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Boehringer Ingelheim Ga. vaccine facility receives carbon neutral certification

Photo by Scott Rogers/The Times Boehringer Ingelheim's Gainesville, Ga., site recently completed a five-year plan to become carbon neutral after discovering it emitted as much carbon as 1,000 homes each year.

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DULUTH, Ga. — Boehringer Ingelheim U.S. Animal Health announced on Apr. 22 that its poultry vaccine site in Gainesville, Ga., has received carbon neutral certification, the first of its U.S. sites to earn this designation.

The site, which produces nearly 60 billion poultry vaccines every year, is Boehringer Ingelheim’s first major manufacturing facility site in the U.S. and its third site globally to become carbon neutral.

“Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to making the company, surrounding communities, and the world more environmentally sustainable, now and for future generations,” said Randolph Legg, president and head of commercial business at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. “Our Gainesville site’s achievement inspires our entire worldwide team as we make progress toward our goal to become carbon neutral in all company operations by 2030 (Scope 1 and Scope 2)1.”

The Gainesville site has been working toward more sustainable operations since 2017, when they noticed emissions were equal to more than 1,000 homes. Electricity is one of the biggest emission producers onsite, so the site team purchased green electricity from Georgia Power to help power the site in a more sustainable way and eliminate nearly 80 percent of carbon emissions.

To reach carbon neutrality status, the site team made additional changes that included:

  • Installed solar panels over the parking lot to harness the power of the sun.
  • Replaced fluorescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Installed dimmer switches and occupancy sensors that turn off the lights when rooms are not in use.
  • Purchased an electric vehicle for use around the site and installed a charging station.
  • Installed smart meters to measure electrical consumption, which helps identify energy savings.
  • Replaced insulation on equipment to reduce heat and energy loss.

To offset the few remaining carbon emissions, the company purchased environmental project carbon credits from Climate Seed. Employees at the site chose to invest in the Noles South Avoided Conversion Forest project in North Carolina and a reforestation project in Kasigau Corridor in Kenya.

With these changes, the company contracted with Germany-based TÜV, an independent third-party certification services company, to review and certify the site for carbon neutrality. The company received the carbon neutrality certification on April 11. The certification process confirms that the site has reduced and offset greenhouse gas emissions for 2021. The certification must be reviewed annually and is based on the previous year’s emissions.

“We are excited that the updates we’ve implemented at this facility and the support from our employees have earned us the certification for carbon neutrality,” said Andy Brehm, site director at the Boehringer Ingelheim Gainesville facility. “It’s important to us and everyone at the site that we work toward a more sustainable future, for our communities and the people and animals we serve.”

“This move to carbon neutrality helps protect the environment we live in,” said Lara Sheeley, head of the U.S. swine and poultry divisions at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. “And when the environment is healthy, people and animals are healthier.”

Boehringer Ingelheim sites across the U.S. are making significant progress toward carbon neutrality as part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Sustainable Development for Generations initiative, the company added. The site at St. Joseph, Mo. operates on wind energy. In North Brunswick, N.J., the site has purchased green power. In Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, the site will use natural gas to generate electricity, which will create steam and hot water that can be used in everyday operations. The U.S. Corporate and Human Pharma headquarters in Ridgefield, Conn., runs on renewable energy.

For more information, visit bi-animalhealth.com.

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