Environmental protection

Putting the planet at the heart of human health

Our objective

We aim to reduce environmental impacts on human health and the natural world, using innovative science to find new ways to conserve our natural resources and ensure the environmental safety of our products.

2017 Highlights


of our power is sourced from renewable sources

CDP A lists

on the CDP Climate A list and Water A list, for the second year running, for our actions and disclosures on climate change and water stewardship

Reduced by 7%

our operational greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint against our 2015 baseline

2017 SDG Highlights


of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) discharges from sites were safe

Increased by 2%

waste, due to increasing activity across our site network

Reduced by 10%

our water footprint


Our scientific approach to environmental sustainability reduces our environmental impact by protecting our air, land and water, reducing our dependence on natural resources and ensuring the environmental safety of our products. We have taken the position of industry leaders on the issue of pharmaceuticals in the environment.

Our stories

Sourcing 100% renewable electricity

Our commitment to source 100% renewable power worldwide by 2025 is guiding our decision-making around energy. We are looking at where we buy our energy, but also ways we can generate our own, including installing a highly efficient heat pump at our Gothenburg site. It electrifies some of the site’s heat demand and has the potential to replace over 60% of site natural gas consumption.

Redesigning packaging to reduce waste

We are conducting several ongoing packaging reduction and recycling pilot projects. In 2017, we successfully transitioned to new, more efficient packaging for an oncology medication in Japan. We changed the blister-style packs from aluminium sheets of seven tablets to transparent sheets of 14 tablets. This change addressed the preference of patients, pharmacists and doctors to see the tablets in pockets and resulted in: • improved customer satisfaction • improved manufacturing efficiency • decrease in costs by 40% per sheet • reduction in waste of 10% • reduction in carbon footprint of 22%.

Reducing environmental impacts throughout a product’s life cycle

Our pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs), typically used for the treatment of respiratory conditions such as asthma, rely on HFA propellants. When released, these gases represent over half of our 2017 operational greenhouse gas footprint. In 2017 we continued to explore practical opportunities to reduce the climate impact of these devices while fulfilling patient needs, such as by substituting the propellant for an alternative with a lower climate impact. We are continuing to conduct research to assess the feasibility of technologies that could potentially lower the impact of our inhalers.

Read more about environmental protection in our Sustainability Report.

To view our policies, standards and positions, visit our Resources page.

Environmental risk data relating to our medicines

Here you can find an overview of the environmental risk of AstraZeneca’s medicines. This information will be updated, if appropriate, as new data becomes available. See Environmental risk data relating to our medicines