Sustainability – we’re acting now
Roche does a great deal for the environment, and has been doing so for many decades. As part of our Ten-Year Ambitions, we aim to reduce our overall environmental footprint by half by 2030.
Various sustainable projects are already underway at the Rotkreuz site.
For example, two photovoltaic arrays on the car parks have been supplying renewable energy to Roche’s Rotkreuz site since mid-January 2019. In their first year, these arrays generated around 550,000kWh – pretty much the equivalent of the annual electricity requirement of 120 four-person households. But we’re not stopping there. We're also using architecture itself in order to be sustainable.
The newest building on the campus, Building 12, proves that a high level of comfort is compatible with efficient and sustainable operations. Building 12 features an innovative energy concept and is supplied by services including a seasonal geothermal energy accumulator combined with a heat pump.
A total of 21 geothermal probes at a depth of 120 metres cool the building in summer and heat it in winter. Any excess heat is temporarily returned to the ground for storage, allowing employees to enjoy a pleasant working temperature all the year round.
In addition to geothermal heat, the building’s supporting structure is used as a heat store. The concrete walls and ceilings have a high capacity for heat storage. Since the concrete reacts to temperature changes very slowly, it is ideal for coping with even extreme fluctuations in the external temperature. The synergies that result from seasonal management make it possible to run the building in a smart, sustainable manner. Its remaining energy requirements are met by using exclusively renewable energy sources.
A wide variety of diagnostic devices are manufactured at Rotkreuz, and it is important to consider their disposal right from the word go.
Analytical equipment has an average lifespan of seven years, and around 5,500 instruments are replaced each year. While one percent of these devices are renovated, the remaining ones are returned for disposal. These devices are made of valuable reusable materials that are recycled by an external company. Dealing responsibly with Roche Diagnostics instruments at the end of their lifespan – as well as with our reagents and consumables – is a key responsibility for Roche. By ensuring that as many of our used products as possible are recycled, Roche is taking an important step towards the closed-loop recycling process, in which materials that have reached the end of their lives can be reused to make something new. We have also begun to draw up lifecycle analyses for our devices to help us understand better where we can influence the environment or even social aspects.
In the same way that analytical equipment is reused via the closed-loop recycling process, any leftover food from the staff restaurant goes to BiEAG in Hünenberg, where it is used to make biogas. We also recycle waste oil, which is converted into biodiesel. The vehicles owned by Recycling Energie AG, which collects the waste oil from Roche in Rotkreuz, run on newly recovered biodiesel. Eldora AG, which supplies our kitchens each day, focuses in particular on regional and seasonal dishes. For many years now, Eldora AG has supported sustainability, fairness and environmental protection. It is always on the lookout for innovative solutions to increase its contribution, for example by using organic packaging material. This in turn is something our employees greatly appreciate.
It is also important to us that interested employees are able to participate in environmental campaigns in a personal and uncomplicated way. That’s why we founded the EcoLogicals. This community enables all employees to get actively involved in environmental and sustainability issues, take part in events and launch their own projects. From urban gardening and projects for reducing air travel through to bird-watching, there’s something for everyone.
As a company, Roche takes responsibility together with its employees because environmental protection is a high priority and is also positioned in our Code of Conduct: "Every single Roche employee can and should contribute to environmental protection within his or her area of responsibility and influence.”
At Roche, we undertake to do business within or below “nature’s budget”, leaving behind a stable living environment for future generations.