Pharma is highly experienced in tackling complex problems for the benefit of society. Already possessing the necessary culture of innovation, technical expertise and financial resources, the sector is well placed to become a global leader in sustainability.
Nevertheless, the industry currently remains highly carbon intensive. A 2021 report from My Green Lab and Urgentem found that global emissions of the biotech and pharma industry equates to around 50% of the carbon output of the UK.
It found that while big pharma is making solid progress towards a zero-carbon future, if the lens is broadened, the top 65 companies instead show an opposite trend. Net increases in emissions are partly attributable to industry growth but that growth seems to be a shade of off-green.
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