Product Stewardship

Our product stewardship program focuses on identifying and either preventing or minimizing potential safety and environmental hazards throughout each product’s life cycle.

Our commitments

We are committed to understanding, managing and reducing the environmental impacts of our products and the materials associated with discovering and producing them

Our approach

We conduct extensive testing of our products to identify and understand possible safety, health and environmental hazards. We manage and communicate information about hazardous materials to keep our employees, contractors, transporters and other partners safe.

We are actively engaged in conversations on product stewardship to best inform on the issues specific to our industry worldwide.

We share best practices within the industry via our membership in the Conference Board Product Stewardship Council, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Green Chemistry Initiative, CHEMLEG, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

Our objective is to maintain compliance and assure supply of life-saving medicines as we look to further minimize our environmental footprint in the future. Our efforts in this area are overseen by our Green & Sustainable Science Steering Committee and the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Council.

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

Programs and initiatives

Our chemists and engineers are trained in green-design principles and are provided with tools and resources to help them develop manufacturing processes that use safer chemicals and reduced quantities of raw materials. We use innovations like nanotechnology to make our products more effective, while ensuring that product safety always remains of utmost importance.

Complying with chemical substance and product requirements is a top priority for us. We track numerous existing and emerging chemical control regulations that require us to register specific types of chemicals with the proper authorities. To meet these requirements, our scientists complete assessments of the environmental and human health risks of the substances we work with and submit the required regulatory notifications. Additionally, we provide details on product use and risk-based control measures in accordance with applicable regulations.

Our product stewardship program extends to our customers and patients through the design of effective, low-impact product packaging. Our company also supports the development of science-based, cost-effective and environmentally sound programs that promote the proper disposal of unused medicines in accordance with regional requirements. For more information, see our position statement on responsible disposal of medicines.

Precautionary principle

We take a precautionary approach when evaluating potential human exposures and environmental impacts resulting from our manufacturing processes. Conservative assumptions are made when data are limited, and safety factors are added to address uncertainty and variability in our assessments.

This type of approach is particularly relevant to our work in toxicology, industrial hygiene and environmental protection.

By using more efficient and innovative processing methods and technologies, we are reducing the amount of energy, water and raw materials we use to make our products, thereby minimizing the amount of waste we generate and lowering our production costs.

We go to great lengths to ensure that our products are designed, made and used in a safe, effective and environmentally sound manner. We deliver on this commitment by maintaining a highly-trained and capable scientific staff and by actively pursuing manufacturing process improvements that minimize environmental impacts. We have set environmental sustainability goals to demonstrate this commitment with concrete targets and timelines. To ensure that our knowledge stays current with that of thought leaders and experts in the industry, we also collaborate with external resources and industry groups, such as the American Chemical Society and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.

Using the results of our scientific studies, we determine hazard ratings for all of our chemical compounds, and default to more conservative exposure limits when we have limited health hazard information. We use a rigorous and data-driven review process and re-evaluate hazard ratings as new data become available.

Our industrial hygiene risk assessments require evaluation of the effectiveness of control measures. Risk-based exposure monitoring is also conducted to verify the effectiveness of installed engineering controls, and improvements are made as needed. We use conservative safety factors to set low de minimis levels for environmental releases until we have sufficient data to fully understand their impacts on aquatic organisms. Levels are reviewed and updated as new data become available.