The healthcare sector has a significant environmental footprint. Self-medication products such as pens and autoinjectors, which are used in the treatment of a wide range of chronic diseases, are also contributors.
Our commitment to environmental protection is guided by the principles of product responsibility and the circular economy. We strive for optimisation across the entire life cycle of the products as well as across the entire value chain of the company. This begins with development, continues with procurement and production, and extends to packaging as well as use by the users, and finally to disposal and recycling.
Product responsibility and the circular economy
We take on product responsibility by minimising the undesirable effects of our products and services on health, safety and the environment throughout the entire product life cycle. We put the circular economy into practice by developing products which minimise waste and emissions, which use fully or partially recyclable and renewable raw materials, and which protect the climate. Furthermore, we make efficient use of the energy necessary.
We implement these measures while at the same time fulfilling the most important demands on medical technology: high quality, patient safety as well as user-friendliness. As a large part of our environmental footprint is generated outside our facilities and processes, we have networked with our partners to jointly address these challenges.
Climate and energy across the value chain
Our corporate carbon footprint, calculated for the first time in 2019, has shown that our own greenhouse gas emissions from heat and electricity consumption (Scope 1 and 2) amount to just 3 % of total emissions. 97 % of the CO2 emissions however, come from the upstream and downstream value chain (Scope 3). The largest share is accounted for by purchased materials (in particular plastic granulate and transport containers), by the new buildings in Schwerin as well as by the conversion and expansion projects in Burgdorf and Solothurn realised in 2019. Therefore, it is crucial for us to work with our partners to tackle emissions where they occur.
of the CO2 emissions in our corporate carbon footprint come from the upstream and downstream value chain (Scope 3)
The realisation that the materials we procure create the largest share of our carbon footprint inspired the development of the YpsoMate Zero. According to the ecological product lifecycle asessment, 95 % of the CO2 emissions of the YpsoMate are caused by the production of raw and packaging materials (in particular plastic granulate) as well as their disposal. The YpsoMate Zero, launched in 2020, is the world’s first CO2-neutral autoinjector. It is CO2-optimised due to the use of alternative, sustainable plastic and the packaging material. The YpsoMate Zero exemplifies our approach: reducing emissions by substituting the materials used, reusing the packaging materials and compensating for the remaining footprint.
Our long-term climate milestones are derived from the results of the corporate carbon footprint as well as from the importance of upstream and downstream emissions.
- By 2030, we aim to achieve net zero operational CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) in our operations.
- By 2030, a selection of our products should meet net zero CO2 emissions (Scope 1 to 3).
- By 2040 at the latest, we aim to achieve net zero CO2 emissions across our entire value chain (Scope 1 to 3).
In the Ypsomed action plan, we specify these ambitions with concrete short- and mediumterm reduction targets, taking into account scientific guidelines (in accordance with the Science Based Targets initiative, SBTi) and across the entire value chain. We have already signed an SBTi declaration of intent.
Climate and energy in operations
In future, we wish to obtain electricity exclusively from 100 % renewable energy with guarantees of origin or from solar plants. Already today, our electricity mix is virtually CO2-free. We have been reducing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of our plants and production sites for many years now. In 2017, we have been awarded the “Energy- and CO2-reduced” label of the Energy Agency for Industry (EnAW), with which we have committed ourselves to binding targets. The heat pump installed in Solothurn makes a significant contribution here. In addition, we only purchase the latest generation of injection moulding machines, which consume 36 % less energy than conventional machines.
less natural gas consumption and CO2 emissions due to the heat pump at the Solothurn site.
In the past financial year, we switched shipping of our infusion sets from Mexico from air freight to sea freight. We are also working on making our fleet of vehicles more environmentally friendly. In addition, we also offer employees free electricity for their hybrid or electric vehicles. We promote environmentally friendly cycling with parking spaces for e-bikes with electric hook-ups. Bicycles are available for free use at all sites and the “Bike to Work” programme has been motivating employees to use bicycles for many years. We also promote public transport with a free voucher for public transport for all employees in Switzerland and free general season tickets for our approximately 60 apprentices. These promotional measures are effective: over 30 % of employees at the Swiss production sites travel to work by public transport or bicycle.
Recycling and waste
Regulatory requirements and the high quality demands require extensive test runs, which inevitably generate rejects in our plants. However, we try to minimise waste and rejects as far as possible and constantly increase the proportion of recycled waste at our production sites. In the past fi nancial year, our recycling rate was 31 %. Since 2020, we have been able to recycle an additional 50 tons of plastic by collecting it separately and sorting it by category.
The principles of product stewardship and the closed-loop economy apply both to the directly generated waste as well as to the product life cycle. We are currently implementing a return and recycling system for the mylife YpsoPump. Insights into the carbon footprint, have led us to implement an eco-design process for development. This promotes the use of sustainable materials and improves the recyclability and reuse of products.
YpsoMate Zero The first carbon emission free pre-filled autoinjector
First step towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.