GSK announced as a Principal Partner of COP26 UN Climate Change Conference

For media and investors only

Issued: London UK

  • Builds on and contributes to company target of being carbon net zero and nature net positive by 2030
  • As Principal Partner, GSK will drive action on climate, nature and health targets in support of COP26 ambitions
  • Plan to initiate new partnerships to better understand impact of climate change and nature loss on health outcomes
  • Forms part of focused ESG approach to deliver sustainable long-term performance and reduce risk for shareholders

GSK has been confirmed as a Principal Partner of the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26), to be hosted in Glasgow by the UK government under its joint Presidency with Italy, in November 2021.

GSK is the COP26 Principal Partner for the pharmaceutical sector, building on the announcement of the company’s new global environmental sustainability targets in November 2020. Alongside the delivery of global climate and nature targets, the life sciences sector can play a leading role in addressing the health-related impacts of climate change, and this partnership provides an important opportunity to galvanise action across countries and organisations.

GSK Chief Executive, Emma Walmsley, said: “As a global science-based healthcare company, we want to play our part in helping protect and restore the planet’s health, in order to protect and improve people’s health. We know that taking actions to do so will make our business more resilient and support growth in the long term. We strongly believe that COP26 must accelerate global actions and collaborations to protect climate, nature and health and we are delighted to support the UK government with their ambitions for a successful COP26.”

As a Principal Partner, GSK will work closely with the COP26 team and the UK government to plan key climate and health focused events at the Conference, and on launching new initiatives in advance of November 2021 in support of COP26 and GSK’s environment and sustainability targets.

During the COP26 partnership, GSK will focus on several areas, including working alongside other leading health focused organisations to improve understanding and measurement of the impacts of climate change and nature loss on health. This will support improved health resilience globally, including as part of future pandemic preparedness, as we better understand how climate change and nature loss will impact disease burden and patient need so that life science research can respond in the future.

GSK will also leverage its COP26 role to act as a catalyst for the life sciences sector on the Race to Zero, supporting collaborative action on supply chain scope 3 emissions. Through the promotion and development of low carbon medical treatments and new models of care we believe that industry can support healthcare systems transition to net zero and promote climate ambition directly with global networks of peers, supply chains and partners.

Environmental sustainability is a key part of GSK’s focused ESG approach to support the delivery of sustainable long-term business performance, reduced risk and increased social impact.

Key GSK progress since November 2020

As part of progress toward the achievement of its renewed sustainability targets announced in November, GSK is already progressing significant contributory initiatives across its global business, including:

  • From June 2021, GSK will invite proposals from potential partners for the development of nature-based carbon removal projects that can tackle climate change, promote biodiversity and improve public health outcomes. Partners will be announced in late 2021.
  • On 13 May, GSK Consumer Healthcare, the world-leading consumer healthcare business, announced its commitment to make over a billion toothpaste tubes recyclable by 2025 as part of its ongoing sustainability journey. The company is partnering with two global packaging suppliers to launch fully recyclable toothpaste tubes across its specialist and science-based oral health brands.
  • At the White House Leaders Summit on Climate in April 2021, GSK was announced as a participant in the The Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition, an initiative with initial participation from the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other leading companies including Amazon, Airbnb, Bayer, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, Nestlé, Salesforce, and Unilever. Participants will support high-quality emissions reductions from tropical and subtropical forest countries, enabling efforts to reduce and end deforestation. This initiative aims to mobilize at least $1 billion in financing, kicking off what is expected to become one of the largest ever public-private efforts to help protect tropical forests, to the benefit of billions of people depending on them, and to support sustainable development.

These initiatives are in addition to GSK’s good progress on reductions in carbon and nature impact including:

  • a 32% reduction in scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions since 2017
  • 68% of global electricity consumption now from renewable sources
  • Zero waste to landfill across global operations
  • Joining the UN Water Resilience Coalition

Find out more on GSKs Environmental Sustainability Commitments.

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2020 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.