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What is Industry doing?

What is industry doing?
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What is industry doing about sustainability? Here are some examples. We would also like you to think about whether we should be and how best to engage with industrial partners to create a sustainable healthcare future.

What are pharmaceutical companies doing?

As one of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change, pharmaceutical companies (pharma) are morally obliged to adapt their processes and operations to more environmentally and planetary sustainable methods.

In 2019, the pharmaceutical industry produced 48.55 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) for every $1m (£780 thousand) it generated.

  • This places it above the car industry, which emitted 31.4 tons per $1m generated in the same year, in terms of contributing to global greenhouse gases (GHGs).
  • Pharma also currently accounts for almost one quarter (23%) of global water usage.
  • Pharma is incredibly reliant on global supply chains and its need for vast quantities of water make it particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
  • Climate change can impact most points in the Pharma supply chain, from raw material sourcing to end-product distribution, and poses a range of short- and long-term risks.
  • Adverse weather events can cause raw material supply delays, unplanned production downtime, transportation delays and cold chain storage breakdowns.

Therefore, it is in their interest that the climate does not exceed 1.5degC!

Some of the biggest pharmaceutical names have signed up to a renewable energy initiative that aims to decarbonise the supply chain and increase access to renewables, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and large-scale water consumption.

  • In 2022 CEOs from AstraZeneca, GSK, Merck KGaA, Novo Nordisk, Roche, Samsung Biologics and Sanofi announced joint action to achieve “near-term emissions reduction targets”, “accelerate the delivery of net zero health systems” and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Health Systems Task Force.
  • These companies have committed to decarbonise in three priority areas, which they have identified as drivers of the greatest positive impact in the sector: supply chains, patient care pathways, and clinical trials.

They have published three white papers outlining practical recommendations and scalable actions:

  • Decarbonising Healthcare Supply Chains
  • Decarbonising Patient Care Pathways
  • The Digital Solution for Sustainability in Clinical Research

Baby steps, but positive steps!

The PDF below sites positive environmental change projects headed by the pharmaceutical industry. Can you find any other stories like these in your area? Add the link in the comments box to share with your fellow learners.

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How to Drive Sustainable Healthcare: Educate, Engage, and Empower

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