Pharmaceutical facilities: Charles River hits 100% renewable electricity milestone

Published: 10-May-2024

Charles River Laboratories has achieved a significant milestone in reaching its renewable electricity milestone considerably ahead of schedule

Charles River Laboratories, a pharmaceutical and microbial testing company, is now operating all its international branches with 100% renewable electricity as of the first quarter of 2024.

The UK-based company reached this sustainability milestone significantly ahead of its target date.

In 2020, Charles River became one of the first 300 members of RE100, a global corporate renewable energy initiative.

As part of the RE100 initiative, Charles River committed to operating on 100% renewable electricity globally by 2030.

Charles River joins a small group of companies that have achieved this goal organisation-wide in accordance with RE100’s standardised reporting criteria.

The UK-based company reached this sustainability milestone significantly ahead of its target date

To achieve its green goal of renewable electricity, the following efforts were made by Charles River:

Executed two critical virtual power purchase agreements (vPPAs) in the US and Europe

In 2020, the Company initiated a 15-year contract with Deriva Energy for a 102-megawatt solar vPPA located in Texas, which, as of January 2023, provides 100 percent of its North American electric power requirements with clean, renewable energy. 

Further, in 2023, Charles River’s 12-year, 30-megawatt wind power vPPA went live, which is a partnership with Spain-based Repsol, a multi-energy company, and covers the organisation’s entire European electricity load.

Partnered with leading organisations to drive the adoption of green energy solutions

In 2022, Charles River was recognised by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership as a leader in green electricity use.

Last year, the company joined the Renewable Thermal Collaborative, a global coalition of companies, institutions, and governments committed to scaling up renewable energy for heating and cooling. 

In 2020, Charles River became one of the first 300 members of RE100

Charles River also sponsored Energise, a programme powered by Schneider Electric to increase access to renewable energy for pharmaceutical supply chains.

Invested $13.5m (USD) in sustainability-focused projects through the Charles River Sustainability Capital Fund

From 2020-2023, Charles River has funded over 100 projects globally that reduce its environmental footprint, including energy conservation and GHG reduction efforts.

Reduced GHG Emissions from its facilities significantly

As of year-end 2023, Charles River had achieved a 37% in GHG emissions from its facilities (Scope 1 and 2 emissions). 

In 2023, Charles River’s 12-year, 30-megawatt wind power vPPA went live

With the increase to 100% renewable electricity in 2024, Charles River is targeting a 45% reduction by year-end 2024, making progress towards its goal of a 50% reduction by 2030.

James Foster, Chairman, President and CEO of Charles River, said: “At Charles River, we are guided by our purpose of Creating Healthier Lives, which extends beyond science because healthy lives start with a healthy planet.”

“[This] announcement marks a milestone in our commitment to supporting sustainable business practices and driving marked change for our clients, partners, communities, and planet,” Foster concluded. 

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