Greenhouse gas reduction

What is greenhouse gas reduction at AstraZeneca?

Company operations, such as manufacturing and transportation, emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), contributing to climate change. Emissions from product use are largely discussed in Product environmental stewardship, and we account for this emissions source alongside our entire value chain GHG footprint.


Our targets and progress

Our approach

As a company that follows the science, we use it to inform our climate strategy. We set science-based GHG emissions reduction targets in 2015 and were one of the first companies in the FTSE 350 to have them approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which meant that our targets were in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C. In May 2019, we received confirmation from SBTi that our GHG Scope 1 and 2 targets are consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. Our Scope 3 targets are aligned with current best practice. 

To deliver on our ambitious targets, we must decouple our business growth from additional energy consumption, water consumption and waste generation. Since 2015, we have reduced our GHG emissions from operations by a third and our water consumption by 20%. But now is the time to work faster and do more.

In January 2020, we announced our Ambition Zero Carbon ambition. This accelerates our decarbonisation plans by more than a decade. We are transitioning to a zero carbon business by taking actions to eliminate GHG emissions from our sites and fleet by 2025 and by becoming carbon negative across our entire value chain by 2030. Through to 2030, we will invest up to $1 billion to deliver on these targets.


A full description of our GHG emissions methodology is located in our Sustainability Data Summary.


Our stories

Our Ambition Zero Carbon

Ambition Zero Carbon details our commitment and roadmap to eliminating our carbon emissions from operations by 2025 and ensuring that our entire value chain is carbon negative by 2030.

Our plan sets out to make our operations responsible for zero carbon emissions. Rather than relying on offset schemes to reach zero emissions, we will not emit COin the first place.

To achieve this, we will:

  • Double energy productivity
  • Use 100% renewable energy for power and heat
  • Switch to a fully electric vehicle fleet
  • Eliminate F-Gas emissions at our sites
  • Launch our next-generation respiratory inhaler to treat asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) with near-zero climate impact propellants

To achieve our goals, we need the right infrastructure in place around the world. We will advocate for policy change and drive cross-industry partnerships solutions, as well helping suppliers set science-based targets and make renewable energy commitments.

AZ Forest

Alongside our work to eliminate carbon emissions from its own operations, we also recognise the direct link between reforestation and the impact it can have on both the climate and human health. Trees naturally remove CO2 and are essential to mitigate the effects of climate change.

AZ Forest is a 50-million tree reforestation initiative that will be rolled out to 2025. In partnership with local governments and One Tree Planted, a non-profit organisation focused on global reforestation, the first trees will be planted in Australia in September 2020, with France, Indonesia and other countries to follow. This initiative supports WEF’s newly launched ‘ – The Champions for a Trillion Trees’ platform.

For more information click here to find out more.


The road to a healthy planet, healthier people through our fleet

We have joined The Climate Group's EV100 electric transport initiative and EP100, its energy productivity initiative. We also belong to RE100, a global corporate renewable energy initiative. By 2025 we will ensure that all power we use is renewable power and heat. In support of its clean heat objectives, we have joined the Renewable Thermal Collaborative, the leading coalition for organisations committed decarbonising the energy required for heat in buildings and industrial processes. We are the 50th company to join EV100 and the first pharmaceutical company to join all three groups.

Our latest vehicle commitment goes further than our initial Green Fleet initiative, where we committed to achieve a 100% hybrid, plug-in (PHEV) or Electric Vehicle (EV) fleet in Europe, North America and Japan by 2025. Instead we expect to achieve 100% EV fleet in the same timeframe, with the switch saving the planet over 80,000 metric tonnes of COevery year.

Our Only Future

We were one of the first of 177 companies that responded to a call-to-action on climate by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)1. As part of this group, we have committed to set climate targets across our operations and value chains aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. The Our Only Future campaign is a natural step on our carbon strategy, as our targets were previously below the 2°C level.

Read more about greenhouse gas reduction in our Sustainability Report.