Case history

Chiesi Farmaceutici

Target: Strategy of Carbon Neutrality



It was 25 September 2019, and in Parma the Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA group celebrated We ACT-Day: We Actively Care for Tomorrow, a programme to raise awareness and involve all employees to promote a conscious and different way of acting that has a positive impact on society and the environment. On the day coinciding with the anniversary of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Chiesi SpA group launched its sustainability challenge by announcing its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2035.  

To realise its virtuous intention, the pharmaceutical group turned to Circularity which, in partnership with the Kyoto Club, analysed the sources of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions to assess their impact and propose a strategy in line with the neutralisation of its carbon footprint.  

 The activity started with the administration of a questionnaire that surveyed the main items of the mass and energy balance in terms of emissions, energy supply, waste and wastes of the Chiesi Farmaceutici plants in Parma; two paths to improve the group’s environmental sustainability were thus outlined by taking action on energy vectors and company waste disposal.  

Energy supply  

In order to outline the actions that would allow Chiesi SpA to achieve climate neutrality by 2035, the emission sources of process gases, electricity consumption, methane and automotive fuel were analysed. At present, the Chiesi Group’s total emissions amount to more than 31,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year; with the measures suggested by the Circularity team, the company could reduce its emissions by 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2023, a reduction equal to the annual emission due to the average electricity consumption of 5000 households.  

 Chiesi SpA was presented with two emission offset scenarios over a 15-year time horizon. The suggested actions involve initiatives both internal and external to the company perimeter, and include:  

Energy efficiency interventions on plant processes;  
The coverage of all available areas with photovoltaic systems;  
The partial or total conversion of the company fleet from fossil fuels to electricity;  
The construction of a 2MW trigeneration plant;  
The construction of a 2MW trigeneration plant;  
The realisation of a bio-methane plant;  
The offsetting of residual emissions with Green Procurement and forestation or land regeneration.  
Waste minimisation  

The management of waste recovery and disposal contributes to the total greenhouse gas emissions of a company. In 2019, the Chiesi SpA group’s emissions related to corporate waste management were responsible for more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emitted into the atmosphere. With a view to Carbon Neutrality, there is ample room for improvement for the pharmaceutical brand. Circularity therefore defined a waste reduction intervention scenario over a three-year time horizon, precisely defining the implementation timeframe of the various interventions.  

 The starting point of the proposed strategy is based on the acquisition of a greater awareness of the external waste management process through the implementation of a traceability system; this would allow a greater knowledge of the destinations and operational efficiencies of the recycling plants involved and, consequently, the acquisition of key information to guide company choices in this area. The next proposed actions include:  

  • The improvement of the waste separation process during delivery, with a reduction of mixed packaging estimated at up to 30%; this would allow more homogeneous material flows characterised by higher recycling rates.  
  • The introduction of a sludge drying-concentration phase into the production process that would allow an estimated 30% reduction in waste.  
  • The definition of a Green Procurement policy, which rewards and selects a supply chain with a reduced amount of paper and plastic packaging material.  
  • The definition of a Green Procurement policy, which rewards and selects a supply chain with a reduced amount of paper and plastic packaging material.  
  • The definition of a policy that rewards and selects recycling plants with guaranteed material recovery rates.  
  • Reducing the amount of waste leaving the plants through process re-design, with the possibility of reducing plastic packaging by 20% and hazardous waste by 10%.  

By implementing all the proposed improvement actions, Chiesi SpA could halve the amount of waste produced by its plants and reduce emissions related to waste management by 75% by 2023.  

 Chiesi SpA’s determination to reduce its carbon footprint to zero demonstrates that Carbon Neutrality is not a utopia, but a decisive and achievable strategic objective at the heart of the European Green Deal. Aware that every single contribution can have a global impact, Chiesi SpA has chosen to be an active part of a Sustainable Society, whose future prosperity depends on the actions taken today. 

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