Three companies within the global supply chain for the Energize program share best practices from their environmental sustainability journey
Energize, a program that increases access to renewable electricity for the pharmaceutical supply chain, brings together global pharmaceutical companies to collaborate on reducing emissions and mitigating the overall environmental impact across the industry. The program, managed by Schneider Electric in partnership with PSCI, has made considerable progress since its initial launch in October of 2021 and has grown from 10 founding sponsors to 19 sponsor companies.
We interviewed three suppliers from the Energize program to learn more about their progress toward a more sustainable future, which we’ll commence via the start of this series. In this interview, Matthew Yamatin, Global Sustainability Program Director at Thermo Fisher Scientific, shares the company’s global sustainability commitment and how the Energize program aligns with their emissions reduction goals.
Thermo Fisher sheds light (pun intended) on their renewable energy transition
Thermo Fisher is a global life sciences leader at the forefront of adopting sustainable business practices. This interview offers insights into their journey toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and the milestones they’ve accomplished along the way.
Q: What does environmental sustainability look like at Thermo Fisher, and how does the Energize program align with your strategic goals?
A: Our commitment to the environment is rooted in our Mission to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. By championing a healthy planet that sustains human health and natural resources, we can build a brighter future for generations to come—together with our customers and suppliers. Our net-zero strategy is a key component of that global commitment. Our strategy focuses on transitioning away from fossil fuels and high-impact refrigerants, accelerating the adoption of renewable electricity, and engaging with suppliers to amplify collective progress across our value chain. In 2021, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Casper announced our commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Since then, both our near-term and net-zero targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We understand that having a credible, science-based target that is third-party validated and in line with the Paris Agreement is important to our customers. Although our path forward with renewable electricity started before we joined Energize, the program reinforced the importance of decarbonizing the supply chain. We are participating in the Energize program to support our renewable electricity adoption strategy and believe others may be inspired by these opportunities to start or advance their path to net zero.
Thermo Fisher is a supplier to the pharmaceutical industry and a participant in the Energize program. Energize is sponsored by 19 global pharmaceutical companies and managed by Schneider Electric in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI).
Q: What significant milestones have you achieved so far in the journey toward adopting renewable electricity?
A: Since 2018, we have increased our renewable electricity use across our operations from 0% to 36% in 2022. Our strategy is driven primarily by adding new wind and solar facilities to the grid. Last year, we signed two virtual power purchasing agreements (here and here ) in the U.S. We are working toward additional agreements in Europe, including through the Energize program. We also are accelerating our installation of onsite renewables, with 8 MW installed to date. Until these onsite renewables are installed, we continue to procure renewable electricity from our utility providers in the U.K., Italy, and Germany. In select markets including China, India, South Africa, and Mexico; where our electricity usage or the regulatory environment makes direct procurement options unfeasible, we purchase unbundled energy attribute certification. If we remain on our current path, we project achieving 100% renewable electricity for our operations in the U.S. and Canada by 2026, eliminating over 250,000 tCO2e of emissions annually.
Q: What are common challenges with adopting renewable electricity and how did your team overcome those challenges?
A: Energy purchasing has traditionally been a siloed activity. I think the overarching challenge many companies face, is educating and uniting key stakeholders across the business. With renewable electricity, particularly long-term power purchasing agreements, an expanded set of stakeholders needs to get involved. It takes significant effort to educate everyone on various renewable energy options, along with understanding the benefits and drawbacks. When you start learning about renewable electricity, you realize, “we need to bring [teams like] treasury, accounting and finance to the table.” The transition from a siloed activity to an integrated set of cross-functional stakeholders has an additional benefit we hadn’t originally considered - stakeholders are excited to participate and play a critical role in accelerating our decarbonization journey.
"Thankfully, gaining buy-in has never been a challenge for us. Our stakeholders, both internal and external, continue to provide positive feedback on the company’s approach and progress."
To learn more about Thermo Fisher Scientific’s environmental sustainability commitments and progress, read their latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
Updates from Energize
In this open letter, chief procurement officers from the 19 corporate sponsors call on their suppliers to take action. “The pharmaceutical industry recognizes the direct connection between the health of patients and the health of the planet and welcomes being part of the solution. Whether you are new to Energize or have been participating for some time, there is an opportunity and a critical role to play for your company.” You can read the full letter to see the latest sponsor companies since the initial launch.
Energize has shown the power of industry-wide partnership, sparking collaboration within the pharmaceutical supplier community as suppliers combine electricity purchasing power to go to market as a group to pursue power purchase agreements. The first Power Purchase Agreement buying group has formed and includes 9 companies with a potential aggregate electricity demand of 2 terawatt-hours (TWh) in Europe and North America.
By joining Energize, suppliers in the pharmaceutical industry gain access to critical resources, education and expert consultation required to navigate the diverse array of options within the renewable energy market. This access to support and education material is free through corporate sponsorship of the program.
Check back for two more articles in this series to learn from more suppliers. To learn more about Energize and how companies can get involved with our network, visit https://hub.zeigo.com/energize.
About Matthew Yamatin, Global Sustainability Program Director, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Matthew joined Thermo Fisher Scientific in early 2022 as Sustainability Program Director. He is responsible for developing the Company’s environmental sustainability strategy and leads strategic customer engagement related to sustainability. Prior to joining Thermo Fisher, Matthew founded Decoding Sustainability, a sustainability consultancy, where he developed and executed sustainability programs for clients in the biopharmaceutical and educational sectors. Matthew is a registered professional engineer and LEED Accredited Professional with Building Design and Construction specialty.