Decarbonizing the Pharma Supply Chain


Director – Procurement Sustainability at Astrazeneca and Co-lead of the PSCI Decarbonization Team


The business case for decarbonization is well established and key to achieving the aims of the Paris Agreement. Whilst pharmaceutical companies are well on their way to reducing their direct Scope 1 and 2 emissions, the largest challenge and opportunity remains in the indirect (Scope 3) emissions found in their supply chains. Supporting supply chain decarbonization within the pharmaceutical industry requires partnership and collaboration, all of which can be found in the Energize Program. Energize seeks to increase access to renewable energy for pharma suppliers and make the transition to net zero a reality for the sector.

Climate Change is a global problem and action is unavoidable, but no one country or company can solve the crisis on its own. In 2015, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached a landmark agreement in Paris (The Paris Agreement) to pursue the actions and investments needed to achieve a sustainable low carbon future. The Paris Agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.


To keep warming below the 1.5-degree “danger” threshold will require our emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) to be eliminated by the second half of the century – we will need to be so-called ‘Net Zero.’ Given the long-lived nature of many GHGs, action is needed now. As a result many companies, including those within the pharmaceutical sector, are making voluntary commitments, aligning with forthcoming legislation, and establishing programs to decarbonize their operations.


For many companies, reducing ...