Climate change and global warming resulting from greenhouse gas emissions are widely recognized as the biggest threats to global health. The healthcare sector is responsible for 4–5% of global emissions, more than 70% of which are driven by supply chains.
The global consensus is that limiting a global temperature rise is imperative and the UN continues to encourage stakeholders, including the private sector and non-governmental organizations, to take action to reduce the impacts of climate change.
In line with this, many organizations across industry are using science-based targets for climate action to align with the 2016 Paris Agreement, which demands a clearly defined path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These targets require companies to work with their upstream materials suppliers and downstream distribution network and customers to reduce their total emission inventory.
This led BioPhorum members to ask for a harmonized approach across the biopharmaceutical sector to accelerate progress.
This paper is a guide for BioPhorum members and the wider biopharmaceutical industry to better understand the industry’s impact on the environment while reflecting on the unique challenges that face our industry. This includes the high use of energy, water and plastics, and the carbon emissions associated with a complex global supply chain.
The paper outlines a series of high-impact opportunities for the sector to decarbonize and embed circularity across four domains: raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, and use and end of life. It collates some of the ideas and resources available to propel the biopharmaceutical industry to a more environmentally sustainable future.