For Novartis, responsible water management means minimizing our water footprint along the entire materials 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. Our 2025 goal is to reduce water consumption in our operations by half versus 2016, with no water quality impacts from manufacturing effluents. By 2030, we aim to be water neutral in all areas of our operations, while actively enhancing water quality wherever we operate.
Novartis recognizes that water is a valuable resource which needs to be used responsibly particularly in regions of the world where water is scarce. Water recycling and practices of water savings are therefore a priority for our operations. We closely monitor all water streams into and out of our sites, which helps ensure effective management of water resources and costs. Sites are encouraged to use water from underground or surface sources for cooling because this can save energy in areas where water is abundant. However, we take care to do this in a sustainable way and without impact to the environment.
A major area of concern on water quality is the prevention of pharmaceuticals entering the aquatic environment. The majority of pharmaceuticals in the environment are a result of excretions of treated patients and improper disposal of unused or expired medicine. However, relatively small quantities can come from drug manufacturing effluents and R&D facilities. We actively manage pharmaceutical discharges, including antibiotics, from our own and our supplier production sites. our progress is included in the AMR Industry Alliance report and the Access to Medicine Foundation AMR Benchmark report.
All new products undergo a regulatory assessment for potential long-term environmental risks and our legacy products run through a targeted assessment to prioritize pharmaceuticals for further environmental testing. In addition, Novartis participated successfully in the iPiE project (Intelligence-led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment), funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). This project developed a framework to identify the potential risk of pharmaceuticals to the natural environment and methods to prioritize legacy pharmaceuticals for targeted environmental risk assessment.
Novartis also recommends to patients and consumers of pharmaceutical and medicinal products to dispose of any unused or expired medicinal product or waste material in accordance with local requirements as well as disposal instructions on the patient information materials provided with the product.