Environmental policies and initiatives

Oxford Biomedica fully recognises its responsibility to minimise the impact of its activities on the environment, its neighbours and the local community. The Environmental Management System (EMS) has continued to evolve and grow with the organisation. Oxford Biomedica has undertaken a gap analysis against ISO14001 and has been working towards aligning the Group’s EMS, with the aim of gaining certification as part of the Group’s sustainability plan. The Group complies with all environmental regulations, including those relating to environmental permits and consents, waste disposal and discharges.  

Oxford Biomedica continues to work towards reducing its carbon footprint . As part of our 2021 Environmental pillar initiatives, we held a sustainable travel to work event for employees, encouraging them walk, cycle, or use public transport to travel to work instead of driving. Oxford Biomedica moved several of its processes to paperless, saving approximately 10,000 sheets of paper and approximately two tonnes of carbon emissions associated with the harvesting, processing, and transporting of paper. Oxford Biomedica increased its recycling efforts, increasing the volumes of cardboard and plastic it was able to recycle through installing compactors in its warehouses. With the redevelopment of the Windrush Innovation Centre, Oxford Biomedica has used BREEAM as a third-party assessment of sustainability performance of the building during the planning phase and will continue to use this third-party assessment for the demolition and construction phases.  

Oxford Biomedica has continued efforts to improve the management of waste, conducting an internal audit of several waste streams. Unfortunately, due to the growth in manufacturing, Oxford Biomedica did not manage to reduce the overall volume of hazardous liquid waste, a 2021 ESG target. However, Oxford Biomedica did see reductions outside of manufacturing waste. For example, there was a 61% reduction in Virkon waste (approx. 18,500L less than 2020) due to a revised waste process.  

A number of projects were launched in 2021, which aim to reduce waste in the supply chain and it is expected that these will come to fruition in 2022. Examples of these initiatives look at switching the transportation method for several cold chain liquid products from air freight to sea freight and working with distributors to develop transportation methods which use re-usable containers as supposed to single-use polystyrene ones. Oxford Biomedica has engaged with waste operators to increase levels of recycling and in June, welcomed a specialist waste management company onsite to perform a waste awareness day. In the first half of 2022, the Group participated in an external programme to improve energy efficiency in laboratory cold storage and investigated tree planting schemes to offset paper use. 

Oxford Biomedica has high levels of engagement from employees on environmental sustainability activities, and actively encourages employee engagement and involvement in improving our environmental performance. Oxford Biomedica established the role of Environmental Representatives in 2021, and now has an active forum of approximately 40 employee volunteers who help identify local areas for improvement. For example, Oxford Biomedica’s used wooden pallets are now being donated to a local social venture, who use the pallets to build furniture (e.g., benches), providing teenagers and adults who are out of work with valuable practical skills. Coffee pods are now recycled using the PODBACK scheme, diverting this waste away from incineration. Oxford Biomedica has substituted everyday consumables (e.g. dishwasher tablets) to greener options.

Oxford Biomedica’s SECR Compliant Directors statement

Oxford Biomedica continues to meet and exceed the greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emissions reporting requirements of The Companies (Directors’ Report). Oxford Biomedica is also aware of its forthcoming obligations under The Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018. Oxford Biomedica has prepared this report in accordance with the requirements for quoted companies under these regulations. Oxford Biomedica continues to report all material GHG emissions across its operations.

2021 ESG Environmental performance

In 2021, Oxford Biomedica has calculated its environmental impact across the required scope 1, 2 and 3 (selected categories) emissions sources for the UK only. Oxford Biomedica’s emissions on a location basis (using the UK grid emissions intensity) are 4,021 tCO2e, which is an average impact of 6 tCO2e per FTE, a 14% decrease from 2020.

Electricity was the most material of the emission sources reported and made up 46% of total emissions in 2021. Business flights have seen considerable reductions with a 55% decrease in related emissions between the two reporting periods. This is primarily due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in changes in travel habits. Driven by changes in DEFRA GHG conversion factors, emissions associated with water consumption have decreased this year. Despite this, water consumption has risen compared to 2020, caused by improvements in the accuracy of estimations applied at multiple sites.

Energy and carbon action

Oxford Biomedica is mindful of the impact its buildings and travel have on the environment. As such, over the period covered by the report, Oxford Biomedica has undertaken the following emissions and energy reduction initiatives:

  • Energy efficient HVAC was added to Windrush Court West Wing; and
  • Energy efficient operations of air handling unit (AHU) – GMP clean room suite 1 has been split from GMP suite 2 at Harrow House. This has allowed for the AHU to be switched off to reduce any unnecessary energy consumption.

2021 ESG Environmental results

The methodology used to calculate the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions is in accordance with the requirements of the following standards:

    • World Resources Institute (WRI) GHG Protocol (revised version);
    • Defra’s Environmental Reporting Guidelines: Including Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting requirements (March 2019); and
    • UK office emissions have been calculated using the DEFRA 2021 issue of the conversion factor repository.

