Roche: Natural capital protocol application to Swiss operational sites

Roche applied the Natural Capital Protocol primarily to inform stakeholders about the impacts and dependencies of our direct operations.

We wanted to understand what our impacts and dependencies equate to when monetized and to be able to communicate important updates about our work to stakeholders.

We recognize that our business impacts society positively and negatively and this is why we performed a full natural capital monetization exercise from both business and societal value perspectives.

We did not specifically apply the Protocol to inform commercial decision making. Instead, we were interested to understand how the Protocol aligned with, confirmed to and could potentially improve our existing procedures.

Natural Capital Protocol used
  • Yes
Impact drivers assessed
  • Disturbances e.g. decibels and duration of noise/light
  • Fresh water ecosystem use e.g. wetlands, ponds, rivers
  • GHG emissions e.g. volume of CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, HFCs and PFCs etc.
  • Impact on biodiversity e.g. impact on species, ecosystems, habitats or genetic diversity
  • Non-GHG air pollutants e.g. PM2.5, PM10, VOCs, NO, NO2, SO2, CO, etc.
  • Solid waste e.g. volume of waste by classification, materials constituents or disposal method
  • Terrestrial ecosystem use e.g. area of agriculture by type, area of forest plantation by type
  • Water pollutants e.g. volume discharged to receiving water body
  • Water use e.g. volume of ground- or surface water consumed
Organizational Focus
  • Corporate
Valuation Type
  • Quantitative
  • Monetary
  • Value to business
  • Value to society
Geographical Scope
  • Switzerland
Dependencies assessed
  • Energy e.g. solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biofuel, fossil fuel
  • Materials e.g. wood fiber, genetic resources, metals, minerals, plant and animal materials
  • Regulation of biological environment e.g. pollination, crop pest control
  • Water e.g. fresh or sea water
Value Chain Boundary
  • Direct operations
  • Healthcare

Key findings

Our assessment found that the business benefits outweigh the business costs associated with natural capital dependencies and resource inputs.

The GHG emissions societal cost represented around 5% of the Swiss operations’ net income, and the full negative societal costs (excluding societal benefits) represented around 6.2% of net income. This is based on a company average profit of 18.7% and Swiss operational turnover of CHF 497 million for 2015.

This suggested that our activities’ cost to society was relatively low compared to the turnover of our operations.

We continue to gain further insight into our negative impacts. GHG emissions create our largest impact (80%). We also measure water consumption and chemical discharges to waterways. We can conclude that our sites in Switzerland are well managed from a natural capital perspective, with no immediate concerns.

The Protocol complemented our sustainability initiatives very well, including methodologies such as carbon disclosure and risk assessment. We recognized that external assistance was helpful to translate outputs into monetary values.