AstraZeneca To Invest $1 Bn to Accelerate Sustainability ProjectsBy
AstraZeneca plans to invest $1 billion under a strategy to achieve zero-carbon emissions from its global operations by 2025 and to ensure its entire value chain is carbon-negative by 2030.
Launched this week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, AstraZeneca’s “Ambition Zero Carbon” strategy accelerates the company’s existing science-based targets, doubles energy productivity, uses renewable energy for both power and heat, and switches to 100% electric vehicle fleet five years ahead of schedule. The company’s strategy accelerates a plan developed in 2015 to reduce AstraZeneca’s carbon footprint, with targets verified in line with the science of climate change. In order to achieve zero carbon by 2025, AstraZeneca says it will convert 100% of its energy consumption to renewable sources for both power and heat and have a 100% electric vehicle fleet. Overall, the company’s strategy sets out to make AstraZeneca’s global operations responsible for zero-carbon emissions without relying on offset programs to reach zero emissions on aggregate.
In addition, AstraZeneca says it is pledging to engage its suppliers to reduce their direct emissions through to 2030 and identify carbon-removal options that will lead to more carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere than added to it. The company says this will result in AstraZeneca becoming carbon-negative across its entire value chain by 2030.
The company says it will invest up to $1 billion to achieve these goals and to develop the respiratory inhalers with near-zero Global Warming Potential (GWP) propellants. AstraZeneca says it plans to launch inhalers used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with near-zero GWP propellants by 2025. AstraZeneca expects the propellant used in the next generation pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDI) to have a GWP that is 90-99% lower than propellants used in older pMDIs. In addition to offering new pMDIs, AstraZeneca says it will continue offering dry-powder inhaled (DPI) medicines.
Also included in the plan is “AZ Forest,” a 50-million tree-reforestation initiative that will be rolled out over the next five years. In partnership with local governments and One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation; the first trees will go into the ground in Australia in February 2020, with France, Indonesia and other countries to follow. This initiative supports WEF’s newly launched “1T.org – The Champions for a Trillion Trees” platform.
As a further step to help shape policy and find cross-industry solutions to decarbonize the global economy, Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca will also participate in the inaugural meeting of the Sustainable Markets Council (SMC). The Council was established by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, with the support of WEF, as an advisory body of public–private–philanthropic leaders to drive sustainable solutions in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The SMC will come together to discuss concrete approaches to achieving its ambition for 2020.