How Pharmaceutical Companies are Moving Towards Net Zero

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The climate crisis has been a touchstone issue on an international level for decades now, as both governments and private industries seek solutions to rising global temperatures. One of the UK government’s flagship initiatives towards curbing the rate of carbon emissions is its Net Zero Strategy, which aims to make the UK a carbon-neutral nation by 2050.

But even as the government introduces new measures and legislation to minimise carbon emissions, the burden remains on businesses and private industry to regulate their own pollutive practices. The pharmaceutical industry is one with a surprisingly large carbon footprint, built up via research, manufacture and extensive supply chains. But change is afoot, and pharmaceutical businesses are taking initiative.

Green Strategies in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), in a recent statement for the COP27 climate summit, revealed that 80% of the country’s largest pharmaceutical enterprises have set their own net-zero targets. Research into eco-conscious manufacture and packaging continues unabated, and energy efficiency measures represent major infrastructural transitions within the industry overall.

The ABPI has also been making serious headway in the UK as an industry agitator for change; it argues and continues to argue, for more collaboration between pharmaceutical entities, the UK government and the NHS in order to foster a united front against climate change.

Accelerating Transitions to Net Zero

Adopting a net-zero strategy is a powerful way for a business of any type to address its own contributions to climate change. But the transition is not an easy one, and timelines or exact methodologies can be ill-defined. 

Businesses are accelerating their net-zero strategy across the board by adopting ESG – short for Environmental, Social and Governance – as a framework in which to develop actionable initiatives. Through it, a business might solicit advice from an energy transition law firm to directly engage with the challenges posed by a shift to renewable energy sources – whether logistical, financial or regulatory. They might also seek counsel about local emissive impacts, to improve geographic sustainability.

Sustainability and Corporate Image

The moral argument for adopting strategies that centre sustainability is a clear one – and one that has already been made, emphatically, by scientists and charitable organisations alike. However, there are additional, ancillary arguments to be made for the swift and meaningful roll-out of green initiatives as an industry. One such argument has become more important in recent years, as public attitudes to the climate crisis shifted from indifference towards action.

PR has always been a vital accessory to the success of a business, whether consumer-facing or B2B. A healthy corporate image inspires positive press and brand recognition, while more directly inspiring clients and customers to consider a given business’ services. In a world where businesses are overwhelmingly responsible for carbon emissions, sustainability and eco-consciousness are increasingly becoming central to that healthy image.