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Greener Processes

Pfizer is finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment during the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and is continuously "greening" the process. In particular, we leverage our Green Chemistry and Biotechnology program to advance scientific innovation – our core strength – to help develop processes that are more sustainable, environmentally sound and cost-effective.

Through our Green Chemistry initiative, which is grounded in Paul Anastas and John Warner's 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, we are dedicated to promoting the selection and use of environmentally preferable chemicals, eliminating waste and conserving energy.

It is integral to the way we do business and delivers sustainable, long-term profitability through safer more efficient processes; increased product yield that are compatible with protecting the environment; and the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, and the communities where we live and work.

In particular, we aim to:

  • Proactively integrate Green Chemistry into research and development.
  • Retroactively integrate Green Chemistry into current Pfizer products, where feasible.
  • Reduce the use of undesirable solvents in research, development, and manufacturing.
  • Develop new drugs with greatly improved E-Factors (kilos of waste per kilo of product).
  • Educate scientists and engineers about Green Chemistry so it becomes intrinsic to the way they work.

Notable actions we're taking to help make our processes greener include:

  • Recognizing a decade of Green Chemistry Leadership through various internal and external engagements, including the flagship event at our Groton Site;
  • Striving to shift our entire development portfolio to be greener than compounds developed 10-15 years ago;
  • Working to fully integrate Green Chemistry into how we bring products to patients;
  • Convening multi-disciplinary Green Chemistry teams of chemists, process engineers and EHS professionals across Pfizer;
  • Establishing guides to help chemists and engineers select more environmentally beneficial reagents, catalysts, and solvents; and
  • Publishing scientific papers and interviews in professional journals highlighting Green Chemistry benefits.


Awards and Recognition

  • Our La Jolla research and development facility won a Clean Air Champions award from the County of San Diego in 2009. This external award recognizes the work of the La Jolla Green Chemistry team in cutting its solvent usage significantly.
  • Recognized by IChemE for GC practices for Lyrica® and Vfend® in 2006. Lyrica® won the top European GC award – the Excellence in Green Chemistry and Engineering Award, and Vfend® was a finalist for the Faraday award.
  • Received the UK Institute of Chemical Engineers' (IChemE) 2003 "Crystal Faraday Award for Green Chemical Technology" for Viagra® by significantly reducing the amount of organic process wastes generated on an annual basis.
  • Received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2002 Presidential Green Chemistry Award for applying Green Chemistry to the manufacturing of Zoloft®, doubling Pfizer's product yield and significantly reducing EHS impact in the process.

Did You Know?

Pfizer is the first pharmaceutical company to appoint a full-time leader in Green Chemistry, with cross-functional teams of chemists, process engineers and EHS professionals across the globe.


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