Biogen uses mammalian cells in its drug development and manufacturing. Mammalian cell lines have complex growth requirements and are unable to survive outside a well-controlled and specifically designed laboratory environment. This makes Biogen’s environmental risk profile lower than its peers that use less stable cell lines, such as microbial or plant cells. Biogen also works to improve the efficiency, safety, and environmental impacts of its products. In 2010, Biogen established a Green Chemistry Committee to assess product lifecycles. By applying the green chemistry principles to one product, Biogen reduced energy needs by approximately 3,500 kilowatt hours and chemical usage by 1,000 liters of solvent per metric ton of product. Biogen’s environmental impacts are governed by its Corporate Sustainability Council, which prioritizes capital investments focused on minimizing energy consumption and reducing associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The company uses an Environmental Index to monitor its water use, energy intensity, GHG emissions, and solid waste; it has set a goal to reduce its overall footprint 15% by 2015.
Biogen has had several safety concerns and marketing controversies and Portfolio 21 will monitor the company’s behavior with respect to these concerns.
To the best of our knowledge the above information is accurate and was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Neither the information presented above nor any opinion expressed shall be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy the security. The views expressed are those of portfolio management as of 4/30/14 and may not reflect current opinions or subsequent events.