Two people in the park with pushing a pram

Managing our environmental impact is a key
aspect of being a responsible business.

We are committed to environmental stewardship across the product lifecycle, from discovery and development, through manufacturing, marketing, use and ultimately disposal. We are also committed to minimising the environmental impact of our operations by reducing the carbon footprint and natural resource demands of our own and our suppliers’ business activities.

Our responsible business objectives are closely aligned to our strategic business priorities and the environment is one of the three areas we have identified for special focus. It’s an important part of our overall commitment to responsible business and it also makes good business sense.

For example, work to reduce our carbon footprint and our use of natural resources brings benefit for the environment and for our business from the associated cost efficiencies. Similarly, our efforts to minimise the waste we produce includes making improvements to our production processes which can also boost manufacturing efficiency. Our research into the long-term effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment and work to improve the environmental profile of our medicines means we are helping to safeguard the environment for future generations while also protecting our business against potential long-term financial and reputational risk.

During 2013 we continued work to deliver our SHE strategy and associated objectives and targets for 2011-2015. These are aligned with our business objectives and provide the framework for driving our environmental sustainability going forward.

Environmental sustainability

Our objective is to minimise the environmental impact of our operations by reducing the carbon footprint and natural resource demands of our own and our suppliers’ business activities. This includes leveraging programmes like LEAN and responsible procurement to improve our efficiency and sustainability proportionate to our environmental footprint.
Our biologics business is now integrated into the environmental sustainability targets below, keeping the targeted improvement levels as previously reported. Targets are based on our 2015 performance against a 2010 baseline.

Our targets are:

  • Greenhouse gas: 20% reduction in greenhouse gas footprint. Read more
  • Waste: 15% waste reduction (hazardous and non-hazardous). Read more
  • Water: Reduce water usage by 25%. Read more
  • Supply chain: Understand the related footprint and prioritise reduction targets. Read more

Product environmental improvement

Our objective is to continue to improve the environmental profile of our products through further integration of environmental considerations into a medicine’s full lifecycle – from discovery and development, through manufacturing, marketing, use and ultimately disposal.

Our targets:

  • Supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients: Safe discharges of APIs and specific material efficiency targets for R&D projects. Read more
  • Unused medicines: Encourage local initiatives and promote safe disposal by patients. Read more
  • Data transparency: All environmental data publicly available. Read more

†: We have removed our previously declared packaging target, for a 15% improvement in material efficiency, as we recognise the complexities of achieving such an ambitious target was diverting attention from higher impact areas of our environmental activities. Improving the sustainable design, manufacture, supply and disposal of packaging will continue to be pursued as opportunities are identified.

What's next in this section

Pharmaceuticals in the environment

We are committed to understanding the wider exposure and presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment.

Read more

Product environmental improvement

Our objective is to continue to improve the environmental profile of our products by various means.

Read more

Did you know?

We have a global Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) function dedicated to leading, managing and monitoring our commitment to managing our environmental impact and to promoting the safety, health and wellbeing of our employees. Read more about: