With less than 100 days to go until COP26, AstraZeneca Head of Environmental Protection, Professor Jason Snape, joined UK diplomat and Head of US Climate Network, Paul Rennie OBE, on a podcast to discuss the role of industry and governments in accelerating the delivery of net zero healthcare. This was hosted by US-based BioHealth Innovation Inc. CEO, Richard Bendis.
Jason underscored the rationale behind AstraZeneca’s sustainability approach: we are taking bold action to address the climate crisis because we recognise that there is an inherent connection between a healthy planet and healthy people. It’s also the right thing to do; making sense from both a business and broader economic perspective.
As Jason explains in the podcast, our mission is not just about getting AstraZeneca to net zero; instead, we need to take a systems-wide approach and become more circular in our use of natural resources – by recycling, reusing and minimising the creation of waste and emissions across the value chain of discovering, developing and supplying medicines and vaccines to people around the world. Industry must work in increasing harmony with the natural world – to safeguard the wellbeing of people as well protect our planet’s ecosystems which have already been damaged by an overreliance on fossil fuels.
Partnering with governments, healthcare systems, suppliers, investors and academia among other stakeholders is critical to accelerating the sustainable transition of the whole healthcare sector. This was echoed by the UK Government’s Paul Rennie, who highlighted the importance of successful public-private sector collaboration, including through initiatives such as the UN-backed Race to Zero, of which AstraZeneca was an early supporter.
At AstraZeneca, partnerships are at the heart of our approach. We are a patron sponsor of the UN Global Compact’s Climate Action platform as well as its Belt and Road Initiative which aims to build sustainable and resilient healthcare infrastructure to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals. Through our flagship $1bn ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ programme, AstraZeneca has committed to producing zero carbon emissions from our global operations by 2025, as well as being carbon negative across our entire value chain by 2030.
Achieving these goals will require unprecedented collaboration, particularly for our ‘Scope 3’ emissions. We are well on track to deliver on our 2025 targets and are partnering with organisations across our value chain to help them achieve their own net zero targets, where there are synergies with our Scope 3 commitments.
The road to COP26 and the leaders' summits leading up to it offer a critical opportunity for nations and businesses to unite and actually tackle this crisis head-on. At AstraZeneca, we look forward to continuing to be a part of this journey in the months ahead.