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Earth Day 2024: Our Commitment to Sustainability

Author: Laura Galindo Alfonso, Director ESG, Valneva

Climate protection is at a critical juncture, demanding immediate action to avert irreversible consequences and safeguard communities worldwide.

By leveraging its scientific expertise and technological capabilities, the biopharmaceutical sector can contribute significantly to mitigating the impacts of climate change while improving global health outcomes.

Vaccines offer promising opportunities to combat the effects of climate change on public health. Helping to control infectious diseases that may surge or spread due to climate-related factors such as changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, vaccines can play a role in mitigating the burden of climate change on healthcare systems and communities. For instance, continued global warming is likely to expand habitat regions for pests like mosquitoes, posing heightened threats to human health and wellbeing. (Learn more about the correlation between global warming and mosquito-borne diseases, or MBDs, hier .)

Investing in vaccination programs and expanding access to immunization can thus serve as crucial components of climate resilience strategies, protecting vulnerable populations and promoting global health security in the face of environmental challenges.

Furthermore, the biopharmaceutical industry can promote sustainable practices within its operations, including adopting energy-efficient manufacturing processes, reducing waste generation, and investing in renewable energy sources.

Our Approach

Sustainability is critical to us at Valneva, as we strive to advance vaccines for better lives. We recognize the intrinsic link between the environment and public health and are actively engaged in combating the negative effects of climate change through the development of vaccines for mosquito-borne diseases.

While the core of our work can mitigate one of the major effects of climate change, we are also committed to decreasing the environmental impact of our activities by managing our carbon footprint, waste generation, and resource consumption. One example of this commitment is our policy on energy use, as this constitutes the main source of Valneva’s scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions. In 2023, 100% of the electricity contracted on our R&D and manufacturing sites – our four largest locations – was of renewable origin. The shift to green electricity has allowed Valneva to reduce our CO2 emissions by 48% since 2019, representing a reduction of 1,630 tonnes of CO2 emissions from gas and electricity consumed.

In 2023, we continued to reduce the amount of waste generated and to increase the amount of materials recovered through circular methods (73% of our waste generated as of December 2023) such as reuse, recycling and valorization. A major initiative was launched on our main manufacturing site in Livingston, Scotland: the Zero Waste to Landfill project. The main target of this project is to reduce the proportion of waste sent to landfills from 19% to 2.5% in 2024. The project will have a major impact on Livingston’s environmental footprint, increasing the amount of biological waste and cardboard sent to recycling.

More details on our environmental commitments are available in our 2023 Sustainability Report, available hier .

Going Further

We’ve recently entered a new phase of our sustainability journey at Valneva. In addition to the creation of an Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) function within the organization, we have also established two committees to oversee and pilot ESG activities across the Company.

The ESG Committee of the Board of Directors reviews and assesses Valneva’s ESG-specific objectives, strategy and risks, while our ESG Operational Committee is responsible for executing on our sustainability strategy, setting targets and driving actions within members’ respective functions.

To strengthen accountability for these actions, in 2024 sustainability will be linked to the performance-based remuneration policy applied across the Company, including Executive Committee members.

As a company committed to contribute to a world in which no one dies or suffers from a vaccine-preventable disease, now more than ever, sustainability is a guiding principle for our endeavors as we continue working towards the mitigation of climate change effects and their consequential health impacts.