We aim to reduce our environmental impact to help ensure a safe and healthy environment for present and future generations.
Due to the nature of our activities, our environmental footprint is not as substantial as in other industries. However, we take our responsibility very seriously and are continuously working to further reduce the environmental impact of 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 targeted reduction of our carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency at headquarters.
Reducing of our carbon usage
In 2020, we have further optimized the heat consumption in all our buildings and connected another building to our wood chip burner. Since 2018, we have reduced our oil consumption by more than 94%. As a result, our consumption of wood chips, mainly consisting of wood by-products, has increased since 2018. In total in 2020, 1,611 MWh of wood chips (2019: 1,809 MWh; 2018: 129 MWh) have been used. The wood chips have been delivered by a regional supplier, further reducing the impact on our environment.
The use of the wood chip burner and the continuous optimization of the heat consumption led to a substantial reduction of our carbon emissions at headquarters since 2018 (–62%), totaling 446 tons CO2 in 2020 (2019: 497 tons; 2018: 1,184 tons). The carbon emissions were composed of 2,011 MWh of gas (2019: 2,220 MWh; 2018: 2,500 MWh) and 15,100 liters oil (2019: 18,400 liters; 2018: 258,020).
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 10,645 MWh in 2020 (2019: 10,519 MWh; 2018: 10,500 MWh). This 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.
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. Our facilities are built to the latest standards and include many features designed to minimize water use (e.g. tap sensors).
We strictly adhere to all regulations concerning water quality and potential impacts on water resources.
In 2020, Idorsia's water consumption in our main buildings at headquarters amounted to 19’361 thousand m3 (2019: 19,260 m3; 2018: 24,317 thousand m3).
We work to eliminate waste as far 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.
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.
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 being used to generate electricity.
In 2020, Idorsia's headquarters generated the following amounts of waste:
- 124 metric tons of hazardous waste, including chemical-, bio- and radioactive waste (2019: 136 metric tons; 2018: 133 metric tons), of which 92 metric tons of chemical hazardous waste was the main contributor (2019: 102 metric tons; 2018: 99 metric tons)
- 103 metric tons of non-hazardous waste, including domestic, paper/ cardboard, metal, electronics, wood, neon light bulbs and some plastics. (2019: 100 metric tons; 2018: 93 metric tons)