Investing Wisely: Enhancing Efficiency & Value Through Sustainable Operations

Carol Malysz, Executive Director, RI Bio | Roundtable Moderator

In an era where the fate of our planet hangs in the balance, the concept of sustainability has transcended mere buzzwords to become the guiding principle of responsible business. It’s the art of conducting commerce with a conscience, ensuring that our actions today don’t imperil the world our descendants will inherit tomorrow. Every decision made by forward-thinking companies is now steeped in the quest for long-term viability without compromising the needs of future generations. But how do we navigate this intricate path towards a brighter, more sustainable future? This question lies at the heart of the global discourse, urging us to reevaluate the very essence of business practices. Enter Amgen, a trailblazer in this endeavor, boldly charting their sustainability path with innovation, efficiency, and renewable energy as their compass. Join us as we delve into a conversation with Amgen’s leaders, exploring their relentless pursuit of sustainability and the strides taken towards achieving their ambitious 2027 goals.

What are the specific targets or goals for Amgen’s 2027 sustainability plan?

[J. Rawley] Amgen seeks to be the leader amongst our peers in Environmental Sustainability. Our short-term goals are to reduce our environmental footprint by continually pursuing waste, energy, carbon, and water reductions. Amgen’s 2027 goal is to reduce water by 40%, reduce waste disposal by 75% and become carbon neutral.

[J. Houle] In addition to meeting these sustainability goals, Amgen has also implemented sustainability into the design of new buildings and systems, including our two U.S. based plants that were designed and built with sustainability at the forefront.

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What do you see as key trends for sustainability in 2024?

[J. Rawley] In 2024, I believe waste elimination efforts will be key because of the price pressures in waste transportation and landfill fees. The landfill fees in Rhode Island have risen dramatically over the last several years and do not show any signs of slowing down. There will also be increased pressure on vendors and suppliers to reduce packaging waste. This waste is a large part of our waste stream and is delivered to our sites daily.

[J. Houle] Many manufacturers, Amgen included, will continue to influence their suppliers to reduce their Scope 3 Emissions. Without looking at the total end to end supply chain, it’s tough to make a meaningful difference. At a micro level at Amgen Rhode Island, we are continuing to advance water, carbon, and waste projects to meet our 2027 goals. 

Jim Rawley, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability Manager, Amgen

How does Amgen plan to integrate sustainability considerations into its core business operations and decision-making processes by 2027?  What are some examples of innovations or successful sustainability efforts at Amgen Rhode Island?

[J. Houle] Within my function, Facilities and Engineering, we’ve executed hundreds of sustainability projects that have collectively driven year over year improved sustainability performance. In one example, we implemented a fault detection and diagnosis program that monitors our utility systems throughout many sites across our manufacturing network. This was piloted at Amgen RI. It was extremely successful as it identifies faults and then prioritizes them for staff based on the amount of energy being wasted by the fault. An example fault would be a preheat valve leaking on an air handler. Before this program, this would likely go months, if not years before being detected. A second example project is the implementation of an automated daily demand response process that automatically adjusts set points to reduce our load during peak demand in the summer. In both cases we have used technology and data to reduce our environmental footprint. 

[J. Rawley] Having vendors reuse our plastic pallets to reduce wood pallets; having landscape vendor utilize mulching mowers on lawn areas; recycling plastics into reusable materials, picnic tables and park benches made from our plastics.

How do the sustainability practices vary or remain the same across Amgen’s locations?

Jeff Houle, Director of Engineering, Utilities Operations, Amgen

[J. Rawley] All Amgen locations utilize a Global Environmental Tracking System (GETS) to track and share efforts at all the sites. Each site can view projects that are being worked on at each site and encourages sites to work together. Once a project is identified as a best practice, the sites are encouraged to work on instituting that project at their site. In addition, Amgen celebrates Earth Day, America Recycles Day, and the annual Nature Conservancy’s Coastal clean-up. Employee resource groups participate in sustainability efforts. Sustainability is included in every level of management.  

[J. Houle] Our corporate strategy for the 2027 sustainability goals are the same for each site. Additionally, our corporate sustainability teams do a nice job of sharing best practices across the network. Many of our sites have different technologies and are at different points in our sustainability journeys, but when there is a best practice that can be implemented at another site, it usually is.

What is the employee level of engagement in sustainability efforts at Amgen Rhode Island?

[J. Houle] Within my function, employee engagement is extremely high. We participate in network environmental sustainability teams, internal functional teams and cross-functional teams at the site. Many other functions, such as Quality Control or Process Development, have their own sustainability teams as well where they share ideas with their same functions from across the Amgen network. 

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