Pharma – a Green Industry

Newsweek has published a list of the greenest companies in the world. And there are two things that I find very interesting and that makes me happy. First of all, Pfizer makes it to the Top 20-list, and secondly, there are in total 4 pharmaceutical companies on the Top 20-list. Johnson & Johnson comes in at number 3, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in number 5, and Novartis in number 6. Pfizer ends up in place number 20. The only industry sector with more companies on the Top 20-list is Technology (with 7 companies). Bank and Insurance and Consumer Products also as 4 companies each on the Top 20-list.

To me this is good news. I have often talked about the high ambitions and good track records regarding environemntal performance shown by the pharmaceutical industry, however sometimes it is met with scepticism from certain stakeholders. I see rankings such as this one from Newsweek as an evidence that we are doing the right things, and we are doing them right!

However, we shall not forget that we still have challenges to overcome. The issue on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (PiE), predominantly caused by excretion of pharmaceutical substances and metabolites from patients, still needs more knowledge and longterm solutions, and we are all aware about the ongoing discussions regarding releases from manufacturing sites, e.g. in India as described by Joakim Larsson and his coworkes in Gothenburg. With the efforts undertaken by the industry, academia and others, and all the ongoing very interesting collaborations on these topics I fell confident that we will see progress in the years to come. Hence I do expect that over time we might see even more pharmaceutical companies on these lists and with Pfizer being one of the top ranked.

As I wrote in my blog post this Wednesday regarding carbon disclosure, we will of course use our peer companies with higher ranks, i.e. J&J, GSK, and Novartis, as benchmarks. We shall learn from them and integrate those learnings into our own Environmental Sustainability Program.


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