The climate emergency is an environmental and public health crisis. It is already changing our planet irreversibly, with warming reaching critical tolerance thresholds for human health and wildlife. We have an opportunity to ‘reset’ and create a more sustainable world for people and the planet – together and without delay.
Our approach to Environmental protection
We are focused on delivering net zero healthcare and working with our partners to achieve this. We’re also protecting the environment – by proactively managing our environmental impact across all products and activities, becoming more circular in our use of the planet's finite natural resources, and investing in nature-based solutions to support greater biodiversity.
In addition, we identify and manage risks and opportunities for our business to ensure continued resilience in the face of climate challenges and the transition to a low carbon economy. These are reported through the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), with further information available here.
Ambition Zero Carbon
Through our flagship Ambition Zero Carbon programme, we are on track to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations by the end of 2025. We also aim to become carbon negative across our entire value chain by 2030 and we are working with our partners to achieve this.
Our climate strategy is verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and we were one of seven companies globally to receive this verification in line with the SBTi’s world-first net-zero corporate standard in October 2021.
We are also an early supporter of the UN-backed Race to Zero. In addition, we were the first pharmaceutical company to sign up to all three of the Climate Group’s RE100, EV100 and EP100 initiatives, and in October 2021 we were one of only 17 companies out of over 500 global companies to have done so.
We will eliminate carbon emissions from our operations by the end of 2025 (Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions).
We have committed to:
- doubling energy productivity
- using 100% renewable energy for power and heat
- switching to a fully electric vehicle fleet
- eliminating F-Gas emissions at our sites
We will become carbon negative across the entire value chain by 2030 (Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions).
We have committed to:
- transition to our next-generation respiratory inhaler with near-zero climate impact propellants
- explore how to ‘design in’ sustainability across product lifecycles and embed net zero into the cost of goods
- engage with our suppliers to reduce emissions in the network
in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions between 2015 and 2020
in greenhouse gas emissions from fleet since 2015
in water usage since 2015 and 2% reduction in waste
of imported electricity is from renewable sources
*as of December 2020, source: Sustainability Report
of active pharmaceutical ingredient discharges from AstraZeneca sites demonstrated as safe in 2020
in Australia, Indonesia and France, further AZ Forest programmes in progress
science-based targets verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in line with their Net Zero Standard
Double A listed
on the CDP rankings for Climate Change and Water Security every year since 2016.
Restoring forests and biodiversity
AZ Forest is our global initiative to plant and maintain 50 million trees worldwide by the end of 2025, in partnership with local governments and non-profit organisations focused on global reforestation and building back communities.
Reforestation helps support disease prevention through combatting air pollution which results in cleaner air. Planting trees also helps to reduce the risks of natural disasters, has social and economic benefits for rural communities, and promotes physical and mental wellbeing.
We manage the impact of our products on the environment from discovery in the lab through to the end of a product's life, to deliver medicines which improve patient outcomes with the lowest environmental footprint. To achieve this, we evaluate all materials and processes used to make our products, and our scientists proactively investigate opportunities to deliver circular solutions across our product value chains.
Water is a limited natural resource and fundamental for life. Clean and plentiful water is also vital for the development and manufacture of medicines. We are committed to preserving and protecting the water supply, particularly in water-stressed areas, and we work to minimise the impact of our operations where we are located, as outlined in our Water Stewardship position statement.
Waste can have adverse impacts on the environment and human health through pollution. We focus on preventing and reducing waste wherever possible, then prioritising the reuse, recycling, repurposing and safe disposal of the waste materials we produce.
As a result of patient use and manufacture, pharmaceuticals are found in the aquatic environment, typically in nanograms per litre concentrations. We conduct a robust environmental risk assessment for our products and report a programme of safe discharge from manufacturing facilities. As part of our ongoing EcoPharmacoVigilance, we have launched a dashboard with partner Simomics Ltd. to publish the measured environmental concentrations of APIs used in the manufacture of medicines, in line with our commitment to transparency and scientific rigour.
Veeva ID: Z4-39263
Date of preparation: December 2021