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Novo Nordisk: Circular for Zero

Photo: Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk, the global pharmaceutical company, founded and headquartered in Denmark, has for decades been working to solve sustainability problems. And for that, they have been a guiding star in all things sustainable. 


When your products can’t be recycled and mostly end up in a land-fill, you use billions of litres of water and have more than 60.000 suppliers, you typically have a problem. The global pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, founded and headquartered in Denmark, has for decades been working to solve that problem. And for that, they have been a guiding star in all things sustainable. 


Novo Nordisk pioneered in the corporate world and introduced the triple bottom line into its company bylaws more than 25 years ago. This means that the company must conduct its business in a socially, environmentally, and financially responsible way. But when one of your products – hundreds of millions of injection pens- end up on landfills all over the world, you are faced with a hard-core challenge to live up to the mission.
Part of the solution is circularity which will help reach the target of net zero emissions across the entire value chain by 2045.

100% renewable electricity

In 2020 the company achieved its goal of using renewable electricity across the global production. The next step is to transform the business processes to eliminate the environmental footprint from operations. By 2030, the ambition is to have zero CO2 from operations and transport.


The company is engaged in re-designing both existing and future products to reduce waste. From the raw materials that go into the products to the way they are put together and how the product ends its life. All of that must be re-thought so materials can be collected and recycled into new products. 

Working with the supply chain

95% of the total emissions of Novo Nordisk comes from the supply chain. Usually that is the perfect excuse for saying “sorry, nothing we can do about that” but instead Novo Nordisk is working with suppliers to reach a target that all direct suppliers must use renewable energy by 2030. That is more than 60.000 suppliers globally.

It goes without saying that progress cannot be made without partnerships and close collaboration across the value chain and with public private partnerships to support the development. 
Setting up your company in the Greater Copenhagen region gives you access to world-leading experience in business and production transformation, the networks and globally leading life science eco-system, that will help your business succeed in the future. 

Interested in knowing more about the Danish Life Science sector and the opportunities for your business? Contact us today.
Niels Thun Andersen 
Head of Life Science Team
Copenhagen Capacity 
 Photo credit: Novo Nordisk, Johan F Paulsson