Now is the time for climate action. We know that. You know that. The Earth knows it.
Climate change is increasingly affecting our lives, and will only get worse unless we act now. This year, leaders from countries across the globe will meet in Glasgow to increase their ambition to meet their climate targets, but what about the industry? Thermo Fisher ScientificTM has committed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and we want to build on this ambition with the IsoFootprint initiative.
IsoFootprint is a new initiative launched by the Inorganic Mass Spectrometry (IOMS) team to set the pathway toward true net-zero. The aim of IsoFootprint is to remove 100 percent of CO2 emissions associated with our products and their supply chain by 2030 (Scope 1-3), through investment in a range of carefully selected, high-quality carbon dioxide removal (CDR) projects.
“We fully appreciate that such specialized instrumentation with unique manufacturing processes cannot be decarbonized instantaneously,” said Chris Cascella, the new general manager for Inorganic Mass Spectrometry at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “However, what we can do immediately is make sure that what we manufacture is net-zero.”
The purpose of IsoFootprint is to produce net-zero mass spectrometers. This will start with the introduction of a new net-zero gas Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS) and will also be back-dated to include the Thermo Scientific NeomaTM MC-ICP-MS. All the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere during the manufacture of these instruments (from the extraction of the raw materials to transport and assembly) will be removed from the atmosphere through investment in CDR projects. The CDR investment will be a combination of short-term (50- 100 year, 78% share), medium-term (100-1,000 year, 15% share) and long-term (>10,000 years, 7% share) CDR projects. These range from accredited short-term projects such as carbon-negative cellulose fiber insulation made from renewable natural resources to medium-term bio-char production to long-term direct air capture projects. The goal is to rapidly scale up the investment in long-term CDR solutions, such that by 2040 all investment is in long-term CDR projects (Figure 1), meaning that the IOMS portfolio can be considered to be true net-zero.
Figure 1: IsoFootprint projection of carbon removal investment.
“It’s incredibly encouraging to see leaders like IOMS prioritizing high-integrity, permanent carbon removal solutions in their sustainability plans,” said Lori Guetre, vice president of business development at Carbon Engineering, a direct air capture company based in Canada. “Consumers understand the gravity of the climate crisis and reach out to us from across the globe to ask how they can help. Thermo Fisher is pioneering the way by providing net-zero products to respond to that customer demand. We believe that evidence-based, true net-zero products will become the sought-after choice as we work together to solve climate change.” The motivation behind the IsoFootprint initiative is two-fold, most importantly, we want to make a meaningful difference in the global climate crisis, but additionally, we want to help our customers achieve their own net-zero targets. Performing science poses a daily dilemma for many of us ― how to balance the obvious importance of scientific research with the reality that labs generate waste and are inherently resource- and energy-intensive. IsoFootprint is one way that Thermo Fisher will help solve the issue of sustainable science and complements a range of other activities that Thermo Fisher are doing to help make your lab more sustainable.
The IsoFootprint campaign runs in parallel to work started by the Green Committee in Bremen, who are decarbonizing the Bremen factory and the products manufactured there. Such decarbonizing measures include making the Bremen factory a supplier of renewable energy to the grid and redesigning the product portfolio to use low-carbon alternative materials.
“We are excited about what lies ahead,” said Fabrizio Moltoni, vice president and general manager of Applied Analytical Technologies,“ and we really hope that customers will join us on our journey towards a greener future.”