Responsible supply chain

What is Responsible supply chain at AstraZeneca?

Company processes for sourcing external resources, including building robust supplier relationships with considerations of suppliers' environmental and social practices.

Our approach

We aim to work only with suppliers whose values are consistent with our own and who are committed to building trusted, respected and sustainable businesses. Throughout the life of our relationship with each supplier, we seek to ensure that their conduct matches the expectations outlined in our Global Standard Expectations of Third Parties. AstraZeneca a member of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) and supports its principles for Responsible Supply Chain Management for ethics, labour, health and safety, environment, and related management systems.

We envision a supply chain that delivers commercial benefits to our business and to our partners, while meeting our aspiration for supply chain sustainability – creating a supply chain that is inclusive, resilient and transparent. 


Our targets and progress


Suppliers create value for all employees and people within their local communities.



Suppliers’ operations are adaptive to climate change and resource scarcity.



Sustainability practices across our worldwide supply chain are readily verified


Our stories

Supplier Summit and Awards

In December 2018, we hosted a Supplier Summit, the first of its kind in AstraZeneca. This Summit provided an opportunity for two-way dialogue between our Global External Sourcing organisation and critical direct suppliers on strategy, priorities, aspirations and improvement opportunities. A key focus of the event was to develop a shared vision of partnership, and to create the foundation for future transparency, trust and collaboration on which those partnerships depend. Our first-ever Supplier Sustainability Award was launched at the Supplier Summit. We recognised suppliers for their outstanding contributions to improve their sustainability performance.

Assessing the sustainability of our supply chain

We aim to work only with third parties that have values consistent with our own. To scale our collective impact, we created the Sustainability Partner Guide and Framework to set clear expectations for our critical direct suppliers. This framework provides a common way for our sourcing teams to assess and reward sustainability performance across three categories.

Category 1

  • Meeting minimum standards on any industry sustainability assessments

Category 2

Setting sustainability goals and targets within your business

  • Being transparent about performance

Category 3

  • Increasing sustainability leadership efforts


We are confident that our leading partners will continue to redefine the future of AstraZeneca, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a sustainable business. This category includes initiatives such as CDP, RE100, and Science Based Targets. It also incentivises sustainable procurement programmes and allows for further flexibility through other efforts that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Partners that do not achieve excellence in at least one category will be rated as ‘sustainability learners’. Based on the new framework, AstraZeneca has set a new target for 75% of suppliers to achieve ‘Bronze or better’ status by 2025.

In 2018, we made several efforts to support supplier scoring in Category 1: Meeting minimum standards on industry sustainability assessments:

  • Rolled out the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) EcoDesk Environmental Sustainability Assessment to our critical direct suppliers over a 90% spend threshold. This assessment replaced a previous AstraZeneca assessment, with the added benefit of being industry-aligned, which improves efficiency of collectively monitoring our performance.
  • Expanded our due diligence process to include assessing ethics, labour, human rights, environmental and sustainable procurement practices. In 2017, we piloted EcoVadis, a sustainability evaluator, and in 2018 began assessing our critical direct suppliers. We aim to have all critical direct suppliers scored by the end of 2019.