Our commitment to improving the lives of patients around the world comes with a responsibility to protect the planet we all share. Recently, we spoke with Brad Sorenson, senior vice president of Global Supply Chain, and Ronan Coffey, manager for Global Energy Systems, about our carbon neutrality efforts and the company’s goals for the future.
Q: What are the company’s carbon neutrality goals, and are we making progress in achieving them?
Brad: In 2017, we were one of the first medical device manufacturers to make a commitment to carbon neutrality. Our goal is to eliminate our carbon footprint across all Boston Scientific manufacturing and key distribution sites by 2030. We remain on target to meet those goals and, since 2017, have reduced our carbon footprint by 50% while reaching 20% more patients.
That progress has provided the foundation we need to go even further. Recently, we signed on with the Race to Zero and Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. In doing so, the company is committing to setting science-based targets to eliminate the carbon footprint in our entire value chain by 2050.
Q: What are science-based targets?
Ronan: With the direct link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, it's important for the private sector to play a fundamental role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Science-based targets provide a clearly defined pathway and a framework for companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of helping to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
Targets are considered science-based if they're in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. So, by setting science-based targets, Boston Scientific is identifying its portion of the global carbon budget and developing a carbon reduction plan to meet that 1.5-degree ambition.
Q: How are these goals different from the company’s 2030 goals?
Brad: Our 2030 goals are associated with our physical locations, including all manufacturing and key distribution sites. The 2050 goals include our entire value chain and go well beyond our physical footprint. Taking on this new commitment is a natural progression of our existing goals and a testament to the strong foundation that we've built to date.
As a health care company, our commitment to patient care and developing new and novel products to the lives of patients is critical, but so too is our responsibility to do that in a way that reduces our environmental impacts.
Q: What are the next steps to accomplish these goals?
Ronan: Our next step will be setting our emissions reduction targets and submitting them for official validation. It is important to note that we won’t be relying on carbon offsets to reach our goals, we will be focused on cutting energy use emissions even further, and converting to renewable energy sources, instead of relying on fossil fuels. Once our targets are defined and approved, we’ll announce them publicly and report on our progress annually.
To learn more about how Boston Scientific is doing its part to protect the environment, see here.