The total global emissions of the pharma sector amount to about 52 megatonnes of CO2e in 2015

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Who could have guessed that the big pharmaceutical companies produce more CO2 emissions than the auto manufacturing sector.

Rarely does mention of the pharmaceutical industry conjure up images of smoke stacks, pollution and environmental damage.

Yet our recent study found the global pharmaceutical industry is not only a significant contributor to global warming, but it is also dirtier than the global automotive production sector.

It was a surprise to find how little attention researchers have paid to the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. Only two other studies had some relevance: one looked at the environmental impact of the US health-care system and the other at the pollution (mostly water) discharged by drug manufacturers.

Our study was the first to assess the carbon footprint of the pharma sector.

More than 200 companies represent the global pharmaceutical market, yet only 25 consistently reported their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions in the past five years. Of those, only 15 reported their emissions since 2012.

The global pharmaceutical industry is dirtier than the automotive manufacturing sector in terms of planet-damaging carbon emissions. Image: Rarely does mention of the pharmaceutical industry conjure up images of smoke stacks, pollution and environmental damage. Yet our recent study found the global pharmaceutical industry is […]

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