AFRICA – Pharma giants AstraZeneca and Pfizer have reiterated their focus on sustainability with their on-going carbon footprint funding.

AstraZeneca has set scope 1 and 2 target featuring carbon emissions goals – it is aiming to reduce emissions by 98% by 2026 and has achieved 59% against its 2015 baseline.

The company has a US$1 billion Ambition Zero Carbon programme which aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“We have set a net-zero target for 2045. We want 95% of our suppliers to have verified science-based targets by the end of 2025,” Robert Williams, procurement director, AstraZeneca, spoke at the Pharma Integrates conference.

‘That will tell us our supply chain is heading in the same direction. There are lots of aspects of packaging design which are being thought through as we think about how to achieve sustainability goals but also consider natural raw material usage.”

He added that it has been changing its logistics operations – moving up to 64% of volume to sea transport – one of the highest in the industry – to reduce the amount of air transport.

“On logistics and packaging there is an industry wide move to electronic patient information leaflets. The benefits are reduction in the use of paper and natural raw materials as well – which also would contribute to carbon footprint and what we transport around the world,” he added.

“Sustainability is a change journey, and it will probably change more in the next 10 years than it did in the last 10 years.”

Roland Brown, director, analytical R&D, Pfizer, said to improve circularity recycling there was a need for technology changes and innovations in pharma.

The company launched a US$1.25 billion ‘Sustainability Bond’ and insists that it is constantly collaborating across its supply chain to reduce the environmental footprint from packaging.

“In the short term there are things we can do to address it within our existing processes – low hanging fruits that we can reach for now, while acknowledging there are these big technology challenges coming down the track which we don’t know quite how we are going to address,” Ronald said.

“I don’t see a trade-off between safety and sustainability, safety is a given.

“We are ensuring that new facilities we construct are to the absolute very highest standards of energy efficiency and equipment – so as we replace new equipment we do that to a very very high standard. The greenest experiment is the one you don’t do!”

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