Our Sustainable Policies & Practices

Environment, Health & Safety

Pfizer's commitment to ensuring every individual lives the healthiest life possible goes beyond just health care. We are dedicated to protecting the environment and communities around us and ensuring the health and safety of our colleagues.

We integrate environmental sustainability into our business through the work we do every day. Through our Environmental Sustainability Council we work to incorporate environmental sustainability across our organization with the objective of adding greater value to society and our business. Our Environmental Sustainability program focuses on three core areas: mitigating climate change and its impact through reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions; reducing waste through the lifecycle of our products; and reducing water use.

Working Towards Solutions in the Fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

The World Health Organization characterizes AMR as one of the biggest threats to global public health today. It can affect anyone at any age in any country, threatening our ability to treat serious infections and potentially making standard medical procedures too risky to perform. AMR is defined as a bacterium, virus or fungus developing a resistance to the medicine(s) commonly used to treat infections, including antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals. There are approximately 700,000 deaths per year attributed to antimicrobial resistance globally, with an increase to 10 million predicted by 2050 if no action is taken to address this issue.

In 2016, Pfizer and 12 industry partners released a comprehensive plan of action that outlines the four key commitments we pledge to deliver by 2020 to reduce the rising incidence of AMR. In 2017, we put that Roadmap into action and took a leading role in the AMR Industry Alliance by spearheading its manufacturing group (the Alliance Manufacturing Group).

The Alliance Manufacturing Group is working to enhance the practices used to control the presence of antibiotics in manufacturing waste and to advance the scientific understanding of the potential impact of antibiotic discharges from manufacturing to the environment, including risks to human health. The Alliance Manufacturing Group is developing an environmental framework for manufacturing operations focused on wastewater discharge and waste management good practices to minimize releases of antibiotics to the environment.

Harnessing Patterns in Data

Play video


In 2017, we made the following progress against the AMR Roadmap commitments:


Review our manufacturing and supply chains to assess good practices in managing the release of antibiotic discharge into the environment.


Pfizer has completed initial assessments of antibiotic discharges at all our Pfizer-owned and -operated manufacturing sites and at our antibiotics suppliers in India and China. While many of these assessments indicate good practices are being implemented, work to further characterize risk and the adequacy of manufacturing controls is being undertaken at a number of facilities.


Establish a common framework for managing antibiotic discharge, building on existing work such as the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI), and apply these principles across our own internal manufacturing and external supply chain by 2018.


Pfizer worked closely with the Alliance Manufacturing Group to develop the framework.


Work with stakeholders to develop a practical mechanism to transparently demonstrate that our supply chains meet the standards in the framework.


The Alliance Manufacturing Group engaged with stakeholders, including experts from academia and government, and participated in key AMR meetings hosted by the UN Foundation and U.S. National Academy of Science to gain critical insights and inputs towards the development of this new mechanism.


Work with independent technical experts to establish science-driven, risk-based targets for discharge concentrations for antibiotics and good practice methods to reduce environmental impact of manufacturing discharges by 2020.


The Alliance Manufacturing Group shared eco-toxicological information, which will be used to better understand the current approaches to discharge concentration target setting, determine data gaps, and help determine the most appropriate mechanisms to establish science-driven risk-based targets for discharge concentrations. While this work continues, as precautionary measure and using existing published methodology, Pfizer is establishing antibiotic discharge targets that will minimize potential discharges from manufacturing operations.

As a member of the Alliance, we are committed to developing solutions to address the potential impact of manufacturing on AMR. Success will require good environmental management practices to be adopted across the entire industry antibiotic supply chains. We believe that widespread adoption of the Alliance Manufacturing framework will be a key step in this direction. With the manufacturing framework developed and as it is adopted, Pfizer and the Alliance Manufacturing Group believe that verification of effectiveness of measures will be an important component of the program, and we are working with the Alliance Manufacturing Group and other organizations, such as PSCI, to incorporate this into supplier auditing protocols.

Access our policy paper on our antibiotic stewardship, and read more about Pfizer’s leadership in the fight against AMR.

Innovation in Safety

Through the OWNIT! Culture, colleagues can focus on the choices they make every day to care for their safety and the safety and health of their fellow workers. While we experienced an increase in our injury rates in 2017, mainly as a result of increased slips, trips and falls and ergonomic injuries, overall our rates are low and comparable to industry benchmarks. Moreover, we believe that the focus on our OWNIT! Culture will continue to benefit the safety and health of each colleague at Pfizer as we strive for a workplace free of injury and illness.

The culture of innovation within our safety and health programs is also important as we keep pace with the novel science that powers research and development and manufacturing at Pfizer. For example, biological materials are involved in many parts of Pfizer’s pipeline, including immunology and inflammation, oncology, vaccines, metabolic diseases, anti-infectives, biosimilars and rare diseases. Understanding the hazards associated with these biological materials and ensuring we have controls in place to protect the colleagues working with these biological materials is accomplished through a Biosafety Program based on collaboration and technical expertise.

The Biosafety Program applies a global framework for effective biological risk assessment and innovates via a Biosafety Network of colleagues who share scientific knowledge, resources, best practices and a passion for developing solutions. Through the Biosafety Network, controls are developed and implemented to protect the safety and health of the many researchers and manufacturing colleagues working to get biologically based medicines to patients.

“In 2017, as more colleagues and sites worked on emerging technologies like those involved in gene therapy, I was proud to be a member of a network of colleagues passionate about ensuring effective controls are in place to protect colleagues working with biological materials. We collaborate and innovate to help keep colleagues safe and well and, at the same time, support the larger purpose of Pfizer to get needed medicines to patients.”

Jessica Avizinis Manager, Pfizer Global Environmental, Health and Safety, Registered Biosafety Professional

Progress Towards our 2020 Environmental Sustainability Goals

Pfizer is on track to meet our 2020 environmental sustainability goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and waste reductions and water conservation.

Our GHG goal to reduce emissions 20 percent by 2020 from a 2012 baseline has been recognized as a Science Based Target by an initiative led by CDP (formally the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. As we have integrated new sites to our operations (e.g. through the Hospira integration), we have focused on opportunities to drive energy efficiencies and reduce GHG emissions at these locations. At our newest site in Suzhou, China, we built a new highly energy efficient facility that has been recognized as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum.

In 2017, to support our goal of achieving a 15 percent reduction in waste disposed by the end of 2020 from a 2012 baseline, we continued to implement targeted reviews at sites to identify waste reduction opportunities. We also invested in water reduction projects and remain on track to achieve a five percent reduction in water withdrawal (excluding non-contact cooling water) by the end of 2020, compared to the 2012 baseline.

The year 2017 was the second year supporting our 2020 Supply Chain Environmental Sustainability Goals. We have an extensive supply chain, ranging from suppliers of general commodities to specialized active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers. All are expected to adhere to Pfizer’s supplier code of conduct and align with the PSCI principles. In addition, we have chosen to engage with a subset of our key suppliers to advance our environmental sustainability program. One hundred and fifty-eight suppliers were part of the 2017 survey and we have seen progress made on all elements of the 2020 Goal, including managing environmental impacts and instituting sustainability reduction goals.

To support our suppliers on their sustainability journeys, in 2017 we worked with vendors to offer a voluntary program to match suppliers with small to medium size regional firms that are capable of providing services to help improve suppliers’ environmental sustainability programs.

Overall, these efforts allowed us to make further progress in 2017 towards our 2020 environmental sustainability goals.

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

Goal 3 : Good Health and Well-Being

Goal 6 : Clean Water and Sanitation

Goal 12 : Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 13 : Climate Action