A Tesla visits Sanofi. Photo courtesy of Dr Paul Wildman.

Sanofi Plans 3,000 Solar Panels, An EV Fleet, And In-House Charging At Brisbane Manufacturing Campus

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Sanofi is expanding its renewable energy ecosystem with solar panels on the carpark and charging for electric vehicles in the staff carpark. They are slowly converting their corporate fleet to EVs as well. Local healthcare business Sanofi Australia has completed installation of 1,500 solar panels at its North Brisbane–based consumer healthcare manufacturing campus and announced a doubling of its green energy commitment at the site.

Sanofi is a top 5 medicines and vaccines company in Australia, with more than 50 medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, 6 medicines on the Life Saving Drugs Program, and 17 vaccines in the country, with 7 on the National Immunisation Program. About 95% of young Australians will have had a Sanofi vaccine by age five, and one in four Australians has had one of their flu vaccines.

They also operate a consumer healthcare business in Australia with household name brands, including Telfast, Bisolvon, Nature’s Own, Ostelin, Cenovis, and many others. Their state-of-the-art vitamin, mineral and supplement manufacturing campus in Brisbane produces Nature’s Own, Ostelin, and Cenovis products.

Sanofi is now becoming a leader in the green revolution: The Brisbane solar farm marks a proud step on Sanofi’s path toward carbon neutrality across the whole value chain by 2030. It is the latest of many actions taken in Australia as part of the organisation’s work to help meet its global environmental commitments:

  • In 2021, the Australian business announced it was moving to a hybrid car fleet. This shift is now 75% complete.
  • In June 2022, it launched an industry-first partnership with Return Unwanted Medicines, which aims to help raise awareness of the environmental impact of incorrect disposal of unwanted and out-of-date medicines.
  • In 2022, its consumer healthcare brand Nature’s Own announced a leading three-year partnership with Greening Australia to help restore natural ecosystems by establishing 25,000 native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers across three major Australian cities.

At an event attended by Anika Wells MP, Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Sport, and Member of the House of Representatives for Lilley, 1,500 rooftop solar panels were unveiled along with plans to expand the population to 3,000 panels across the campus.

A Tesla visits Sanofi.

The expanded population will include new solar panel–topped car shades across the campus carpark and new electric charge points for employee vehicles. The full project is due for completion in 2023. Hopefully this means those hybrids will be upgraded to BEV vehicles as warranted, making a more complete renewable energy eco system, and taking up the federal government’s tax incentives. The company has not yet responded for comment.

Once complete, Sanofi’s Brisbane solar farm will save approximately 1,400 tonnes of CO2 and deliver 2 GWh of electricity, which is more than 25% of the site’s annual electricity need. The amount of electricity generated by the solar farm will be equivalent to powering some 200 Brisbane-based homes for an entire year.

“As the Federal Member for Lilley, it’s wonderful to see businesses in our local area acting on climate change and prioritising green energy to help future-proof our community,” said Anika Wells.

“Under the leadership of the Albanese Government, we are making strong advancements on renewable energy. It is great to see a Lilley business committing and investing in Queensland’s renewable future.”

Sanofi and climate action with renewables are a natural fit. They are an innovative global healthcare company, driven by one purpose: they chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. The Sanofi team, across some 100 countries, is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine by working to turn the impossible into the possible. “We provide potentially life-changing treatment options and life-saving vaccine protection to millions of people globally, while putting sustainability and social responsibility at the center of our ambitions,” the company states.

Karen Hood, Country Lead, Sanofi Australia & New Zealand, added these comments: “As a global healthcare company, we recognise that climate change presents one of the greatest challenges of our age and that environmental action, taken by everyone, is a key to protecting the health of people worldwide.

“Globally we are committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and Net-zero by 2050 across all scopes. We have started a number of major programs to deliver on these commitments including switching to renewable energy across all global operations. Locally, our solar panel program in Brisbane is a proud part of this critical journey.

“The energy generated from our solar panels will fuel over 25 per cent of our site in 2023. Better use of energy fuels our growth and our unrelenting ambition toward improving planet care,” Stuart Addinall, Head of Industrial Affairs, Sanofi Australia & New Zealand, added.

Hopefully there are plans for more solar as employees convert to EVs. 

Gladys Peters, General Manager of Sanofi’s consumer healthcare business unit in Australia & New Zealand, says that Sanofi can feel proud of their commitment to sustainability:

“Consumers today demand more from brands and businesses, which helps keep everyone accountable to their sustainability efforts and goals.

“At the same time, we at Consumer Healthcare at Sanofi also demand more from ourselves. So that is why we continue to support green energy, biodiversity, reducing packaging, waste reduction and more. When we consider just one of our brands, Nature’s Own, which has a leading partnership with Greening Australia and has published a roadmap addressing packaging, energy usage, responsible marketing and more; we can feel proud of our commitment.” 

Sanofi joins the many businesses, including shopping centres, installing solar on carparks and roofs to supply their own energy needs and reduce their carbon footprint. These actions not only meet ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals, but also make sound financial sense by cutting energy costs. Converting their fleets to electric and providing charging at work for their employees as part of salary package will also further enhance their environmental credentials. Nature’s Own has joined the Global Race to Zero Initiative — “looking after nature because nature looks after you.”

As more and more Australian businesses install their own solar and electric vehicle charging points, it will help towards a scenario where energy is cheap and renewable, the grid is safe and reliable, and charging is ubiquitous and convenient. The future is rushing towards us.

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David Waterworth

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

David Waterworth has 719 posts and counting. See all posts by David Waterworth