Pharma is gradually reconciling its responsibilities to the planet but there is still much soul-searching to be done
Pharma is not typically seen as a highly polluting industry, but it is far from green and, increasingly, its host of big names will need to attend the sustainability party with greater regularity.
Indeed, in its 2021 report ‘Delivering a Net Zero National Health Service’, the NHS attributes as much as a quarter of its carbon footprint to medicines. A deep carbon footprint is a common hallmark of energy intensive manufacturing processes and the manufacture of pharmaceuticals is no exception. Emissions levels, however, can be reduced by adopting a sustainable approach to process efficiency, energy generation and energy procurement.
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