Human health is inextricably linked to planetary health. As the impacts of climate change are being experienced around the globe, the impacts on global health are becoming more and more clear.
Heat events and increasing emissions are contributing to a rise in respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and lung disease. We are also seeing shifts in the burden of infectious diseases like malaria, with climate change altering where malaria-carrying mosquitos live and how quickly they spread disease. At the same time, the natural ecosystem, an important source for developing new drugs, is heavily affected by the loss of biodiversity.
At Novartis, environmental sustainability is closely aligned with our wider purpose to reimagine medicine for people all around the world. As a company deeply committed to improving global health, we believe tackling climate change is part of that journey. This commitment and passion runs through the highest levels of our company and is reflected in the personal objectives of our senior leaders. We have embraced ambitious targets to achieve carbon neutrality in our operations by 2025, to halve the carbon emissions across our supply chain by 2030 and to achieve water and plastic neutrality by 2030.
We consistently and proactively engage our supply chain partners to identify and develop integrated energy strategies including efficiency, renewable energy and credible offsets. It is only through collaboration that we can catalyze positive change and implement viable long-term solutions that can make the world a cleaner and healthier place to live.
Greening pharmaceutical development
Novartis joins IMI-PREMIER, a new 6-year project with the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), focused on evaluating and mitigating risk of medicines in the environment.
The IMI is a public-private partnership between pharmaceutical companies, the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Following the success of the 5-year IMI project Intelligent Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (iPIE), which concluded in June 2019, we are now launching the PREMIER (Prioritisation and Risk Evaluation of Medicines in the EnviRonment) project. The project is a collaboration among 10 pharmaceutical companies, 10 research institutes and four Small Medium Enterprises. The project aims to deliver an innovative framework for characterizing the environmental risks of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), which can ultimately be used to explore and promote greener drug design and manufacturing.
“We need to think big to tackle climate change.”
A former US Navy Captain, who late during his career at the Pentagon in Washington once held a role equivalent to a two-star Navy admiral, James Goudreau is as passionate about the environment as any green activist. In this interview, James, Head of Climate at Novartis, shares insights on climate adaptation, carbon reduction and the company’s ambitious climate strategy.