We are taking bold action on climate because we recognise the interconnection between healthy people and a healthy planet. Guided by our science-based sustainability strategy, we are working closely with partners to decarbonise our operations and to plant and maintain 50 million trees around the world by the end of 2025.
In the UK, two innovative partnerships are helping to drive forward our work to address climate change under our global flagship programmes Ambition Zero Carbon and AZ Forest. The first will enable our UK sites to transition to clean heat and power, helping us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and the other will support the planting over one million trees, delivering a number of sustainability co-benefits including fostering biodiversity.
With heat and power critical to the manufacture of medicines, decarbonising the healthcare supply chain requires access to clean sources of heat. At the end of 2021, we took our first steps towards transitioning to 100% renewable energy for heat and power by announcing a partnership to build a new renewable energy plant with clean energy company Future Biogas. The new plant will generate biomethane1 as a substitute for natural gas to power our sites in Macclesfield, Cambridge, Speke, and Luton.
By utilising crops as a feed source as well as offering farmers diverse cropping opportunities, the new plant will not only add renewable energy capacity to existing UK infrastructure, but will also support the rural and circular economy in the UK.
At AstraZeneca, we are committed to operating in a responsible way that recognises the interconnection between the needs of patients, society and the limitations of our planet. We’re proud to be working in partnership with innovative organisations like Future Biogas to enable the sustainable discovery, development and manufacture of medicines and vaccines.
Beyond delivering emissions reductions, we are also focused on protecting and restoring ecosystems. As part of AZ Forest, we have partnered with Forestry England and Borders Forest Trust – alongside our global partner One Tree Planted – to launch a £1.9 million multi-year programme that will see over one million trees planted across the UK by the end of 2025. This investment will support new reforestation projects including near our sites in Cambridge and Macclesfield, as well as in Southern Scotland.
The AZ Forest programme will involve local volunteers and our UK employees to plant, monitor, and help maintain woodlands across the nation’s forests which Forestry England cares for. Employees and volunteers will replace dead or damaged trees to ensure optimum tree survival.
As a company that puts the health of people and our communities at the forefront of everything we do, we are committed to ensuring we do right by the planet. This reforestation initiative in the UK is an important part of our commitment to plant 50 million trees worldwide by the end of 2025, with planting already underway in Australia, Indonesia and France.
Collaborating with partners across our value chain is critical to the success of Ambition Zero Carbon and AZ Forest. By working with stakeholders across sectors, we can implement innovative solutions at scale and drive system-wide change to build a healthier planet.
1. IEA (March, 2020) An introduction to biogas and biomethane. Online: https://www.iea.org/reports/outlook-for-biogas-andbiomethane-prospects-for-organic-growth/an-introduction-to-biogas-and-biomethane [Last accessed: 10 December 2021]