Following an operational control approach to defining Oxford Biomedica’s organisational boundary, Oxford Biomedica calculated GHG emissions from business activities falling within the reporting period of January 2021 to December 2021 and using the reporting period of January 2020 to December 2020 for comparison.

Emissions Source
2020 Emissions in tCO2e

Scope 1

Natural gas

Other fuel types





Scope 2



Scope 3

Electricity transmission and distribution


Employee cars


Public transport

Business flights


Waste and recycling









Total (Market Based)



Total (Location Based)



Total Energy Usage




 tCO2e per FTE



1 Emissions have been rounded to one decimal place when less than 1 tCO2e to allow for more accurate comparisons year on year.
2. Energy reporting includes kWh from scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 employee cars only (as required by the SECR regulation).





Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD)

The TCFD was established to help identify the information needed by investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters to assess and price climate related risks and opportunities appropriately. The Taskforce structured its recommendations around four thematic areas that represent core elements of how organisations operate: Governance; Strategy; Risk Management; and Metrics and Targets.

Oxford Biomedica supports the TCFD framework and Oxford Biomedica have made disclosures consistent with the four TCFD recommendations and the 11 recommended disclosures.  The following table set outs the required disclosures and explains where in our 2021 Annual Report and accounts the various disclosures can be found.  

For further details see our 2021 Annual Report, pages 63-70.

The Group's response

Disclose the organisations governance around climate-related risks and opportunities:

Describe the Board’s oversight of climate-related
risks and opportunities described

Describe management’s role in assessing and
managing climate-related risks and opportunities

The Board is accountable for overseeing the delivery of the Group’s climate-related risk and opportunities. The SET is responsible for delivering on these objectives within their functional areas.

The Board and the SET are supported by a cross-functional ESG Committee which was chaired by the CEO in 2021 and is currently chaired by Nick Page, until such time as a new CEO is appointed, who work to define the Group’s ESG strategy and to set objectives and targets related to climate related risks and opportunities.

Disclose the actual and potential impacts of climate related risks and opportunities on the Group’s business, strategy and financial planning where information is material:

Describe the climate-related risks and opportunities the organisation has identified over the short, medium and long term

Describe the impact of climate-related risks and opportunities on the organisation’s business, strategy, and financial planning

Describe the resilience of the organisation’s strategy, taking into consideration different climate-related scenarios, including a 2°C or or lower scenario

Oxford The Group’s environmental strategy and objectives are described in the Group’s Environmental, Social and Governance Report and the TCFD report.

The Group is committed to minimise the impact of its operations on the environment by adopting responsible environmental practices and complying with applicable environmental legislation.

The Group, during 2022, is looking to develop a strategy to reach net zero by 2040 and details of current actions are described in the Annual report and accounts in the ESG and TCFD reports.

Risk Management:
Disclose how the organisation identifies, assesses and manages climate-related risks:

Describe the organisation’s processes for identifying and assessing climate-related risks;

Describe the organisation’s process for managing climate-related risks; and
Describe how processes for identifying, assessing and managing climate-related risks are integrated into the organisation’s overall risk management.

The Group has assessed the impact of climate change as part of its normal risk management process and concluded that there is likely to be minor future financial risks that would need to be managed and none that would materially impact its business model. These are described in the Risk section and the TCFD report in this Annual report and accounts.

This assessment is consistent with the Sustainability Standards Board’s (SASB) Materiality Map, which indicates that the issue is not likely to be material for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.

Metrics and Targets:
Disclose the metrics and targets to assess and manage relevant climate-related risks and opportunities where such information is material:

Disclose the metrics used by the organisation to assess climate-related risks and opportunities in line with its strategy and risk management process;

Disclose Scope 1, Scope 2 and, if appropriate, Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and related risks; and

Describe the targets used to manage climate-related risks and opportunities and performance against targets.

The Group’s environmental metrics and targets are described in its Environmental, Social and Governance Report. The key targets are:

Minimise waste disposal from laboratories and manufacturing suites;

Reduce carbon emissions by optimising the Group’s energy usage;

Reduce packaging materials (plastics used); and

Use sustainable suppliers.

The Group’s Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 Green House Gas emissions are disclosed in the Environmental, Social and Governance report.

The targets that the Group uses to manage climate-related risks and opportunities and the Group’s performance against targets are disclosed in the TCFD report in this Annual report and accounts.



2022 ESG environmental objectives:

  • Aim to reduce the volume of paper used and offset paper usage by planting trees (become “paper neutral”).
  • Increase recycling by 5%.
  • Develop our NetZero plan for CO2 by 2040 and meet the Group’s TCFD metrics.
  • Gain affiliation to an external agency e.g. SBTI, “My Green Lab” to assist with our 10+ year sustainability plan.