Our environmental impact reduction journey began with a focus on climate and energy. As a company dedicated to science, we recognize the connection climate scientists have identified between human and business activities, and emissions are already having adverse impacts on our climate.
Fossil fuel-based energy is one of the leading drivers of climate-damaging greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the operation of commercial buildings and transportation are two of the leading users of fossil fuel energy. In addition, the usage of certain chemicals common to industry, such as refrigerants, contributes significantly to GHG emissions.
We have a responsibility to increase energy efficiency and reduce the GHG emissions across our operations. We imagine a future in which businesses can eliminate energy waste and produce all of their valuable outputs from clean, renewable, non-fossil fuel energy.
As part of our overall operations goal, we are committed to reducing our GHG emissions from our operations by 10% by 2015, compared to our 2006 baseline. Our efforts contribute to and support the climate protection goal of our parent company, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, who strives for a 20% reduction in its GHG emissions by 2020, below its 2006 baseline emissions.
As we grow the business, we will continue to explore and implement additional energy management and emissions reduction measures to further increase our operational efficiency. We believe this will help to strengthen our business performance, while benefiting our customers and communities in which we operate.
To achieve our energy and emissions reduction goal, we focus on several key areas: efficiency, clean energy, green power, green buildings, process emissions, and fleet and logistics.
To guide our efforts and monitor progress, we implemented an annual company-wide GHG inventory based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol corporate GHG accounting and reporting standard. We publically report our actions and results via the international gold-standard CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) process and in the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany biannual Corporate Responsibility Report.
We work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our own energy use, as well as to enhance the energy efficiency of research and production processes.
We design and renovate our lab, office, warehouse, and manufacturing spaces to reduce energy use, improve indoor air quality and minimize other environmental impacts. We follow green building principles at a number of our facilities. Our St. Charles, Missouri Drug Discovery and Development facility was our first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certified facility, achieving the Commercial Interiors (CI) certification in 2010.
Our Danvers, Massachusetts manufacturing facility and Bedford, Massachusetts R&D facility recently underwent renovations which have since been LEED Gold CI certified. To inform employees about the LEED-certified building features that were incorporated into the renovations, the two facilities feature an interactive environmental dashboard, the Lucid building dashboard, which provides details on the buildings’ real-time energy and water use, as well as a variety of home and office sustainability tips for employees. These dashboards allow employees and visitors to further explore the LEED certified features, increasing their awareness.
In addition, the EMD Millipore U.S. Headquarters building in Billerica, Massachusetts has been awarded the ENERGY STAR label for buildings for the third consecutive year. Qualification requires a building to score higher than 75% compared to similar type buildings in its category. Since 2010, our building ENERGY STAR score increased from 75% to 85% as a result of a variety of energy efficiency initiatives. Improvements include reduced parking lot lighting wattage, re-lamping indoor lighting from 32 to 25 watts while maintaining light levels, and HVAC optimization, including persistent commissioning and night and weekend setbacks. These improvements have resulted in a 28% decrease in annual electricity consumption and a 20% decrease in natural gas consumption.
Process emissions are associated with our product development, manufacturing and testing, and some emissions pose a particular challenge for us due to their greater global warming potential. We are focused on lowering process-related emissions through measures such as improvements to quality control processes. Since the program’s inception, we have witnessed a greater than 20% reduction in process-related emissions normalized for production volumes. Our vision is to continue to reduce our process emissions while all together eliminating their existence in the future.
We account for mobile GHG emissions through our fleet of company vehicles, primarily used by our sales and service teams. Through an ongoing vehicle replacement program, our fleet is in the process of transitioning to more fuel efficient vehicles, such as hybrids, where appropriate. Across Europe, our fleet is powered by fuel-efficient, smaller-output diesel engines. We also have a growing number of vehicles that use biodiesel and compressed natural gas.
We are also focused on reducing emissions from shipping thousands of products to customers globally. In the U.S., we are an EPA SmartWay® Shipper. As a SmartWay Shipper, we are committed to benchmarking operations, tracking fuel consumption and implementing supply chain efficiencies in order to improve our performance annually with respect to how we ship our products.
To further achieve emissions reductions, we have undertaken a mode shift project to identify select products on certain shipping routes that can be sent more efficiently by sea freight instead of being shipped by air. As we continue to evaluate our logistics for further climate-saving measures, we believe this will not only help to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions, but also will support our customer needs as they seek more products and services with reduced carbon footprints.