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Performance and disclosures

As a responsible corporate citizen, Thermo Fisher is committed to protecting the environment by minimizing our impact in the communities where we operate. Leveraging our PPI Business System and our Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Management System, we continually look for ways to improve our processes, protect the environment and reduce waste. This commitment inspires us to create a culture in which our colleagues are involved in piloting process improvements that protect them and the environment, reduce the energy and water we consume and the waste we generate. Thermo Fisher is committed to reducing emissions, releases and waste as a signatory to the UN Global Compact and dedicated to transparency through participation in CDP reporting. For more details, see our annual CDP disclosure on scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. Thermo Fisher is a legacy CDP responder, having responded annually for over 10 years.


As the world leader in serving science, Thermo Fisher has alignment with the scientific community’s findings on human contribution to climate change. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and have set a target to reduce our scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30% (over 2018 levels) by the end of 2030. Our approach to achieving this target is anchored in the framework of process optimization, built-environment efficiency and renewable sourcing. To read more about actions we take associated with scope 3 emissions in our supply chain, refer to Operations – Responsible Sourcing section. 

2019 impact at a glance


Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions Footnote 1


Reduction in water usage Footnote 1


Tons of waste diverted from landfill Footnote 2


Sites working toward zero waste

1 Data normalized by annual revenue

2 U.S. data only

Energy and emissions

LED and Fluorescent bulb comparing on woman hand for alternative technology concept

In 2019, Thermo Fisher’s global energy management team worked with sites across the U.K., in collaboration with our energy vendor, to negotiate the purchase of 100% renewable energy for the majority of our sites in that country. By October 1, 2019, all enrolled sites were transitioned to renewable energy through their utility.


Over the course of 2019, our site in Scoresby, Australia, updated all 1,642 lights in their facility, including office, parking, and warehouse lighting, to energy-efficient LED light fittings. This change will not only impact the amount of energy used to light the facility but also decreases the energy used in hotter months to cool the facility since LED lighting produces less radiant heat than the previously installed fluorescent tube lighting. Additional changes include the installation of motion-activated sensors for areas infrequently used, such as stairwells and meeting rooms. 

100% renewable energy in Germany

Over the past three years the “Green Team” at our site in Karlsruhe, Germany, worked with site leadership to procure energy from renewable sources to provide 100% of the site’s energy usage. This was accomplished through a robust evaluation that led to a change in energy procurement practices and required an extensive assessment of the site’s future energy needs, evaluation of energy sources, and negotiation with the electricity utility provider.


Following the successful pilot at the Karlsruhe site, the framework and best practices were shared countrywide to encourage other sites to migrate to 100% renewable energy over the first half of 2020. 

Medium shot of three workers in a uniform and hardhat installing photovoltaic panels on a metal basis on a solar farm

Quotation marks
"Having support from our site leadership was crucial to our success. It was a challenging process to shift all electricity usage to green sources but extremely rewarding. I couldn’t be prouder of what the team has accomplished in driving down our CO2 emissions.”

Wolfgang Steinberg
Supply Chain Planner
Thermo Fisher Scientific

Waste and water

Our journey to zero waste

Our Zero Waste program focuses on closely managing our waste streams at the site level, where we work to reduce the amount of waste we generate and send to landfills while lowering our operating costs. We define “zero waste” as diverting 90 percent or more waste from landfills through reuse, recycling, and as a last resort, incineration when used to generate energy.


Through our Zero Waste Playbook, we provide our site guidance for working toward ”Zero Waste” certification through a five-step process that engages our colleagues to implement changes in processes and procurement to minimize waste.


In 2019, our distribution sites in North America performed waste audits to identify opportunities to drive down the amount of waste generated within their operations. Managers at these locations meet quarterly to share best practices and report on their current status, ensuring continued progress. 

Glove and garment recycling program

Much of our extensive research and development and production work must be conducted in sterile environments requiring the use of disposable gloves and garments. To reduce the impact of these operations, we recycle gloves and single-use apparel so they can be turned into the raw materials used to create eco-friendly consumer products and durable goods. Since 2012, 170+ tons of gloves and garments have been recycled.


Although our water usage increased slightly in 2019, Thermo Fisher remains committed to exploring ways to minimize the impact of its operations on the planet’s water resources. For instance, we used the World Resources Institute’s geolocator tool, the standard for CDP measurement, to confirm we do not operate water-intensive operations in water-scarce regions.