The health of the planet impacts all life worldwide. Our ambition is to accelerate the delivery of net zero healthcare, proactively managing our environmental impact, and investing in nature and biodiversity
Our approach to Environmental protection
We are using a science-led, patient- centric approach to discover innovative solutions which will help to lower the economic and environmental burden of healthcare. This will help build more sustainable, resilient health systems. It is clear from the 2021 IPPC report that the latest science is telling us we are at a critical point, and we must all increase our efforts to limit the impacts of the climate crisis on our planet.
A systems-level approach is needed to deliver better healthcare outcomes with a lower environmental footprint. We recognise that working in partnership is critical to achieving this, which is why we are a founding member of HRH The Prince of Wales Sustainable Markets Initiative, where Pascal Soriot our Chief Executive Officer is championing the newly launched Health Systems Taskforce. The commitment by 50 countries at the World Health Organization-led COP26 Health Programme to develop ‘climate smart’ healthcare is another strong example of the power of collaboration.
Our focus areas
Ambition Zero Carbon
We are taking bold action on climate because we recognise the connection between healthy people and a healthy planet. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the greatest public health challenges of recent times, but the impact of the climate emergency has the potential to be greater still and is already changing our planet irreversibly.
People and the planet benefit from medicines with the smallest possible environmental impact, while maintaining medical efficacy and safety. As technologies and healthcare systems evolve, so too should solutions to reduce energy, water, material use, waste and pollution generated from designing, manufacturing, and delivering medicines to patients.
We need to shape a resilient, sustainable and healthy future for people and the planet. We should work on the basis of harmony between society and the natural environment. We will only achieve sustainable wellbeing by acting to protect, sustainably manage and restore ecosystems that support a healthy and resilient society. We invest in nature and biodiversity to benefit both planetary and societal health.
Progress on key targets since 2015*:
in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions between 2015 and 2021
reduction in water usage since 2015
in our waste since 2015
of imported electricity is from renewable sources
*as of December 2021, source: Sustainability Report
100% Safe API discharges
for AstraZeneca sites and 91% for supplier sites
in Australia, Indonesia and UK, further AZ Forest programmes in progress
science-based targets verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in line with their Net Zero Standard
4 brands included
in internal pilot of Product Sustainability Index (PSI)
Restoring forests and biodiversity
AZ Forest is our global initiative to plant and maintain 50 million trees worldwide by the end of 2025, in partnership with local governments and non-profit organisations focused on global reforestation and building back communities.
Reforestation helps support disease prevention through combatting air pollution which results in cleaner air. Planting trees also helps to reduce the risks of natural disasters, has social and economic benefits for rural communities, and promotes physical and mental wellbeing.
Water is a limited natural resource and fundamental for life. Clean and plentiful water is also vital for the development and manufacture of medicines. We are committed to preserving and protecting the water supply, particularly in water-stressed areas, and we work to minimise the impact of our operations where we are located, as outlined in our Water Stewardship position statement.
As a result of patient use and manufacture, pharmaceuticals are found in the aquatic environment, typically in nanograms per litre concentrations. We conduct a robust environmental risk assessment for our products and report a programme of safe discharge from manufacturing facilities. As part of our ongoing EcoPharmacoVigilance, we have launched a dashboard with partner Simomics Ltd. to publish the measured environmental concentrations of APIs used in the manufacture of medicines, in line with our commitment to transparency and scientific rigour.