Demonstrating a Commitment to Corporate Citizenship from the Ground Up: Building an Energy Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing Site
July 18, 2018
Chief Executive Officer
Although Moderna is a young company, we are planning for long-term impact.
Our mission is to deliver on the promise of mRNA science to make transformative medicines for patients.
But we also believe we have a significant opportunity to build a company that can be a model for corporate citizenship.
Moderna is maturing in a global environment where companies both need and are expected to contribute to society in new and innovative ways, creating real impact beyond their core business. Customers, investors and employees demand it.
And although we are still a clinical-stage company, our team is actively considering the impact we can have with our mRNA medicines in development – such as their potential in fighting global epidemics and pandemics – as well as through key initiatives where we can contribute to the health and welfare of our employees, environmental sustainability, and the communities in which we operate.
Our corporate citizenship framework, which we posted online yesterday, outlines the core focus areas that will be the basis of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program in the years ahead, including:
- Medicines for Patients: Our central focus is to continue to accelerate the development of safe and effective mRNA medicines for patients.
- Employees: We believe that we will only succeed in our goals if we are able to attract and retain individuals of diverse backgrounds and of all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions, home countries, and sexual orientations.
- Environment: We are building a company that seeks to drive change through what we make and how we make it.
- Community: We are working to make Moderna an active contributor to the communities in which we operate so that we can have a positive impact today and in the decades to come.
- Governance and Ethics: The highest ethical standards are core to Moderna’s future success – from our clinical trials, the manufacturing process and creating high-quality medicines, to how we conduct ourselves in our relationships with employees, patients and other stakeholders.
The opening of our cGMP clinical development manufacturing facility in Norwood, Massachusetts represents one major milestone in our efforts to integrate our business strategy with our corporate citizenship efforts. While our Cambridge team has always worked to limit our environmental footprint, in Norwood we had the opportunity to drive sustainable operations from the outset – from how we produce raw materials to the natural resources we use to support manufacturing.
As CEO, it was important to me that we identified opportunities to create a sustainable and efficient manufacturing facility that was also a healthy space for our employees and colleagues. We worked with LEED-accredited professionals to re-purpose an existing building, driving adherence to LEED protocols (e.g., waste management, construction products, etc.) while planning for how to best manage environmental factors that could impact our ability to manufacture materials and medicines in the future.
We built the site using materials and technologies that would make the building as sustainable as possible – both in the immediate future, and over the long term. Some examples include:
- Reverse osmosis water systems to limit the water we use from the town, while also diverting water into cooling towers to help manage the building’s temperature.
- CO2 sensors throughout the site to monitor air quality and reduce energy consumed to heat and cool the building.
- 100 percent LED lighting to reduce energy consumption. We are also optimizing the energy performance of our lighting by ensuring all lights are shut off unless a room is in use.
- Advanced energy metering systems that leverage data to optimize and control energy consumption over time.
- Digital tools throughout the site that enable a paperless manufacturing environment.
Norwood’s flexible design will allow us to identify and leverage opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment over time. In the near-term, we will be adding 22 electric vehicle charging stations, solar panels and solar shades to reduce the use of utilities and the installation of renewable power generators.
Designing the Norwood facility provided us with a significant opportunity to show how our corporate citizenship efforts are central to our long-term strategic objectives. It is one example of a larger citizenship commitment we are making as we maintain our primary focus of developing mRNA medicines.
Moving forward, we will continue to build upon and execute against all areas outlined in our CSR framework – an effort which I believe is critical to all our stakeholders, important to our employees and will be a key contributor in our efforts to bring new medicines to patients around the world.