Our Business

Environment, Health and Safety

At Pfizer, we believe that a sustainable future is essential to ensuring the health and well-being of our colleagues, the people who use our products and the communities we touch.

By striving for environmental sustainability across all aspects of our organization, we aim to add additional value to society and our business by mitigating climate change and its impact, minimizing the environmental impact of our products and managing water resources.

Our environmental sustainability goals focus on three areas that are core to our business: reducing carbon emissions, increasing water efficiency and looking for innovative ways to minimize waste. While these goals were established for our internal operations, we also recognize the need to drive sustainability performance across our extended environmental footprint. Therefore, in 2016 we implemented additional environmental sustainability public goals for a subset of our suppliers meeting certain criteria.

We recognize there is growing interest from governmental and hospital procurement organizations, retailers and pharmacies, investors, advocacy groups, our colleagues and other stakeholders for Pfizer to provide information on our sustainability programs and the environmental impacts of products. Establishing clear commitments in these areas supports Pfizer’s ability to respond to these interests and also helps make a positive difference through the reduction of carbon emissions, waste and water use in our operations.

Tracking Our 2020 Environmental Sustainability Goals

Pfizer has had two successful Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction goals which resulted in reductions of GHG emissions by roughly half from 2000 to 2014. We are working hard to meet our third GHG reduction goal to reduce emissions 20 percent further by 2020 from a 2012 baseline. This latest goal has been recognized as a Science Based Target by an initiative led by the Carbon Disclosure Project, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.

Compared with a 2012 baseline, by the end of 2020 Pfizer has the goal to reduce:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent
  • The amount of waste disposed by 15 percent
  • Water withdrawal by five percent (excluding non-contact cooling water)

The majority of our internal environmental footprint is from our larger manufacturing and research and development facilities, and these facilities have local goals for greenhouse gases, waste and water that are supported by three-to-five year environmental sustainability master plans which feed into our global goals. In addition, colleagues at all our sites, supported by our Global Environmental, Health and Safety and Global Engineering experts are encouraged to identify ways to discover, develop, manufacture and supply our products in a more energy efficient and less resource intensive manner and are recognized by the Company for their efforts.

Green Pfizer low carbon life poster

Overall, these efforts allowed us to make further progress in 2016 towards our 2020 environmental sustainability goals (refer to Key Performance Indicators).

Creating Supply Chain Environmental Sustainability Goals

As part of our commitment to the sustainability of our supply chain, Pfizer has set the goal that by the end of 2020:

  • 100 percent of key suppliers support Pfizer's supplier code of conduct and align with the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative principles
  • 100 percent of key suppliers manage their environmental impacts through effective sustainability programs
  • 90 percent of key suppliers institute reduction goals for greenhouse gas emissions, waste disposal and water withdrawal

Pfizer has many thousands of suppliers ranging from general commodities to specialized active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers. In 2016, as a starting point for our goal, we identified 124 key suppliers according to these criteria:

  1. Major contributors to our external environmental footprint
  2. Strategic collaborators with worldwide research and development
  3. Anticipate continued supply partnership for at least the next three years

These suppliers were asked to complete an environmental sustainability program maturity survey. The analysis of the data from the 2016 baseline year will help determine where support is needed to advance supplier sustainability programs and bring environmental improvement and efficiency to Pfizer’s supply chain.

In addition, Pfizer expects all suppliers to adhere to Pfizer’s supplier code of conduct and align with the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative principles.

Environmental Protection in the Manufacture, Use and Disposal of Our Medicines

Supply Chain

Pfizer recognizes the need to ensure that the development, manufacture and disposal of our medicines do not adversely affect human health or the environment. Following program changes in 2015, we advanced our long-standing Supplier EHS Review Program, and in 2016 increased supplier reviews at elevated risk suppliers in locations such as India and China, where the country EHS infrastructure continues to develop. Our efforts to address areas of potential environment and safety concerns in the manufacturing supply chain and with research and development suppliers will continue in 2017.

Pfizer recognizes that through partnership with other companies and trade associations we can potentially make an even bigger difference. Working with the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI), Pfizer is sharing our knowledge and technical expertise with a broad pharmaceutical supplier base and next year will provide training in areas such as Green Chemistry and managing pharmaceutical ingredients in manufacturing.

As a signatory to the Industry Roadmap for Progress on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance, Pfizer is committed to the pharmaceutical industry’s effort to support measures to reduce the environmental impact of the production of antibiotics. Pfizer is working with other Roadmap signatory companies to establish science-driven, risk-based targets for discharge concentrations for antibiotics and agree on a common framework for managing antibiotic wastewater discharge.

Disposal of Unwanted Medicines

We are aware of stakeholder concerns associated with improper disposal of expired or unwanted prescription and non-prescription medicines, such as the potential for misuse and potential environmental risks. We are actively engaged with our trade associations and other organizations to identify and take action to reduce improper disposal of expired or unwanted prescription and non-prescription medicines, and thus lessen the potential for diversion, reduce the chance for improper use of medication and help protect our water. The Pfizer Responsible Disposal Advisor website provides U.S. institutions and health care professionals with a dedicated online resource containing recommended disposal practices for all Pfizer products.

What Pfizer does to minimize the environmental impact of our business is of significant importance to our patients, colleagues and all stakeholders. Supply of medicines depends on our operations being sustainable, resilient and cost effective. In shaping our environmental policies and in understanding environmental risks, we welcome our stakeholder’s views as we seek to do what is right for our company, our patients, our environment and the communities in which we operate.

Steve Brooks, Vice President, Pfizer Global Environment, Health and Safety

How our work in this area is supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

Responsible Consumption and Production

Throughout the lifecycle of our products, we are working toward reducing our carbon footprint and increasing energy efficiency, decreasing dependence on limited resources and reducing waste.