Over and above the many standard measures, Janssen has developed quite a few additional energy saving initiatives in recent years. 

Energy and water team

In 2013 the Campus Energy and Water team, together with operational and technical experts of several departments, further developed its activities. In addition to the identification, initiation and monitoring of improvement projects, this team is involved in raising awareness and in the implementation of 'best practices'. 

In 2013 the team improved the lighting systems of the warehouses and technical areas in Geel, implemented a new disinfection method for purified water (with ozone) in the pharmaceutical production and set up a communication campaign to make people aware of their responsibility. Energy saving projects worth 10 million were approved under impulse of the team. After one year the team had already achieved a decrease of CO2 emission equal to the emission of 440 Flemish households.

Lighting optimization

A best practice for lighting optimization was tested in a pilot project for several types of environment.  

The technical areas and warehouses at the Geel site do no longer have the lights on permanently but are driven by an intelligent yet safe control system. In addition, areas where lights are on quite a number of hours a day are fitted with high-efficiency lamps. These changes result in a decrease of electricity consumption equal to the average annual use of 50 Flemish households and a saving of 48 tons of CO2. After an evaluation we will check whether the project can be rolled out in the entire company.

Cooling plant optimization

Cooling represents 10% of Janssen’s electricity consumption, a major expenditure. Now that the management of the cooling plant in Beerse has been updated, we are making an additional saving of several hundreds of thousands of euros per year. In Geel, process cooling is based on ammonia machines, which consume far less energy than other types of cooling machines.

High-efficiency boilers

In the past we used to produce steam from hot water, but now we produce steam directly from gas via high-efficiency boilers. Their efficiency is approximately 107%, resulting in an impressive cost saving.

LEED certification

Janssen in Geel is the first chemical-development plant in Europe to obtain LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). 

LEED® is an internationally recognized certification system for green buildings, developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Certificates are granted after thorough external inspection and represent a formal confirmation that an ideal combination of energy-saving, efficient water use, CO2 emission restriction and comfort was achieved. The certificate is a major recognition for the conceptual and operational sustainability of the building. Janssen expects to obtain a LEED certification for the distribution center in La Louviere in 2014.

Optimization of ventilation systems

In a pharmaceutical environment with high demands in terms of air quality ventilation is one of the main sources of energy consumption. 

Over the past years several ventilation systems were optimized. These systems, like the new HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) installation in the Powder Unit in Geel now consumes 40% less energy than specified in the industry standard.  The know-how and experience which was put into this project will act as the ultimate benchmark for future projects within parent company Johnson & Johnson.

Installation of low-NOx burners

The investment in these facilities in the boiler house of the Beerse site contributed to the drastic reduction of our nitrous oxide emissions in recent years, and to the results of the environmental agreement essenscia concluded with the Flemish Government with regard to these emissions.

Flue gas heat recovery

Thanks to flue gas heat recovery, about two megawatts can be recovered in heating annually. This could easily be compared to a condensing gas boiler, which is more efficient than an ordinary boiler.

Conversion of fume hoods in laboratories

In 2013 the Green Labs project in Beerse has proved that a lot can be saved in the Janssen labs. 

Employees of different departments formulated several project ideas aimed in the first place at the energy-consuming fume hoods. The project bets on less energy consumption through more technology. The fume hoods at the Janssen lab are actually continuously switched on. One hood consumes about 12 million m³ of air per year. The supply air is heated or cooled in function of the needs at that time

If a hood is used in the most extreme position for one year and without energy recovery, the consumption would cost about €4000 per hood. However, the technology to reduce this consumption is present at the site. The supply air is treated as efficiently as possible by, for example, using energy recovery. The required flow for each hood is also restricted. At the Beerse site about 250 hoods are already fitted with a variable air volume control and another 70 hoods are to follow in Beerse and Geel. 

Combined heat and power plant

In 2013 the combined heat and power plant was officially activated at the Beerse site. 

This installation sustainably converts natural gas into heat and electricity. The heat is used to heat a major part of the research buildings and the electricity is used throughout the site. 

The installation will reduce the CO2 emission (direct and indirect) of the Beerse site with 1.6%, which corresponds to a CO2 emission of 160 Flemish households. We are checking whether the project would also be feasible in Geel. With the principle of combined heat and power Janssen makes a major contribution to the Healthy Future 2015 objectives of Johnson & Johnson. Janssen is also considering the installation of a wind turbine for the site in Geel, in collaboration with some of the surrounding companies. 

Investigating the collection of geothermal energy

Since March 2013 Janssen is looking into the possibility to use deep geothermal energy as a green source of energy. A study conducted by VITO (Flemish Institution for Technological Research) shows that ground water at a depth of 2.4 kilometers is about 90 degrees and at 3.5 kilometers about 120 degrees hot. 

Mining earth heath is a technical challenge because of the great depth. The principle is very simple: hot water is pumped to the surface from a groundwater layer, the heat is taken out in a power plant and the cooled water is injected again into the deeper layers of the earth a few miles further. This generates a closed circulation. 


The heat of the earth is green and very reliable. It is not harmful to the environment and there is no CO2 emission. Geothermal energy is a very reliable source because it is locally available and inexhaustible. 

The price for the use of geothermal energy is stable, as opposed, for example, to the major price fluctuations on the natural gas or oil markets.According to calculations Janssen would emit about 16,000 tonnes of CO2 less. This is 33% less than today. 16,000 tonnes of CO2 corresponds to the emission caused by 4000 traditional houses.

Whether the earth’s internal heat will effectively be used for own energy needs at Janssen will become clear in 2014. The company needs to conduct more studies in this respect and also needs the support of the Flemish government. 


For Janssen, ecological sustainability starts from the development of new products, with the application of green chemistry and green technology.

During the production of our medicines, we aim to continuously improve our environmental performance. At the end of the life cycle of our medicines, we take a careful and responsible line in this context.

In this broad field of action, we aim to reduce our ecological footprint as much as possible: fewer raw materials, efficient production through reduced water and energy consumption, and production of less waste and emissions.

This leads to a win-win situation: Janssen minimizes its impact on the environment from the outset, while, at the same time, saving a lot of time and money in the long run.