AstraZeneca, a multinational pharmaceutical company, has announced a 15-year partnership with Future Biogas to create the UK’s first large-scale biomethane gas supply without subsidies. This initiative supports AstraZeneca’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions. The biomethane plant will provide electricity to AstraZeneca sites in Macclesfield, Cambridge, Luton and Speke, equivalent to the heating needs of more than 8,000 homes. It is estimated that this partnership will reduce emissions by 20,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year and contribute to renewable energy capacity in the national gas network.
By investing in this biomethane plant and partnering with Future Biogas, AstraZeneca aims to create a model for the commercial deployment of renewable gas in the UK. The company recognizes the importance of a competitive biomethane market to facilitate the transition to a zero-emissions economy.
In addition to the biomethane plant, AstraZeneca is improving energy efficiency at its Macclesfield campus, the largest drug development and manufacturing site in the UK. These improvements include a comprehensive renovation of the cogeneration plant, which will result in additional emissions savings of 16,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. AstraZeneca is also modernizing its buildings and improving its production and packaging processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These initiatives will support the sustainability of the Macclesfield campus, which supplies medicines to more than 130 countries.
AstraZeneca’s transition to 100% renewable energy is a key focus of its Ambition Zero Carbon program. The company’s goal is to halve its footprint along the entire value chain by 2030 and achieve science-based net-zero emissions by 2045 at the latest. AstraZeneca is already on track to reduce emissions from its global operations by 98% by 2026.
Juliette White, vice president of global sustainability and health, safety and environment at AstraZeneca, emphasizes the company’s commitment to decarbonization and ensuring a sustainable future. It says AstraZeneca is innovating to expand the use of renewable energy, contribute to the circular economy and accelerate progress towards net-zero emissions.
The biomethane plant will support locally grown crops as raw materials and promote sustainable land management practices. This will enable the development of a circular economy in agriculture and contribute to soil health and sustainable food production. To ensure transparency and accountability, Renewable Gas Guaranteed Origin (RGGO) certificates will be transferred to AstraZeneca to avoid doubling emissions savings.
In addition, AstraZeneca plans to integrate bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) capacity into the new facility. This has the potential to enable carbon negative operations, with captured carbon sequestered through the Northern Lights project in Norway.
This investment in renewable energy in the UK is in line with other partnerships AstraZeneca has entered into this year. The company is working with Vanguard Renewables to provide biomethane to all of its sites in the United States by the end of 2026. AstraZeneca has also signed an agreement with Statkraft, Europe’s largest renewable energy producer, to increase the supply of renewable electricity in Sweden.
AstraZeneca’s commitment to investing in renewable energy and reducing its impact on the environment demonstrates its leadership in the transition to a sustainable future with net-zero emissions.