03 Feb, 2022

Novo Nordisk becomes first to achieve Cradle to Cradle Certified® Version 4.0

Novo Nordisk recently became the first company in the world to achieve Cradle to Cradle certification according to the new Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Standard Version 4.0.

The Danish pharmaceutical manufacturer, which is also the first healthcare company in the world to receive Cradle to Cradle Certified for a product, obtained Bronze level certification for its Semaglutide 2.4 mg secondary paperboard packaging.

Circular for Zero

The new certification is part of Novo Nordisk’s Circular for Zero strategy, designed to help the company achieve its zero impact ambitions through a circular economy business model and mindset. In particular, the strategy focuses on the use of renewable energy in production, the design of eco-friendly products, and working with suppliers who share the company’s circular ambitions.

Key Insights

To understand more about their raw materials and the impact of their manufacturing processes, Novo Nordisk used the Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 framework for practically applying their Circular for Zero commitments to the development of the new Semaglutide 2.4 mg packaging.

The certification process provided Novo Nordisk with deeper understanding of the company’s value chain, opening up new pathways for closer collaboration with suppliers, and revealing opportunities to set new supplier requirements for circular economy models. Working with suppliers through the Material Health assessment stage of certification also gave the company better information about what is actually in the product packaging, and assurance that those materials are not harmful to humans and the environment.

Looking Ahead

Beyond supplier engagement and product innovation, the certification journey has also helped inform Novo Nordisk’s leadership and future-proofing strategies. As the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry steps up to take responsibility for its environmental impacts, the company is using findings from its first Cradle to Cradle certification to inform initiatives to accelerate industry-wide product circularity, such as take-back programs for medical devices.