Research Outline

Sustainability Pharmaceutical Companies.


To obtain an in-depth understanding of the sustainability initiatives adopted by major pharmaceutical companies covering all sustainability issues, targets, timeline, and frameworks.

Early Findings

Sustainability Issues Identified

AstraZeneca pursues sustainability in three major areas:
  • access to healthcare,
  • environmental protection,
  • ethics and transparency.

SDG Goals Alignment and Progress

The firm also measures its success using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Out of the 17 major areas identified by the UN, AstraZeneca aligns itself to six and routinely reports its progress in those areas.

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being

AstraZeneca hopes to achieve the following objectives:
  • reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases,
  • strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse,
  • reduce the number of global deaths and accidents from road traffic accidents,
  • achieve universal health coverage, and
  • increase the health workforce in developing countries.
In achieving the above goals, the company has performed the following activities:
  • reached over 12 million people through various access to healthcare programs and initiatives such as the Healthy Heart Africa as well as the Healthy Lung and Phakamisa program,
  • reached over 3 million youths through the Young Health Program,
  • trained over 35,000 healthcare workers, and
  • partnered with over 1,600 health facilities.

SDG 5 - Gender Equality
In achieving the above goal, the company has performed the following activities:
  • In 2018, 44.6% of its senior management staff are women (up from 44.4% in 2017), 30.2% of its executive staff are women (up from 28.1% in 2017), and 42% of its Board of Directors are women (same as 2017 figures).

The firm has also made significant progress with Sustainable Development Goals 8, 12, 13, and 17.

Science Based Targets

  • AstraZeneca signed up on Science Based Targets about three years ago in the month of October2016. According to its target profile, the company committed itself to reducing scope 1 emissions by 20% and scope 2 emissions 95% from 2015 to 2025. Also, the company plans to reduce all scope 3 emissions by 25% per million USD of sales within the same time frame.


  • AstraZeneca's environmental management policies are based on frameworks provided by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Chief Sustainability Officer

Katarina Ageborg is the Sustainability and Chief Compliance Officer at AstraZeneca.