We are committed to a more sustainable future. To us, advancing health includes being good stewards of the environment. We take a strategic, integrated approach to our environmental initiatives with the goals of moderating our consumption of resources, reducing our effects on the environment and increasing our energy efficiency.
Pfizer's baseline commitment is to comply with all applicable environmental, health and safety (EHS) laws and our own internal standards. We have sophisticated approaches to assessing and managing risks, designed to make certain that we have the most rigorous controls in place where they are most needed. Our approach to EHS includes extensive audits and reviews. People at all levels of the company are involved with managing environmental risk, beginning with oversight by the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors and extending through teams at each of our major sites.
An Environmental Sustainability Council governs our "green journey" program and focuses on three areas key to our business: mitigating climate change and its impacts; driving leading-edge product stewardship; and managing water resources in a sustainable way. In 2010 advancing Pfizer's green journey included such projects as installing a biomass boiler at our Freiburg, Germany, site; reusing treated waste water for irrigation at the Algete, Spain, facility; turning waste into boiler feed at the Nutrition production site in Singapore; and the planting of 2,000 trees in Toluca, Mexico.
Mitigating Climate Change and Its Impacts
Climate change is one of the most serious environmental challenges facing society today. There are no simple solutions but we share the nearly universal view that reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) are essential. We have made significant progress in assessing the full extent of our GHG emissions, setting reduction targets and goals, measuring changes in our year-to-year performance, and transparently reporting our results.
Our climate change mitigation program includes our public commitment to reduce GHG emissions and to use cleaner energy. We have reduced our GHG emissions every year since 2000. Our current goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent on an absolute basis from 2008 through 2012 and we are on target to achieve this. We also established an aggressive goal to obtain 35 percent of our electricity from cleaner energy sources by the end of 2010. We estimate that at the end of 2010, 30 percent of our electricity was from cleaner energy technologies such as wind, solar, biomass and combined heat and power. We continue to pursue opportunities to apply cleaner technologies.
We are proud of these accomplishments, which are the result of implementing hundreds of energy conservation and efficiency projects at our sites worldwide, building "greener" facilities, optimizing our sales vehicle fleet, and increasing use of renewable energy sources. We are also working with some of our manufacturing suppliers in identifying opportunities to help them reduce their carbon footprint.
Leading Product Stewardship Efforts
Leading product stewardship efforts at Pfizer include the development of greener processes. Our Green Chemistry Program seeks to integrate environment, health and safety considerations throughout the life cycle of our products, from discovery to commercial manufacture and eventual disposal.
Pfizer has product stewardship programs that include packaging improvements and reductions and waste minimization through measures such as solvent recovery. In addition, we assess environmental, health and safety risks at our manufacturing suppliers through our EHS external review program. Supplier partnerships include pre-audit assessment, audits and follow-up, guidance to enhance management systems, and EHS capacity building and training to improve EHS performance as necessary.
We have adapted our product stewardship program with our changing footprint to ensure we understand, appropriately communicate and adequately manage risk. Pfizer has an active program to assess and address the issues associated with pharmaceuticals in the environment (PIE). We recognize PIE is a multifaceted issue and one of increasing public interest.
We are working with stakeholders to ensure that issues are appropriately addressed. As examples, we have teamed with a number of our manufacturing suppliers to evaluate their materials handling and production cleaning processes and have performed detailed wastewater assessments to ensure good environmental management. We actively contribute to efforts led by pharmaceutical industry groups to mitigate the potential risks of PIE (for example, promoting the safe disposal of unused medicines). We are working with the scientific community, regulatory agencies, patient groups and nongovernmental organizations to advance the knowledge of PIE. Pfizer also participates in product take-back programs in countries that operate them.
Sustainable Water Management
In many areas of the world, the scarcity of clean water presents significant challenges to public health and to collective commerce. An important part of our responsibility as a global health care company is to ensure that our water usage does not negatively affect the communities where we operate by diminishing the supplies of clean water or degrading the quality of that water.
We require our facilities worldwide to quantify and carefully control water use, set reduction targets as appropriate and support community efforts during drought conditions. Last year we launched a global Water Sustainability Network to gain a better understanding of significant water risks and to provide means to most effectively manage the amounts of water that we use. Based on a recent mapping exercise, we estimate that 10 percent of Pfizer operating sites are located in areas approaching "physical water scarcity" by 2025.1 Most of our sites in these regions, particularly in South Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, are implementing water conservation projects that include water reuse and recycling.
Comprehensive assessments of our operations and supply chain requirements in these areas address continuity of our business, environmental consequences and social impact on local communities. In addition, through our global health programs, Pfizer supports access to clean water in partnership with WaterAid and Population Services International through the Global Health Fellows program and the International Trachoma Initiative.
1. Defined by WHO and UNICEF under the Joint Monitoring Programme
For more about Pfizer's Green Journey
Visit the Protecting the Environment Web site.