Elanco breaks ground on new global headquarters

The new site in Indianapolis will feature an environmentally sustainable, employee-focused design and a state-of-the art innovation center.

Artist’s rendering (Courtesy Elanco)

Construction at new location in Indianapolis is expected to be completed in 2-3 years

Elanco Animal Health Inc. has broken ground at the site of its future global headquarters in Indianapolis.

The new site will feature an environmentally sustainable, employee-focused design and a state-of-the art innovation center, the company said on April 12.

“When we talk about the new headquarters, we’re talking about ‘building as a verb, not a noun,’” said Jeff Simmons, Elanco president and CEO, in a press release. “We’re building Elanco’s next era of growth and innovation for one of the industry’s most trusted brands, we’re building paths to help connect Indianapolis’ historic west side with its center, and we’re building a vibrant destination for our nearly 10,000 global employees to collaborate, connect and invent. Finally, we believe Indianapolis is poised to become an epicenter of animal health innovation, and we’re excited to be among the architects building its foundation.”

The planned 220,000 square-foot, six-story office structure and connected innovation and collaboration buildings will occupy 40 acres of the former General Motors Stamping Plant site on the western edge of the White River, creating a greenspace-forward campus expanding White River State Park. The glass-faced building, once constructed, will add to the skyline of Indianapolis, pushing downtown west, connecting the Valley neighborhood with the Circle via a walkable, bikeable corridor with a park, a bus route and enhanced trail system.

Influenced by new concepts of working post-pandemic, the campus is designed to create a more comfortable, casual work environment and serve as a destination for Elanco’s teams to collaborate with:

  • Leading innovation laboratories
  • A variety of work settings, including outdoor work areas, to accommodate neurodiversity
  • An emphasis on open spaces for teams, customers and partners to connect
  • Enhanced interior environmental quality incorporating daylight, active circulation paths, and an air quality monitoring system to ensure adequate fresh air
  • Robust amenities and services designed to accommodate employee flexibility and evolving, personal workstyles while fueling the Elanco culture of ownership and innovation
  • Multi-use collaboration building designed to flex according to needs including a destination for major global customer events and scientific meetings

The new headquarters’ design also supports Elanco’s sustainability pledge, featuring several important environmentally focused sustainability strategies:

  • Planned use of renewable and low-carbon materials such as the timber roof structure, which is designed to avoid nearly 100 tons of emissions
  • Enhanced stormwater management capacity and native plantings on-site will help to manage on-site water use and build long-term resilience
  • Sustainability of location: Redeveloping an idle space instead of developing grassland or greenspace

Animal health epicenter

Elanco’s campus is also designed to serve as the foundation of a planned animal health epicenter in Indianapolis. Developed in collaboration with AgriNovus, the state of Indiana’s food and agriculture initiative, and business incubator High Alpha, the epicenter is expected to include venture studio development “makerspace” and create a scientific discovery network and research clearinghouse that will help position Indiana as a hub for animal health invention.

“Broad access to the world’s animals coupled with a laser focus on creating pathways for innovation is what we believe sets Elanco apart as a sought-after partner,” Simmons said. “We’re building something significant that will make animals, the city and our world better, and we’re designing our new headquarters with those partnerships in mind.”

Two such strategic partnerships have already come to fruition. In February, Elanco announced its initial seed funding to help create and launch Athian in partnership with High Alpha, which was formed to certify, aggregate, and monetize environmental footprint reductions within the food system. This week, Elanco announced the creation of BiomEdit, an animal health microbiome innovation company, in partnership with Gingko Bioworks.

Costs associated with this new headquarters are expected to be offset by the competitive incentive packages offered by the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis. Construction on the facility is expected to commence in the coming months and take approximately two to three years to complete. The company looks forward to continued engagement with state, city and neighborhood officials to facilitate a positive transition for its employees and the surrounding areas.

Elanco announced in December 2020 that it had selected Indiana as its base for future global consolidated operations, anchored by a new streamlined fit-for-purpose global headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.

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