Big Pharma Goes For Big Solar

Big Pharma goes green? That seems to be the case, at least as far as GlaxoSmithKine (GSK) goes. The mega-corporation was recently recognized  as ranking fifth among the greenest companies in the world by Newsweek–and now, it has begun installing “North America’s largest rooftop solar array” at its Northeast Regional Distribution Center in York, Pennsylvania.

This is big news for a big rooftop–about the size of seven American football fields, to be exact. Nearly 11,000 solar panels are expected to provide for all of the annual electricity needs of this mega distribution center, where (we imagine) familiar GSK products such as Nicorette, Aquafresh, Sensodyne, and TUMS are loaded daily for delivery.


image via GlaxoSmithKline

GSK is installing this impressive array with a little help from the Fed (through government funding, solar incentives and tax credits), and the state (through a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Financing Authority). Four other such solar projects were recently completed at GSK facilities in Upper Providence and Collegeville, Pennsylvania, North Carolina; Belgium and Singapore.

Through projects such as this, as well as by greening six core areas–packaging, total supply, water, product stewardship, climate, and communication–GSK hopes to reduce its energy usage by 45 percent by 2015, compared to 2006 levels.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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