Multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis announced today that it has signed a series of virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs), adding more than 275 megawatts of clean power to the electrical grid. According to the company, after signing the new agreements, Novartis will become the first pharmaceutical company to achieve 100% renewable electricity in its European operations through VPPAs.

The new agreements mark a step towards achieving the company’s environmental goals, which include becoming carbon neutral in its own operations by 2025, as well as a new target announced in earlier this year to reach full carbon neutrality across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2030.

Under the 5 newly signed VPPAs, wind and solar electricity will be generated from six renewable energy projects – all located in Spain – being developed by three providers, including Acciona, EDP Renewables and Enel Green Power. The projects are expected to be online by 2023 and aim to address the company’s carbon footprint across its European operations over a period of 10 years from the start of operations. Novartis stated that this is equivalent to removing approximately 113 000 passenger vehicles from the road each year.

Novartis recently implemented VPPAs with the Santa Rita East windfarm in Texas, addressing 100% of the electricity used in the company’s operations in the US and Canada.

Montse Montaner, Chief Sustainability Officer at Novartis, said:

“At Novartis, environmental sustainability is aligned with our purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. Energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions are the cornerstones of our strategy for reducing emissions. These agreements mark a major milestone on the Novartis environmental sustainability journey to be carbon neutral across its operations by 2025 and across its value chain by 2030.”

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, acted as advisor in the project. John Powers, Vice President of Global Renewables and Cleantech at Schneider Electric, said:

“Novartis has demonstrated tremendous and ongoing sustainability leadership in the pharmaceutical industry. Executing five deals allows Novartis to diversify risk across technology, location, counterparty and deal structure making for a balanced portfolio of Spanish renewable energy. We want to congratulate Novartis on this sustainability milestone and shaping a clean energy future.”