Company selected as Energy Star Top Project of the Year for Energy Recovery System, and develops industry partnerships to align with sustainable initiatives
Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL) today announced that, while working toward previously announced environmental goals, the Company has achieved 90 percent renewable electricity globally. This progress is a result of virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) in North America (solar) and Europe (wind) that are anticipated to ultimately supply all facilities in those regions with 100 percent renewable electricity.
The North American VPPA went into effect at the end of 2022, with the European VPPA coming online in August 2023. Utilizing renewable electricity is a key component of the Company’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from facilities (Scope 1 & 2 emissions). Charles River is expecting to meet the goal for achieving 100 percent renewable electricity globally by 2025, five years earlier than originally projected. Overall, the Company has decreased Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions on an absolute basis by 23 percent from 2018 to 2023.
“I am proud of the progress we’ve made in recent years to reduce our climate impact,” said Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Charles River. “At every level, our organization is committed to supporting sustainable business practices and driving marked change for our clients, partners, communities and planet.”
Additionally, Charles River’s “Customized High Efficiency Automated Energy Recovery System”, utilized at two of the Company’s facilities in China, has been selected from among 26 nominated projects as one of the Top Projects for Energy Efficiency for presentation at the 2023 ENERGY STAR Industrial Meeting. These two installations at Charles River’s Chengdu and Shunde facilities collectively avoid over 5,000 metric tons of GHG emissions annually as well as 11,000 MWh of electricity use. A second project, “Solar Thermal System to Support Process Hot Water Loads” was awarded an honorable mention. The solar thermal project avoids the use of approximately 4,000 gallons of fuel oil along with 40 metric tons of annual GHG emissions avoidance.
Working Toward a Sustainable Future
Charles River recognizes that collaboration across industries can help accelerate progress toward sustainability goals. In 2021, Charles River joined the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) and has worked with that organization to engage suppliers in discussions on sustainable practices. In 2023, that collaborative spirit was extended with three new industry partnerships:
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership: The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase green power use among organizations to advance the American market for green power and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. By choosing green power, Charles River is helping advance the voluntary market for green power and development of those sources. Charles River and other Green Power Partners are helping to reduce the negative health impacts of air emissions including those related to ozone, fine particles, acid rain, and regional haze.
- Renewable Thermal Collaborative: The Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) is the global coalition for companies, institutions, and governments committed to scaling up renewable heating and cooling at their facilities, dramatically cutting carbon emissions. By joining the RTC, Charles River plans to expand upon existing work to convert to renewable electricity and join other leading companies who are striving to scale the deployment of renewable energy for heating and cooling applications.
- Energize: Energize, administered by Schneider Electric in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI), is a first-of-its-kind program to increase access to renewable electricity for suppliers to the pharmaceutical industry. The program has two main objectives: to help suppliers learn about renewable electricity purchasing, and to help suppliers explore the renewable energy market and purchase renewable electricity via pathways that may not have been previously available to them. In partnership with Energize, Charles River aims to reduce Scope 3 (value chain) GHG emissions by engaging with suppliers to promote more sustainable supply chain practices and the use of renewable electricity.
Visit the Corporate Citizenship section of Charles River’s website to learn more about the Company’s progress. The 2023 Corporate Citizenship Report will be available in Spring 2024.
About Charles River
Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them. To learn more about our unique portfolio and breadth of services, visit www.criver.com.