: 19,361; 2019: 19,260; 2018: 24,317).
We work to eliminate waste as much as possible. When this is not possible, we aim to reduce waste and recycle to mitigate environmental impacts. Idorsia’s hazardous waste (as defined by local regulations) stems from our research activities in Switzerland. It is sent off-site for recycling, reuse, treatment, or disposal in accordance with local regulations.
Most of our non-hazardous waste – plastic, cardboard, paper and other commercial waste – is generated in our offices and catering facilities and is either recycled or incinerated, with strict air pollution control. The heat from the incineration process is used to generate electricity.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), used in our research facilities, may have a negative impact on the environment. To minimize emissions of VOCs, our high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) units and waste hoods are equipped with absorption filters which retain VOCs.
In 2021, Idorsia's headquarters generated the following amounts of waste:
- 144 metric tons of hazardous waste (2020: 135*; 2019: 149*; 2018: 145*), including chemical-, bio- and radioactive waste, of which 104 metric tons of chemical hazardous waste was the main contributor (2020: 92; 2019: 102; 2018: 99)
- 99 metric tons of non-hazardous waste (2020: 103; 2019: 100; 2018: 93), including domestic, paper/ cardboard, metal, electronics, wood, neon light bulbs and some plastics
* updated from previous reporting figures to now include additional biowaste that was autoclaved up until 2020