J&J’s Irish operations now powered by 100% renewable electricity

  • Oct 16, 2021
  • Irish Times

Healthcare company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced on Friday its entire operations in Ireland are now powered by electricity from 100 per cent renewable sources through an eight-year corporate power purchase agreement with Ørsted.

Over the lifetime of the agreement, Ørsted energy company will supply the company’s 10 sites with more than 1 terawatt-hour (TWh) of renewable energy from two wind farms located in Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, and Booltiagh Co Clare.

This amount of clean energy, it said, “is equivalent to avoiding the carbon emissions from more than 136,759 cars on Irish roads, or the electricity consumption of powering 528.8 million smartphones, recycling 134,898 tonnes of waste instead of going to landfill or planting 6.6 million trees”.

The long-term nature of this PPA makes it possible for Ørsted to invest in its development and repowering strategy to construct more renewable generation in the future, it added – and aligns with Johnson & Johnson’s recent execution of three separate virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) in Europe.

Speaking during a visit to J&J’s DePuy Synthes site in Ringaskiddy Co Cork, Taoiseach Micheál Martin welcomed the agreement. “Johnson & Johnson has embraced its environmental responsibilities globally, but also here in Ireland, and this agreement will help the company to achieve its wider climate goals. We are at a crucial point in the global fight against climate change and initiatives like this should become the benchmark for all companies to aspire to,” he added.

Plant leader with J&J Vision Care Ireland UC John Lynch confirmed it had reached its target of sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity across its Irish operations from renewable sources.

He added: “Across our 10 sites and workforce of more than 5,000 here in Ireland, we are committed to supporting Johnson & Johnson’s climate action goals. In the last decade we have invested more than €60 million in over 80 carbon footprint reduction projects. Today is a major landmark on our journey in Ireland to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and underlines our commitment to ensuring a better, healthier world.”

As the world’s largest healthcare company, “we know that human health and environmental health are fundamentally linked – healthy people need a healthy planet,” said Leisha Daly, J&J head of government affairs and policy in Ireland.

The agreements were another step closer “to our goal of powering our global operations with 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 and achieving carbon neutrality in our global operations by 2030”, she added.

The PPA combined with the VPPAs will provide the equivalent of 100 per cent renewable electricity for all Johnson & Johnson property sites across its three business sectors – pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer health – in Ireland, she confirmed.

The company also recently joined the “Race to Zero/Business Ambition for 1.5 degree” campaign; an alliance of the Science Based Targets initiative in partnership with the UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business Coalition with the objective to achieve net-zero emissions across their entire value chains.