ABPI is working with the NHS Sustainability Unit to look at ways in which the pharmaceutical sector can further reduce its carbon footprint. Examples include reduction in energy consumption, travel commitments, waste and resources.
Below is a list of some examples what companies are doing to reduce their carbon footprint and strive towards a sustainable business:
Pfizer has also introduced state-of-the-art programmes such as the Green Transport Scheme which have a beneficial effect on the environment. Pfizer also aims to reduce the use of energy at their sites and actively encourages their employees to do the same in their own homes.
AstraZeneca believes that their primary responsibility is to reduce their carbon footprint by, amongst other things, improving their own and, where practical, their supply partners' energy efficiency; and by pursuing lower-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels.
recognises that climate change is not just an environmental issue, but also one that affects the health and livelihood of millions of people because of the links to complex issues such as poverty, economic development and population growth. Climate change is one aspect of sustainability and it is not sufficient to deal with climate risks in isolation. The climate issue must be framed in the wider context, including efficient uses of materials; availability of safe, clean water; reducing travel and transport; supply chain accountability; healthcare innovation; and infrastructure improvement.
Climate change requires a holistic approach to find and develop solutions. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for instance have therefore shifted their strategy to focus much more on sustainability and long term goals than mere environmental accounting.
GSK's high priority sustainability issues are:
- Manufacturing efficiency - reducing the amount of raw materials needed to produce a finished product
- Climate change - reducing the climate impacts of our buildings, equipment, transport and products
- Water - reducing the amount of water we use
- Product stewardship - reducing the use of materials of concern and the environmental impacts of our products after use by the patient
- Packaging - reducing the amount of packaging we use and using recyclable and recycled materials
With regard to energy, Novartis
monitors the purchase and use of all types of energy and fuels. Energy use comprises: purchased energy (including electricity, steam and hot water), on-site energy (generated mainly from the combustion of gas, but also other fuels such as oil), and energy from waste and bio-fuels at Novartis sites. On-site energy that is sold to third parties is subtracted. In addition, energy costs are systematically monitored and reported.
In 2005, Novartis made a voluntary commitment to reduce on-site emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) to the level prescribed in the Kyoto protocol: i.e. 5% below the 1990 level for the period 2008-2012. By the time Novartis announced this intention, energy consumption had risen well above the 1990 benchmark level this means that GHG emissions must shrink by about 100 000 tons of CO2 each year to achieve the target. During 2008, Group-wide GHG emissions totalled 404,000 tons. New ways to save energy are being considered and for large investments a review of energy-usage implications by an energy expert is mandatory. New projects are a major focus because it is more effective to build in energy efficiency from the beginning than to revamp an existing system.
Companies are actively embracing environmental strategies on a global scale within their business. At UCB
for instance the aim for 2010 is to develop a global environmental carbon footprint reduction strategy which will run throughout the entire business.