USA – Pfizer has announced its commitment to further reduce its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, aiming to achieve a voluntary net-zero target by 2040, ten years earlier than the expectations of the Net-Zero Standard.

The voluntary Net-Zero Standard asks organizations to reduce emissions to near-zero levels by 2050 and neutralize any residual emissions.

To meet this commitment, Pfizer will need to move away from the use of fossil fuels at an accelerated rate, which will include the use of a fleet of hybrid and electric vehicles, and will encourage suppliers to take similar action.

The company is working with suppliers to encourage a commitment to climate change that includes establishing a GHG baseline by the end of 2022 and setting a reduction target by the end of 2025.

The Net-Zero Standard was first announced by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Other pharma companies that have vowed to comply with the standard include AstraZeneca, Bayer, Biogen, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, and Sanofi.

Pfizer notes that its work to comply with the standard is part of its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities.

The voluntary Net-Zero Standard asks organizations to reduce emissions to near-zero levels by 2050 and neutralize any residual emissions.

The company has also signed a pledge by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that calls on stakeholders in the US healthcare system – including hospitals, health systems, payers, suppliers and pharmaceutical companies – to reduce GHG emissions and ‘build a more climate resilient healthcare infrastructure.’

In line with this pledge, Pfizer aims to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels, and engaging suppliers to catalyze equivalent action, partnering with others to develop alternate technologies to meet the heat and steam demands of its manufacturing, R&D and commercial operations.

The enterprise also plans to transition its fleet of vehicles to hybrid and electric alternates.

Progress report to be made public

As part of the commitment, Pfizer will publicly report on its progress.

Commenting on the commitment, Pfizer chairman and chief executive officer Albert Bourla, said: “The window is closing to minimize the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change, which affects the health of our planet and that of people around the world.

“With urgency of action increasing, we firmly believe that our commitment to accelerate decarbonization of our value chain and achieve the Net-Zero standard can help drive positive change and build a healthier, more sustainable world.

Between 2000 and 2020, the company reduced company emissions by over 60%.

In 2020, Pfizer announced an internal plan to become carbon neutral by 2030 and to reduce Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by 46% from a 2019 baseline.

Scope 1 emissions occur from sources controlled or owned by an organization, Scope 2 are associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat or cooling.

The company has outlined that it remains committed to these 2030 goals as ‘an interim milestone’ toward its new Net-Zero 2040 goal.

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