Pharma Companies Join the American Business Act on Climate Pledge

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Biogen, Genentech, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, and Patheon publicize their support for action on climate change.

An additional 73 companies, including the bio/pharma companies Patheon, Biogen, Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, and Novartis, have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, the White House announced on Nov. 30, 2015. The pledge was originally launched in July 2015, and a total of 154 companies have now pledged their support. Companies signing the pledge “demonstrate their support for action on climate change and the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future,” said the White House press release.

Companies have set their own goals for reducing carbon emissions, water use, and waste, including commitments to achieve zero waste to landfill. Biogen, for example, says it became the first biopharmaceutical company to achieve carbon neutrality as of the end of 2014, and its goals include reducing direct and indirect operational carbon emissions by 80% by 2020 (compared to 2006), reducing water use by 80% by 2020, and achieving “zero manufacturing waste-to-landfill status at all major owned locations,” according to the press release

Genentech set several goals for its San Francisco headquarters to be met by 2020. The company plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on-site and in transportation; reduce water use “through projects such as internal treatment and reuse of wastewater streams in our cooling towers and boilers, as well as the implementation of a greywater reuse system;” and reduce waste to landfill by 80% (compared to 2010).

Johnson & Johnson’s goals include reducing absolute carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 and working towards powering all of its facilities with renewable energy by 2050.


Novartis says it has made progress toward its targets set in 2010 and has set more aggressive targets for 2020 and 2030 for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Patheon committed to zero waste to landfill by 2020, a 30% reduction in energy use by 2020 (from a 2010 baseline), and a 10% reduction in water withdrawal by 2020 (from a 2014 baseline). 

Source: The White House