Global biopharma company GSK announced today the launch of its new Sustainable Procurement Programme, requiring and supporting suppliers to make sustainability commitments and improve in areas including emissions, energy, heat, transport, waste, water and biodiversity.

According to GSK, the new program, unveiled at Climate Week NYC, forms part of the company’s efforts towards meeting its own sustainability goals. In late 2020, GSK launched a series of sustainability targets aimed at achieving net zero climate impact and net positive impact on nature by 2030. The company’s environmental goals include reaching 100% renewable electricity usage and good water stewardship at all GSK sites, 100% of materials sustainably sourced and deforestation free and transitioning to 100% usage of electric vehicles by GSK sales representatives worldwide.

Lisa Martin, Chief Procurement Officer at GSK, said:

“Today’s launch of the Sustainable Procurement Programme is a major step in bringing our supplier partners on the sustainability journey and GSK achieving our goals on climate and nature.”

Supply chains often account for a significant proportion of companies’ environmental impact. In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) is resource intensive in terms of heat, energy and water.

GSK revealed that 40% of its carbon footprint resides in its supply chain, and that suppliers account for a substantial part of the company’s impact on water, waste and biodiversity globally.

Under the new program, kicking off in 2023, GSK will require suppliers to take action on disclosing emissions, setting Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)-aligned carbon reduction targets and delivery plans, and to switch to renewable power and heat. Additional requirements include reaching water neutrality in water stressed areas, achieving 10% waste reduction, aligning to GSK’s responsible sourcing minimum standards, and providing green transport solutions.

GSK stated that it will actively support its suppliers in the adoption of new environmental sustainability measures, and that the company is leading the development of several cross-industry collaboration projects to develop solutions at an industry scale. Ongoing initiatives include the Energize program aimed at accelerating renewable energy adoption and climate action in the pharma value chain.

Martin added:

“As a global biopharma company committed to getting ahead of disease together, we must work closer than ever with our supply chain and beyond to catalyse positive change across environmental systems and protect the health of the planet and people.”

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