Environmental protection

Demonstrating global leadership to proactively manage our environmental impact across all our activities and products

Our approach to Environmental protection

Climate change is now a climate crisis. It is impacting human health and the biosphere in increasingly severe ways. We are taking bold action on climate because we recognise the strong connection between a healthy planet and healthy people.

We envision a future where we help restore our planet to health by:

  • Maximising our positive environmental impacts and minimising our negative impacts, while improving health outcomes

  • Working in harmony with society and the natural environment, embracing a more circular mindset to how we innovate

  • Decoupling our growth from our use of natural resources

Our Environmental protection material focus areas

These focus areas reflect the outcome of a materiality assessment, a robust process that determines the topics that are most important to AstraZeneca and our stakeholders, giving us the opportunity to achieve the most positive impact. Click on the icons below to read more about each area.

Key performance indicators

We assess our performance by the delivery of annual key performance indicators and long-term sustainability targets for each material focus area. The following KPIs are based on 2020 data. 

We recognise that several of these measures were impacted by the pandemic and may not reflect a typical trajectory. Independent external assurance for these KPIs was provided by Bureau Veritas as described in the sustainability letter of assurance. See the Sustainability Data Summary for all KPIs, targets and methodology. 


reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions since 2015

CDP recognition

Ranked on the CDP A list for Climate Change and Water Security for the fifth consecutive year


reduction in our water use since 2015


of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) discharges from suppliers demonstrated as safe [1]


life cycle assessment study completed for a clinical trial


reduction in our waste since 2015

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The UN SDGs are a universal blueprint for prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. They represent the collective actions the world can take to address the most pressing issues we face as a global community — inequality, injustice, poverty and climate change. Click on the arrows below to learn about AstraZeneca's contribution to the SDGs.

Environmental protection highlights

These are our signature programmes, partnerships and commitments. Click on each box to learn more. 

Reporting, policies and position statements


1. Scope is 48 APIs for which data is available to calculate safe API discharge limits and based on 2019 manufacture.