Sustainability: Changing tomorrow through our actions today
Sep 23, 2019
At Novartis, we aspire to be a leader and a catalyst for positive change in environmentally sustainable business. As the environment and human health are closely linked, Novartis has long committed to efforts of promoting a healthy planet.
As a company, we have set an ambitious environmental sustainability strategy, aiming to be carbon neutral in our operations by 2025, and plastic and water neutral in all our operations and supply chain by 2030. In Singapore, Novartis is making significant progress in achieving this goal.
At our manufacturing plants in Tuas, we: • achieved 30% water savings through filtering and recycling wastewater into industrial cooling water • reduced manufacturing solid waste volume by nearly 80% using waste sludge treatment technology • completed a study on starting a solar farm on site which will power up to 50% of our manufacturing operations by 2023
At our corporate office in Mapletree Business City, we are working towards a plastic-free workplace with green office initiatives: • Take a Bag, Leave a bag: a bag-sharing initiative to encourage the use of reusable bags instead of non-biodegradable plastics. • Fork-get It: committing to using existing utensils available in the pantry rather than plastic cutlery for all its future events in an effort to reduce plastic waste. • No More Bottles: removing all plastic bottles in the office. Mugs and office water jugs will be available for use instead of bottled water.
On 19th and 20th September 2019, Novartis Singapore also held its first environmental sustainability fair, welcoming policymakers, academics, and social enterprises to share about what each of us can to do to contribute to an environmentally sustainable future. Themed ‘Changing tomorrow, through our actions today’, the event hosted documentary showings, booth presentations, guest lectures and panel discussions on how the choices we make today will affect the future of our children and generations to come.
The event featured guest speakers Mr Hazri Hassan, Director of International Policy, Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources, and Dr Angel Hsu, Yale-NUS, who shared about collaborative approaches to implanting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the data behind climate change. Panel discussions were held over the two days as well with speakers from Republic Polytechnic, CBRE, Ricoh, and sustainable organizations such as Our Singapore Reefs, Project Aware, Seven Clean Seas and Zero Waste SG, to share about innovative solutions and initiatives for a livable and sustainable Singapore.
Beyond these platforms, the sustainability event offered interactive information booths, where participating organizations shared on environmental impacts across topics including climate change, food and plastic waste, excessive consumerism, and marine debris. Novartis employees were encouraged to participate in the ‘My Commitment Board’ pledging platform to support efforts for sustainable action, whether big or small.
The two-day sustainability fair saw over 400 internal and external stakeholders in attendance, of which 250 Novartis employees contributed to a personal sustainability pledge. This effort, albeit small, serves as a reminder to us all that no matter the size of the pledge, any action by an individual to be more sustainable can have a tremendous impact on our collective efforts in affecting positive change in environmental sustainability.