Our approach and targets

Our commitment to environmental sustainability is an important part of how we build trust with society and is aligned with our purpose. Unless we can operate sustainably, our efforts to improve and extend people’s lives may be compromised by our environmental impact.

We continue to reduce emissions, water consumption and waste sent for disposal in our own operations, in line with our 2025 targets. Meanwhile, we are integrating environmental sustainability criteria in supply contracts (aiming to complete this by 2025) and are engaging with suppliers on defining the actions needed to achieve emissions reductions. In 2023, we introduced the Environmental Sustainability Supplier Playbook, designed to provide comprehensive guidance to our suppliers on transitioning to sustainable business models.

We committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to develop science-based targets in accordance with the SBTi Corporate Net-Zero standard and are a signatory of the Climate Pledge. In December 2023, we submitted and are in the process of validating our 2040 net-zero target and an updated near-term target for 2030 in accordance with the latest SBTi Corporate Net-Zero standard. To accelerate progress across the pharmaceutical sector and other industries, we work closely with organizations such as the Pharmaceutical Environmental Group (PEG), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) and the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI).

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Novartis is committed to using resources efficiently and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our ambition is to make the company both energy and climate resilient. Our strategy is consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C compared with the pre-industrial era, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. We are committed to achieving net-zero by 2040 and have submitted our net-zero target and an updated near-term target for 2030, for validation in accordance with the latest SBTi Corporate Net-Zero standard. We expect to have validated targets in 2024.

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Health and water are closely interconnected. For Novartis, responsible water management means using water efficiently and safely throughout the lifecycle of our products, including in our supply chain, and avoiding potential risks related to pharmaceuticals reaching the natural environment. We aim to be a water steward wherever we operate, working to achieve water sustainability and helping ensure sufficient and safe water. 

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Novartis is committed to keep the environmental impact from waste at a minimum and follows a clear waste management strategy. The aim is to prevent, reduce, recycle or use waste as an energy source, before selecting safe disposal as an option. Waste prevention and reduction is always preferred to treatment, incineration or disposal. This helps ensure the overall environmental impact related to waste remains minimal, while energy use from waste is maximized. One of our waste targets is to eliminate the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a long-lasting plastic, in secondary and tertiary packaging at Novartis sites by 2025.

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