Spark Voices

Inside Spark

Building a More Sustainable Spark

At Spark® Therapeutics, we’re committed to breaking barriers in everything we do, from science to sustainability.

Spark Therapeutics’ facilities are our homes for innovation. As we work within them to create a world where no life is limited by genetic disease, we’re also investing in these structures to improve our sustainable practices so that we can protect our environment for future generations.

In the United States, buildings account for approximately 38% of all carbon dioxide emissions and 73% of all electricity consumption.* As the global climate continues to warm, companies must prioritize environmental sustainability just like any other business objective for the sake of our people and our planet. Spark is no different, and we recently completed renovations to our 3025 Market Street building in Philadelphia. These changes, which are expected to significantly reduce our energy and resource consumption, have earned Spark its first LEED Gold certification.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” and is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The program sets a benchmark for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED-certified buildings are more energy and resource-efficient, reducing stress on the environment and helping to cultivate healthier indoor spaces.

Guided by this sustainability framework, our team renovated and optimized the building, resulting in the following enhancements:

  • Water Use Reduction: Approximately 190,000 gallons of water saved per year
  • Energy Use Optimization: Over 10% reduction in annual energy costs
  • Carbon Reduction: 338 metric tonnes of carbon avoided per year, equivalent to removing 73 cars from the road*
  • Construction Waste: 75% of waste diverted from landfills, amounting to 3.4 million pounds of diverted waste

Our facilities are more than just office spaces, laboratories, and manufacturing — they are where we collaborate to drive the next generation of medicine forward. The renovations we’ve made to the 3025 Market Street building will certainly benefit the surrounding environment and create healthier conditions for our team members working there. But these improvements will also indirectly impact our most important stakeholders: the people and families living with rare diseases.

By optimizing and reducing our water and energy usage, we can lower operating costs and direct more resources into our ultimate mission of delivering potentially life-altering therapies for those affected by genetic disease. In fact, from 2015 to 2018, LEED-certified buildings generated an estimated $2.1 billion in total savings due to reductions in energy, water, maintenance, and waste costs.*

Operating our business in an environmentally responsible way is ingrained in our corporate strategies as we work to break barriers. As a company, we have a responsibility to our employees, our communities and our industry to build a more sustainable future, and I applaud Spark for taking this important step.

— Cynthia Pussinen, Chief Technical Officer, Spark Therapeutics

*Source: http://leed.usgbc.org/leed

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