The Surprising Carbon Impact of Science: Study by My Green Lab Finds 91% of Biotech & Pharma Companies Not Aligned With Paris Climate Agreement

My Green Lab

SHARM EL SHEIK, EGYPT / ACCESSWIRE / November 10, 2022 / My Green Lab:

A study released at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, found that 91% of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies do not have carbon reduction targets aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement. My Green Lab, the leading global non-profit organization committed to sustainability in science, revealed in this study that while the largest companies in the industry by revenue have established goals and commitments to reduce emissions, most still do not have commitments aligned with a 1.5˚C warming scenario, the emission targets that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNFCCC) estimates will avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"While it is encouraging to see the leading companies in the biotech and pharma industry starting to drive year on year reductions, we need to get the entire industry engaged, and we need to rapidly scale up our efforts if the industry is going to be part of the climate solution," says James Connelly, CEO of My Green Lab. "We need every company in the industry to join the Race to Zero campaign and take rapid, measurable actions to drive down emissions. While progress towards the Breakthrough Outcome goal of 95% of labs achieving My Green Lab Certification is encouraging and a key leading indicator of transformation, we need to move faster," Connelly continues.

My Green Lab's report, produced in partnership with Intercontinental Exchange Inc., which acquired Urgentem in July 2022, is an update to their 2021 report, which quantified Scope 1 and 2 as well as Scope 3 emissions across the industry's entire value chain. The updated report tracks the industry's progress since 2015 and evaluates alignment with achieving the Paris Climate Agreement. It leverages data from 231 publicly listed companies and 151 privately held companies and compares that profile to other industry sectors.


Also revealed in the study is the total carbon impact of public companies in the industry sector, which increased 15% to 227 million tCO2-e, or metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Adding in private companies increases the total another 15%, with the total carbon impact of the industry equaling 260 million tCO2-e.

The study is the first to evaluate the upstream and downstream value chain of biotech and pharma by quantifying Scope 3 indirect emissions for both public and private companies. It found that Scope 3 emissions are 4.3 times higher for publicly listed companies and 3.3 times larger for privately owned companies than Scope 1 and 2 combined. The majority of this impact comes from purchased goods and services and use of sold goods.

Although the fast-growing global biotech and pharmaceutical industry is a significant contributor to climate change, the industry's largest companies are demonstrating leadership in emissions reductions. Highlighted in the report is the industry's move to implement green lab programs, which provide a roadmap of practical opportunities for companies, scientists, and their suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of laboratories.

The study found that 46% of major actors in the sector, measured by revenue, have committed to the UN Race to Zero campaign, an increase from 31% at this time last year. Progress towards the 2030 Breakthrough Outcome, a key measure of progress towards a zero carbon future, has also been swift, with over 53% of companies in the campaign starting a My Green Lab Certification, 23% at a global scale.

"Pharmaceutical companies have a pivotal role to play in decarbonizing healthcare. We're proud to be partnering with My Green Lab, the global standard for laboratory sustainability, to accelerate climate action across our organization," says Juliette White, Vice-President, Global Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) and Sustainability, AstraZeneca. "Through our science-based Ambition Zero Carbon targets, we are on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations and fleet by 98% by 2026 and have already achieved My Green Lab Certification in over 68 labs worldwide, engaging with over 1,700 scientists," White continues.

My Green Lab Certification focuses on reducing emissions for Scope 1 and 2 by making laboratory operations more sustainable. It further helps catalyze Scope 3 reductions by encouraging sustainable purchasing within organizations and with laboratories that a company contracts within its supply chain. It was selected as a Race to Zero Breakthrough Outcome to help pharmaceutical and medical tech companies achieve the goal of a zero-carbon world by 2050.

About My Green Lab

My Green Lab® is a non-profit environmental organization with a mission to build a global culture of sustainability in science, and a delivery partner for the United Nations-backed Race to Zero Campaign. The organization is the world leader in developing internationally recognized sustainability standards for laboratories and laboratory products-bringing sustainability to the community responsible for the world's life-changing medical and technical innovations. Laboratories are some of the most resource-intensive spaces in any industry, but they don't have to be. By introducing a new perspective and proven best practices within a carefully crafted framework, My Green Lab has inspired tens of thousands of scientists and lab professionals to make positive changes in their labs by reducing the environmental impact of their work.

My Green Lab Certification is the global gold standard for laboratory sustainability best practices and the cornerstone of My Green Lab's mission to build a global culture of sustainability in science. Selected as a key indicator of progress for the UNFCCC High-Level Climate Champion's 2030 Breakthrough campaign, the program covers fourteen topics including energy, water, waste, chemistry/materials, and engagement. It provides both scientists and the teams that support laboratories with actionable strategies to make real and impactful environmental changes. To date, My Green Lab has supported over 1,300 labs worldwide, engaging over 10,000 scientists from 39 different countries.

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Spokesperson: My Green Lab
Website: profiles/my-green-lab

SOURCE: My Green Lab

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