Corporate and Social Responsibility
A COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
BioMarin is committed to conducting its operations and managing its products in a manner protective of the environment. We devote significant resources to environmental sustainability, focusing our efforts where they will have the greatest impact. We conduct our business in a socially responsible manner and in accordance with applicable regulations, and we constantly review our operations to improve efficiency and reduce our environmental impact where appropriate. BioMarin is also engaged in a number of environmental initiatives at its corporate headquarters in San Rafael, California, as well as its offices and manufacturing facilities worldwide. We believe we have positively reduced our environmental footprint and overall sustainability of our business through these efforts. Here are several examples of these projects.
To save water for our ultra-pure water system, we have invested in automation projects. We use computerized sensors and devices to monitor the flow and purity of our water. Automatic isolation valves allow us to segregate sections of the water system. This means if there is a breach in the system, we can prevent the loss of thousands of gallons of purified water and avoid the waste of both power and water.
In 2014, we changed the way we process city water for use in the manufacturing processes at our Novato, California facility. We added an additional purification step that reduced our water consumption by about 5,800 gallons per month.
ELECTRIC CHARGING STATIONS
BioMarin is part of the Charge Point Network, the largest car charging network system in the United States. BioMarin’s Bay Area facilities in Novato and San Rafael feature more than a dozen charging stations. That is expected to increase to 28 by the end of 2015. Use of each station is limited to four hour sessions to ensure multiple cars can be charged at each station during the workday. The company is exploring the installation of faster charging stations in the future.
SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT
BioMarin’s Lincoln Avenue Garage in San Rafael has a photovoltaic system on the top of roof that will produce approximately 168,500 kWh, about equal to the electricity needed to power the EV charging stations and other systems and equipment in the parking garage. A total of 380 solar panels will serve as a canopy on the top level of the garage for cars. During sunnier times of the year, the excess power generated by the array will be exported to the power grid. If this pilot program is successful, BioMarin expects to expand the program on its other garage in San Rafael.
BioMarin seeks to employ green technology in the construction and renovation of our global facilities.
The four buildings at our San Rafael Corporate Center in San Rafael,
California have all won LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED Gold certification underlines a commitment to the environment, energy efficiency, and safety.
As part of this effort, the company uses automated lighting controls and recycling and composting sites
throughout the buildings. The company uses reusable dishes and silverware, all printers in these
buildings are shared among staff, and our offices are located in the interior of the buildings to
maximize daylight to all office space.
We have also engaged Pacific Gas & Electric to take advantage of their Savings By Design program, which encourages high-performance, non-residential building design and construction exceeding the State of California’s Energy Efficiency Standards for Nonresidential Buildings. In addition, BioMarin has purchased credits for renewable power from Marin Clean Energy, a public agency that offers choices for renewable electricity in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
BioMarin has installed a clean, natural gas fired co-generation system at its Novato, California campus in an effort to improve the sustainability of its operations. The system is capable of generating up to 2 megawatts of power while using the exhaust heat to generate steam and hot water. This combination of power generation and exhaust heat recovery allows us to reduce our carbon footprint. Our efforts with co-generation have been successful at allowing us to generate our own power cleanly as determined by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. As a result, the company has been able to reduce its utility costs at its U.S. manufacturing plant by approximately 40 percent and avoid having to pay a carbon tax by meeting standards called for under California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
WASTE REDUCTION AND RECYCLING
BioMarin strives for ways to reduce our waste stream in manufacturing. We have initiated the use of reusable containers with several vendors for bioprocessing materials, such as filter assemblies and bioprocessing bags. Reusable containers are employed for bulk cleaning solutions used for clean-in-place and neutralization activities, and all process gases are delivered in refillable tanks.
We also use reusable containers for transport of production chemicals and manufacturing items between warehouses and our production facility. Recycling is currently done on cardboard collected across our Novato campus, resulting in several bales per week that are picked up for recovery. Wooden pallets are collected across the campus and picked up by a third party for future use and recycling. Large volume plastic containers used for transport of chemicals are recycled by a firm specializing in such efforts.
A GLOBAL COMMITMENT
Our manufacturing facility in Shanbally, Cork, Ireland, is built to industry best practices for sustainability. This includes using an eco-seal, grey, insulated roof membrane to reduce the heat island effect, which enables the roof tops to absorb less heat during the day, thereby lessening the heat that’s radiated back into the environment. The membrane also helps the buildings keep the required correct temperature.
It also makes use of energy-efficient fixtures and equipment, automated lighting controls, and is designed to minimize air change rates. In addition, we have implemented printer paper saving technologies, use a combination of non-disposable and compostable coffee mugs, and have introduced site-wide recycling centers in an effort to reduce waste. To further reduce our carbon footprint, we encourage alternative forms of transit (including cycling and carpooling) at our Shanbally manufacturing facility and have a site mobility plan in place. We have plans to install an electric car charging point at our Shanbally manufacturing facility in 2015.
AN ONGOING EFFORT
BioMarin regularly evaluates its energy use and looks for ways to improve its efficiency. We believe that this is not only good for the environment, but good for our business. We work with our local utility to identify measures we can take to improve the energy efficiency of our existing buildings. This includes upgrading lighting and controls in certain buildings, as well as replacing pumps and motors in our production manufacturing facility, to improve energy efficiency. We’ve also turned to our local utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, to take advantage of its program that provides both design assistance and incentives for high-performance new building design and construction that exceed energy efficiency standards.