Jul. 15, 2022
Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, has published its inaugural Sustainability Report. The report highlights the company's vision for and approach to sustainability, includes case studies across its ecosystem, and reports data according to leading environmental, social, and governance ("ESG") frameworks.
"Ginkgo is building a horizontal platform for programming cells across organisms in any market and in the process, we're trying to address some of our most difficult environmental and societal challenges," said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. "Engineers often say that technology is neutral; however, we believe that we cannot remain neutral when it comes to the use of biotechnology. We care how our platform is used and about the impact it has on the world."
Ginkgo's inaugural Sustainability Report shares the company's perspectives across three main sections: "The Impact of Cell Programming", which describes how Ginkgo seeks to prioritize environmental stewardship throughout its operations and programs; "Technology isn't Neutral", which sets out Ginkgo's views on its role in society and in its community; and "Ownership is the First Step in Caring", which outlines Ginkgo's governance structures and commitment to worker ownership. The report was guided by key ESG frameworks and standards, as well as a third-party led materiality assessment informed by stakeholder engagement.
"Making biology easier to engineer requires working on not just the technical aspects of programming DNA, but also on how we build our culture, our governance, and our ecosystem," said Christina Agapakis, Head of the Sociotechnical Studio at Ginkgo Bioworks. "This is our first sustainability report as a public company, bringing together the environmental impact, social context, and governance of synthetic biology under our framework for caring how our platform is used. We look forward to sharing our progress and continuing the conversation about the impacts and implications of synthetic biology, because a future where we can grow everything requires care, transparency, and many voices."
One core focus of Ginkgo's ESG framework involves the use of its cell programming platform to positively impact the environment. In recent years, companies have increasingly looked to synthetic biology to reduce emissions and reliance on limited natural resources. Ginkgo's platform has supported a variety of companies and initiatives involved in the development of climate tech, including:
Genomatica, which is seeking to accelerate the world's transformation to sustainable materials by replacing fossil fuel sources with plants;
Joyn Bio and Bayer, which are developing engineered microbes to provide nitrogen for crops to significantly reduce the need for synthetic fertilizer;
Motif Foodworks, which is developing proteins and molecules that make plant-based protein more delicious and contribute to more sustainable food systems; and
Allonnia, which is developing enzymes that degrade harmful plastics and other environmental toxins.
Moving forward, Ginkgo plans to regularly assess its own sustainability impact, working alongside third parties to facilitate the development and availability of evaluation tools useful for the broader bioeconomy ecosystem.
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