Planet and Communities

Planet and Communities

Net Zero and LEED-Certified Buildings

Our site net zero energy and LEED-certified portfolio includes:

  • The Unisphere, a 135,000 square foot site net zero energy and Platinum LEED-certified commercial building in Silver Spring, Maryland 
  • Two additional LEED Gold certified buildings totaling 164,000 square feet on our Silver Spring campus, providing administrative, laboratory, and manufacturing space
  • An 11,000 square foot site net zero energy day care center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
  • A 25,000 square foot site net zero energy ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) facility on the campus of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida 
  • A 10,000 square foot site net zero energy call center in Melbourne, Florida

Going forward, we will strive to ensure all new buildings are “site net zero” to the greatest extent practicable — meaning the building’s operational carbon-equivalent emissions are at zero as it produces as much renewable energy on-site as it consumes in a year. This is accomplished through a variety of technologies, including solar power, geothermal exchange, earth-coupled heating and cooling, and intelligent building automation systems.

Renewable Energy

In conjunction with operating our own solar arrays, United Therapeutics purchases renewable wind energy credits. Collectively, these programs offset 65% of our total annual electricity consumption. We track both utility consumption and solar generation in real time, which allows us to identify irregularities quickly and solve issues promptly to maintain our efficient use of energy.

Sharing our Best Practices

More importantly, we are proactively sharing our experience and developed best practices within the net zero energy design community, as we have welcomed a wide variety of governmental and private groups to tour the Unisphere and learn about its innovative energy-saving features. Members of our Corporate Real Estate team have also presented at regional and national sustainability conferences, along with the architectural firm that designed the facility. Working with the same firm for over a decade, United Therapeutics has developed a close collaborative relationship that has fostered innovative achievements and the ability to grow and learn from shared project experiences.

Other Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability does not stop at the design and construction of our buildings. We have also implemented many other initiatives, including:

  • The use of isolation technology to reduce ISO 5 spaces in our manufacturing facilities (used for aseptic preparation of critical processing activities), which in turn significantly reduces the energy consumption required for HVAC, as well as the consumption of gowning materials
  • Recommissioning many of our older buildings, to improve their energy efficiency and health and wellness impact
  • A comprehensive wastewater program, in close partnerships with local authorities, resulting in industry awards and recognition, including a Silver level award by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission for consistent compliance and wastewater stewardship and an invitation to host the North Carolina Pretreatment Consortium
  • A commitment by our manufacturing operations to continuously look for innovative ways to implement a variety of different recycling and repurposing measures to divert solid waste from landfills, such as:
    • Right cycle – recycling disposable cleanroom and lab apparel into plastic products and durable goods. Over the course of about one year, we estimate that about 1,000 pounds of apparel have been diverted from the landfill
    • Reusing buffer drums as waste collection bins
  • Recycling and composting programs at our main facilities