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Environmental SustainabilityHomeResponsibilityEnvironmental Sustainability

As a company committed to applying science to confront the world’s greatest challenges, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a strategic priority.

Our company purpose – 'Breakthroughs that Change Patients’ Lives' – guides our environmental sustainability priorities. We’re passionate about protecting human health. That’s reflected in our environmental sustainability goals: climate action & sustainable medicines.

Bringing 'Breakthroughs that Change Patients’ Lives' goes beyond medicines. Climate change is impacting the health we protect and the patients we serve. It’s the challenge of our age, we need to act, and our customers and patients want us to act.

The window is closing to minimise the catastrophic effects of climate change - which we are already experiencing - including severe weather and geographical shifts in vector-borne disease. Climate change adversely impacts health, and the healthcare system impacts the climate with 4-5% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions globally being attributed to the health system.1 While climate change impacts us all, historically, it is marginalised communities that are disproportionately impacted.

What do we mean by sustainability?

The most common definition of sustainability comes from the 1987 Brundtland Report: Our Common Future. This says:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." 2

How is climate change impacting health?


We know that climate change poses significant risks to societies and economies around the world:

  • Increased adverse impacts on human health3

  • Growing frequency of severe weather events4

  • Potential disruption to the value chains that are critical for providing medicines and vaccines to patients5

What we are doing at Pfizer

Our future depends on the environment. Here’s how we’re working to protect health through sustainability.


We developed a science-based climate action strategy and introduced our first greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals.


We met our first GHG reduction goal by decreasing our emissions by more than 35% adjusted to revenue. That was equivalent to a total reduction of 20%.


We achieved our second GHG reduction goal a year early (in 2011), by decreasing our emissions by more than 20% on an absolute basis.


We became the first company in the pharmaceutical sector to have our climate target validated by the Science Based Target Initiative.


We exceeded our third generation GHG goal of a 20% reduction from our 2012 baseline, and delivered a 33% reduction. This means we have reduced our GHG emissions by more than 60% since 2001.

December 2020

We announced our ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 in our direct emissions and committed to new targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. We signed the Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees.

June 2022

We committed to reaching Net-Zero by 2040 in response to the new voluntary Net-Zero standard.6 Net-Zero is the point at which the GHG emissions added to the atmosphere are no more than the amount removed.

Climate Action

We leverage scientific innovation to reduce our environmental impact through climate impact mitigation, conservation of resources and the reduction of waste.

Our Partnerships & Commitments

We will continue to work in partnership, using science to combat climate change together #ScienceWillWin.

Global Actions

As a company with a global presence, we are committed to making a difference in local communities and the world around us.

Sustainable Medicines

Leveraging our strengths in scientific innovation to reduce the environmental impact of our medicines.


  1. CarbonBrief, Healthcare in world’s largest economies ‘accounts for 4%’ of global emissions, Accessed Sept 2023.
  2., Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future, p.41. Accessed Sept 2023
  3. United Nations. Climate Change. Accessed Sept 2023
  4. United Nations. New UN weather report ‘a chronicle of chaos’: UN chief | UN News. Accessed Sept 2023
  5. McKinsey. Could climate become the weak link in your supply chain? Accessed Sept 2023
  6. Science Based Targets. The Net-Zero Standard Accessed Sept 2023
PP-UNP-GBR-6442 / September 2023
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