Our environmental sustainability strategy sets ambitious 2020 goals, including a 25% reduction in our carbon footprint, a 20% reduction in water use, zero waste to landfill, and almost doubling our mass efficiency – the efficiency with which we use materials in our new pharmaceutical products.
By 2050, we aim to be carbon neutral across our entire supply chain. Find out what we are doing to achieve these goals.
We believe it is possible to grow our business and to provide access to healthcare products to an increasing number of people across the world while at the same time protecting the resources we need for the future and safeguarding the environment. However, we also realise that we won’t be able to meet this ambition unless we focus on the key environmental sustainability issues across our whole value chain from acquiring raw materials, through product manufacture, distribution, use and disposal product disposal. With this principle in mind our strategy focuses on:
- carbon dioxide and other emissions that contribute to climate change
- water use
- waste reduction
- environmental stewardship
Reducing our carbon footprint
Our long term goal is to be carbon-neutral across our value chain by 2050. This means not just managing emissions in the value chain but also looking at fundamentally more resource efficient technologies to make our products.
An area of immediate priority is reducing the emissions from our own operations. We are doing this not only by investing in year on year energy efficiency improvements but through renewable energy. As part of this effort, we have started to switch our coal-burning factories in India to using biomass. If successful, rolling out this strategy could dramatically reduce our carbon emissions and could also help build local economies by creating a market for waste that previously had limited value.
Understanding and reducing the impact of our products
We analyse the environmental impact of our products and look for areas to reduce our overall environmental footprint. One area where we can significantly improve our footprint is through collecting and recycling our inhaler products. A recent small scale pilot inhaler recycling scheme recovered plastics and propellants equivalent to 35 tonnes of CO₂ emissions.
Reducing our water use
We have a target to achieve a 20% reduction in water consumption across our business by 2015. We work at site-level in our operations to identify opportunities to reduce water usage. In addition, we are active in the UN CEO Water Mandate, where we are co-sponsors of work to develop disclosure guidelines and to help to understand how we can assess our water use impact across our value chain.
Reducing and recycling waste
Our target is to avoid creating any waste that has no further use. That is why we have set a target of zero operational waste to landfill by 2020. Innovations drive down waste in many ways. For example, employees at Xochimilco, Mexico found a way to use the panelling from our refrigerated vaccines shipping packaging as an insulation material for the construction industry. Reusing these materials avoids 64 tonnes of waste a year, which we previously paid to send to landfill.