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AstraZeneca launches Ambition Zero Carbon strategy

AstraZeneca has announced a programme for zero carbon emissions from its global operations by 2025 and to ensure its entire value chain is carbon negative by 2030.

The strategy was launched at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 22nd 2020, and the aim is to accelerates the company’s existing science-based targets, doubling energy productivity and using renewable energy for both power and heat, as well as switching to a 100% electric vehicle fleet five years ahead of schedule.

Invest up to $1 billion

AstraZeneca will invest up to $1bn to achieve these goals and to develop the next-generation respiratory inhalers with near-zero Global Warming Potential (GWP) propellants, it states. ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ sets out to make AstraZeneca’s global operations responsible for zero carbon emissions without relying on offset schemes to reach zero emissions on aggregate.

“Climate change is an urgent threat to public health, the environment and the sustainability of the global economy. Since 2015, we have reduced our carbon emissions from operations by almost a third and our water consumption by almost one fifth. But now is the time to act even faster and redouble our efforts. The commitments AstraZeneca has made today as part of our ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ strategy will enable us to speed up the reduction of our company’s impact on climate and inspire collaboration at a global level to effect policy change,” Pascal Soriot, CEO, says.

AZ Forest

Also included in the plan, is ‘AZ Forest’, a 50-million tree reforestation initiative that will be rolled out over the next five years. In partnership with local governments and One Tree Planted, a non-profit organisation focused on global reforestation, the first trees will go into the ground in Australia in February 2020, with France, Indonesia and other countries to follow. This initiative supports WEF’s newly launched ‘1T.org – The Champions for a Trillion Trees’ platform.

As a further step to help shape policy and find cross-industry solutions to rapidly decarbonise the global economy, Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, will also participate in the inaugural meeting of the Sustainable Markets Council (SMC). The Council was established by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, with the support of WEF, as an advisory body of public-private-philanthropic leaders to drive sustainable solutions in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

A place on the ‘A List’ for climate change

Earlier this week, AstraZeneca, like Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk, achieved a place on the global environmental impact non-profit CDP’s prestigious ‘A List’ for climate change, based on the company’s climate reporting in 2019, for the fourth consecutive year.