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Reducing our
carbon footprint

Setting an ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by fiscal year 2045

The science is clear: Our planet is warming quickly with grave and global consequences, requiring bold action, transparency, and accountability. To address the climate crisis, Medtronic has set an ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by fiscal year (FY) 2045 across its operations and value chain (scopes 1, 2, and 3). Achieving net zero carbon emissions will be no easy feat, but the environmental and health benefits justify the effort.

Our path to net zero carbon emissions

Caring for our planet makes good business sense, meets the expectations of our employees, and is the right thing to do. By embracing sustainability, companies create healthier workplaces, plan thoughtful development, improve risk management, and save costs. In fiscal year 2023, we reduced our greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 35%, compared to a fiscal year 2020 baseline, and we are on track to meet our goal of 50% by fiscal year 2025.

We have a goal of becoming carbon neutral in our operations by fiscal year 2030, and reduce carbon emissions to net zero in our operations, supply chain, and logistics by fiscal year 2045. To achieve the ambition, we created a Decarbonisation Roadmap and will pursue setting carbon emission reduction targets across scopes 1, 2, and 3. In fiscal year 2023, we committed to set near-term science-based emissions reduction targets and long-term net-zero targets for validation by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) — a multi-year process which provides companies a clearly defined path to reduce emissions aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Greener, cleaner energy

One of the most powerful ways we can help combat climate change is by increasing the use of clean energy, either by producing our own energy or purchasing clean energy from local power providers. Fuel cell technology now generates cleaner energy at several of our facilities. By converting natural gas and air into electrical energy without combustion, fuel cells are cleaner than traditional gas or diesel engines. Each year we continually increase our renewable footprint, and as of fiscal year 22, more than 46% of our total energy use is renewable. Going forward, we plan to increase our investments in hydroelectricity, solar, wind, and geothermal energy whenever possible. One way we will do this is by purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs), which are market instruments guaranteeing clean energy has been generated on our behalf and sent to the electrical grid. In addition, we are pursuing virtual power purchase agreements to contribute an amount of clean energy to the grid equal to or greater than the power we consume globally.

Likewise, leading sustainably also means building and operating green. The U.S. Green Building Council recently awarded our manufacturing facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica, a LEED operations and maintenance (O+M) platinum certification — a globally recognised symbol in sustainability achievement. The facility is the first Medtronic manufacturing site in Latin America to earn the prestigious LEED certification, the most widely used green building rating system in the world.

A photo of a Medtronic industrial plant being inspected

Recycling energy for corporate sustainability

Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power, merges the production of usable heat and electricity into a single process that can substantially reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. Recently, we installed a new cogeneration unit at our Mirandola facility in Italy. The new unit will produce about 7.5 million kilowatt-hours per year, reducing the facility’s reliance on the local power grid and shrinking the site´s carbon footprint by more than 30%.

Image of two Medtronic staff standing in front of a wind turbine that supplies power to our Galway plant.

Securing 100% renewable electricity from a local wind farm

Medtronic Ireland has signed a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (CPPA) with a local renewable electricity provider in May of 2023. 

A CPPA is a contract whereby a company procures renewable electricity through a direct agreement with a renewable electricity developer.  

This supply agreement will meet 50% of the electric annual requirements for its Medtronic Ireland sites.

The renewable electricity is to be sourced locally from a windfarm situated just thirty minutes from Medtronic Parkmore in Galway, Ireland.

This deal addresses the operational carbon scope 2 emissions of Medtronic’s electricity consumption with an identifiable wind farm and is a vital part of the Medtronic decarbonization roadmap.

Turning a lake into renewable energy

Our facility in Tolochenaz, Switzerland, launched its aquathermal energy project in fiscal year 2022.

Medtronic partnered with an energy firm and the municipality to carry out the highly sophisticated project, which involved installing a complex system of underwater and underground pipes. The hydrothermal system pumps water from the nearby Lake Geneva through underground pipes to a nearby site where heat pumps convert energy from the water temperature to warm or cool the air in the buildings across the campus. The water will then be returned to the lake with no impact to the local ecosystem, while simultaneously reducing CO₂ emissions.

The hydrothermal renewable energy project has cut CO₂ emissions by 80% at our Switzerland campus using this simple, yet powerful method.

Using energy efficiently is one of the cleanest, quickest, and most cost-effective ways to extend today's energy supply. Within the medical device industry, manufacturing facilities typically use the most energy. To minimise energy consumption, we make sure our manufacturing facility equipment runs efficiently. For example, we have replaced less efficient lights at commercial and manufacturing facilities with energy efficient LED lights. In all, we’ve replaced more than 150,000 bulbs across 26 global sites and saved more than $3 million annually.

The health care industry is responsible for 4.5% of global carbon emissions. To help reduce emissions in our industry, we are taking a leadership role in collaborative climate action with the National Health Service (NHS) in England and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha signed a joint letter with other global healthcare CEOs as members of the International Leadership Group for a Net Zero NHS to support England’s largest health system with its net zero goals. Medtronic is also participating in the NAM Action Collaborative to Decarbonize the U.S. Health Sector, which brings together multi-sectoral leaders to co-develop and implement a shared action agenda to reduce environmental impacts and strengthen sustainability and climate resilience.

We understand that health is directly tied to the environment. By reducing our carbon footprint and being advocates for change in our industry, we are investing in the health of our company, our people, and our planet.

  1. Pichler PP , Jaccard IS , Weisz U , Weisz H . International comparison of health care carbon footprints. Environ Res Lett. 2019;14(6):064004.

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