Poultry vaccine site in Georgia continues to reduce carbon emissions

Company earns carbon neutral certification for second time
calendar icon 5 December 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

At Boehringer Ingelheim’s Gainesville, Georgia, manufacturing plant, earning carbon neutral certification for the second year in a row was twice as nice, the company said in a recent press release.

“Achieving the carbon neutral certification in 2021 was an important first step in reducing our environmental impact,” said Bryan Summers, engineering lead at the Gainesville site. “Now as we look back on 2022, maintaining carbon neutrality really demonstrates our commitment to creating a healthier planet today and for generations to come.”

Located northeast of Atlanta in the “Poultry Capital of the World,” the Gainesville site was Boehringer Ingelheim's first major manufacturing site in the US to go carbon neutral. To reduce the site’s carbon footprint originally, various energy-saving initiatives were implemented, including installing solar panels over the parking lot, replacing fluorescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs, and reducing heat and energy loss by replacing insulation on equipment.

But the site’s work to identify more environmentally-friendly ways to operate didn’t stop there. The certification must be reviewed annually and is based on the previous year's emissions.

To maintain carbon neutrality for 2022, the Gainesville site took several steps throughout the year to continue improving energy use. More effective use of the building management system helped identify key areas for energy savings, especially with the automation of HVAC systems. Solar panels now generate up to eight percent of the site's energy demand. The site was also acknowledged by Georgia Power for its active participation in their Simple Solar program, which allows for the purchase of renewable energy credits to offset carbon-based electricity use.

Going carbon neutral has resulted in measurable, positive impacts. From 2021 to 2022, the Gainesville site reduced its CO2 emissions by 23% – nearly 700 fewer tons of CO2 emissions are released into the atmosphere. These efforts help conserve natural resources, improve air quality and support climate change mitigation efforts.

“Reducing carbon emissions is a worthy investment in a sustainable future,” said Andy Brehm, site director in Gainesville. “This was a site-wide effort from the start, and everyone in Gainesville can be proud that we are leading the way for other manufacturing sites in the US”

Boehringer Ingelheim sites in the US continue to make progress toward its goal to become carbon neutral in all company operations by 2030, which aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and our company’s own sustainability strategy.

A sustainable link in the food supply chain

The sustainability impact of the Gainesville site also goes beyond carbon reduction efforts.

Animal health plays an important role in sustainable livestock production and protecting the food supply. When the food supply chain is threatened by animal disease, there can be serious impacts on food security. Vaccines help to prevent disease and keep livestock healthy, optimizing performance, and reducing the resources needed to raise animals for food.

Poultry meat represents nearly 40% of global meat production and is a vital source of nutrition in communities across the world. The Gainesville site manufactures more than 40 billion vaccine doses per year for poultry. The vaccines help protect poultry from disease in about 60 countries, emphasizing this site’s role as an important link in the food supply chain.

“We are proud of the vaccines we manufacture and what we do to support poultry farmers in raising healthy flocks,” said Steve Boren, head of the US Livestock and Equine business. “Our team knows that they are making an impact every day through our commitment to better health for animals, people and the planet.”

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