Takeda breaks ground on first zero-emissions building in S'pore's pharmaceutical sector

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said that Takeda's zero carbon building is a positive step towards Singapore's ambitions. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Takeda Pharmaceutical broke ground on Wednesday (Sept 22) on a zero-emissions building, representing a US$14 million (S$19 million) expansion of the Woodlands manufacturing site of one of the world's top 10 drugmakers.

The Japanese company said the net-zero carbon emissions building is a first-of-its-kind site in its global network and within Singapore's pharmaceutical manufacturing and biotechnology industry.

Located next to Takeda's biologics manufacturing plant in JTC's Woodlands Wafer Fab Park, the new building is planned for occupancy by 2022. The park caters to the operating requirements of global semiconductor and biomedical firms.

The building follows standards set under the Singapore Building Construction Authority's (BCA) Green Mark certification scheme.

BCA's Green Mark scheme is an internationally recognised green building rating tool tailored for the tropical climate to evaluate a building's environmental impact and performance throughout its life cycle, and is aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said in his opening remarks at the ceremony that Singapore is committed to a low-carbon future, in line with its international climate action commitments.

"We need both large and small companies, as well as individuals, to do our part to achieve our sustainability goals. Takeda's zero-carbon building is a positive step towards our ambitions, he said.

Earlier this year, the Government unveiled the Singapore Green Plan 2030, which charts out Singapore's path towards a more sustainable future. This includes greening 80 per cent of its buildings through smart and sustainable building solutions.

Mr Thomas Wozniewski, Takeda's global manufacturing and supply officer, said the initiative to build a zero-emission site in Singapore demonstrates Takeda's commitment to deliver on its environmental goals.

"Takeda achieved carbon neutrality in 2020. Now, we are focused on our next step to become net zero by 2040," he said.

The new building, constructed with green concrete, will have 660 solar photo-voltaic panels to fully offset its energy consumption, CO2 sensors to regulate fresh air demand, a hybrid air-conditioning system with help of ceiling fans and thermal diffusers to optimise energy usage and improve air circulation and air flow to ensure user well-being.

The building will also harvest rainwater and have electric-vehicle-charging carpark spaces.

In Singapore, Takeda employs 650 employees across all entities and businesses, which, in addition to the Woodlands manufacturing site, include its Asia-Pacific headquarters and Singapore branch office, Takeda Development Center Asia, and its regional hub office of the growth and emerging markets business unit (GEM BU).

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong (centre), together with Takeda global manufacturing and supply officer Thomas Wozniewski (left) and Japanese Ambassador Jun Yamazaki at the groundbreaking ceremony on Sept 22, 2021. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Mr Ricardo Marek, president of the GEM BU, said: "Singapore will continue to play an essential role in our objective to increase patient access to Takeda's life-changing treatments across the region, and to promote sustainable growth of our business and people, all while helping to play a role in safeguarding our planet."

Mr Jun Yamazaki, the Japanese Ambassador to Singapore, also spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.

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