Environmental Sustainability Overview

A healthy planet is essential to human health and the sustainability of our business.

The world’s resources are limited, and over the next few decades the demand for energy, clean water and other natural resources is likely to increase substantially due to population growth and economic development. Additionally, climate change is projected to significantly impact global human health and could present long-term risks to our business.

Our approach

Our company has a long history of environmental stewardship and compliance, but we realize that our strategy and efforts need to continuously improve in order for us to excel in an increasingly resource-constrained world.

We believe that companies have a responsibility to use resources wisely and to drive innovations that will enable global development while protecting and preserving both the planet and the communities in which we live and work.

We participate in industry peer organizations such as the Pharmaceutical Environmental Group (PEG), the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI), The Conference Board, and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA-EHSEG). Through participation in these and other organizations we collaborate on industry best practices, benchmark our progress and performance, and stay apprised of emerging trends and technologies.


The global Environmental Sustainability Center of Excellence (CoE), which is part of Global Safety and Environment, is responsible for the development of the company’s environmental sustainability strategy and goals. The Environmental Sustainability CoE collaborates closely with other key internal stakeholders including, but not limited to, the Energy, Waste, Water, Air and Integrated Facility Management (IFM) CoEs, Sustainable Sourcing, and Packaging. Our Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Council, composed of senior-level executives representing all business units, is responsible for overall EHS governance.

The Environmental Sustainability Goals Project Team meets monthly to discuss progress and plans for attaining our environmental sustainability goals.

For information regarding our environmental management and governance, please see our EHS Management & Compliance page.

Environmental goals

We have adopted a set of environmental sustainability goals to help position our company to succeed in an increasingly resource-constrained world. Our goals were designed to address both short- and long-term objectives and to take an integrative enterprise approach.

In addition, the goals were developed to address the rising expectations of our customers, investors, external stakeholders and employees regarding the environmental impact of our operations, supply chain, products and packaging.

We have made progress toward our environmental sustainability goals and remain on track to achieve them. Our Design for the Environment goals are being incorporated into our product and packaging development processes. We are reducing our water use and examining water risk more closely. We continue to find ways to decrease energy demand and have increased the amount of renewable energy we purchase. Our procurement team has started to engage our strategic suppliers in our efforts to reduce the environmental footprint outside of our own operations.

Design for the environment
The environmental footprint of our products can be improved by how we decide to make them. Therefore, we use green and sustainable design principles and other environmental design criteria in the development of our manufacturing processes and packaging right from the start.

Learn more about our Product Stewardship efforts.

Green and sustainable science
By 2020, at least 90 percent of our new human health active pharmaceutical ingredient processes will meet internal sustainability targets at launch.
On track to establish and meet targets that will drive improvements in the material efficiency of our new products
On Track
Materials and packaging
100 percent of the packaging for our new human health products will be reviewed for environmental impact and improvement.
100% of products launched in 2019

Water is essential to the wellbeing of our patients and the planet and is a critical input for our manufacturing processes. As demand for water increases with global population growth, we are committed to utilizing this vital resource responsibly. We look for ways to continuously improve our use of this natural resource by promoting the reuse and recycling of water at our facilities around the globe.

Learn more about our efforts to reduce our water use.

By 2020, we will develop water conservation plans for sites in “high water risk” locations.On track
On Track
By 2025, we will maintain global water use at or below 2015 levels.3.6 million m3 below 2015 levels (15% reduction)
On Track

Although the biopharmaceutical industry sector is not a leading emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs), we believe it is in the best interest of our company and our patients to reduce GHG emissions and other associated air pollutants by driving energy efficiency improvements and purchasing more electricity from renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar.

Learn more about our efforts around climate change and energy use.

GHG emissions
By 2025, we will reduce global Scope 1 and market-based Scope 2 GHG emissions by at least 40 percent from 2015 levels.
26.5% reduction
On Track
Renewable energy
By 2025, at least 50 percent of our purchased electricity will come from renewable sources. By 2040, 100 percent of our purchased electricity will come from renewable sources.1
25.4% of our purchased electricity comes from renewables
On Track
1We have defined “purchased electricity” as electricity sourced from external suppliers, as well as renewable electricity that was generated and utilized onsite where we retained the renewable attributes or where we have obtained renewable attributes through contract.

Reducing waste not only decreases our environmental footprint; it also reduces costs through improved resource efficiency and decreased waste disposal needs.

Learn more about our efforts to reduce waste.

By 2025, no more than 20 percent of our global operational waste will be sent to landfills and incinerators (without energy recovery).26% to landfills and incinerators (without energy recovery)
On Track
By 2025, at least 50 percent of sites will send zero waste to landfill.46% of sites
On Track

Supply chain
Our analysis shows that a large portion of our water use and GHG emissions are generated upstream of our own operations in various tiers of our supply chain. We realize that in order to make a truly meaningful reduction in our overall environmental impact, we must engage with our suppliers to drive positive change.

Learn more about our efforts to engage with our suppliers.

Since 2018 we have been collecting GHG emissions and water use data from at least 90 percent of our strategic suppliers with the highest environmental impact.GHG and water data collected from 96% of high-impact strategic suppliers
By 2020, we will engage with those suppliers and request them to identify GHG emission and water use reduction opportunities. On track
On Track
By 2025, at least 90 percent of our strategic suppliers with the highest environmental impacts will set their own GHG emission and water use reduction targets.On track
On Track


Our environmental sustainability strategy has three areas of focus: driving efficiency in our operations, designing new products to minimize environmental impact, and reducing the impacts in our upstream and downstream value chain.

Drive efficient operations

  • Implementing energy-conservation and water-use-reduction initiatives
  • Finding ways to more efficiently use raw materials
  • Handling wastes in a compliant and responsible manner

Design for environment

  • Innovating to reduce the environmental impacts of new products, packaging, buildings and equipment
  • Purchasing electricity from renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Reduce value chain impacts

  • Understanding the life-cycle impacts of products
  • Assessing the environmental impacts and risks in the value chain and striving to minimize them
  • Collaborating with suppliers and customers to address shared needs and interests in environmentally beneficial ways

A strong environmental sustainability strategy is critical to meeting the needs of our customers and the expectations of our external stakeholders. Our customers are concerned about the health impacts of environmental degradation and are working to reduce their environmental impacts, both in their operations and in their supply chains.

Environmental sustainability external drivers

We also know that the financial investment community views sustainability performance as an indicator of long-term business value, and that current and potential employees are seeking to work in a company whose values reflect their own concerns for social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

Our environmental goals support our business strategy by helping us to operate more efficiently, reduce risk and drive down costs. By focusing on environmental sustainability, we can foster employee engagement and drive innovation by challenging our scientists and engineers to design new products and packaging that lower our environmental impact, while delivering lifesaving medicines to our patients.