GSK requires supplier sustainability compliance from 2023

New climate responsibility for the GSK supply chain will come into force from 2023, helping the biopharmaceutical giant to achieve their aspirational environmental targets.

Green or sustainable industry concept with factory sitting on top of the curvature of the Earth on a green background

At Climate Week NYC GSK presented its new Sustainable Procurement Programme, announcing a fresh agenda, outlining how they will support their suppliers to succeed in their bold environmental objectives: have a net zero climate impact and a net positive impact on nature.

This is an important move, as many GSK suppliers do not have easy geographical access to green infrastructure or green financing. Moreover, pharmaceutical manufacturing poses a huge detriment to the state of the planet’s ecosystem. Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are particularly impact intensive, soaking up a large quantity of resources in terms of heat, energy and water when being produced. Currently, 40 percent of GSK’s carbon footprint comes from its supply chain, which have global impacts on water, waste and biodiversity.

The roll out of the programme signals GSK’s commitment in helping to restore its previous environmental impact, pressing their supply chain to start the change. These strategic requirements enable GSK to align with the global move toward being green, something which the company stated shows its devotion not only to suppliers but patients and pharmaceutical professionals alike, giving them confidence as future customers.

Under the Sustainable Procurement Programme, every aspect of the supply chain is required to take action on carbon, power, heat, transport, water, waste, and sustainable and deforestation-free sourcing of materials. Suppliers must disclose and set targets to reduce carbon emissions, as well as set delivery plans that align with the 1.5 degree Science Based Targets initiative. This involves switching to renewable power and heat, reaching water neutrality in water stressed areas, and achieving 10 percent waste reduction. Companies will also need to adhere to GSK’s responsible sourcing minimum standards. In addition, transport suppliers must have green transport solutions.

The Sustainable Procurement Programme offers education to and provides suppliers with new, clear environmental sustainability measures, according to the company. In October, GSK will collaborate with 160 of their contractors who are essential to achieving reducing environmental impact. In the discussion, the enterprise will identify what they will need to offer in terms of support, enabling it to move forward in achieving their green ambitions.

GSK’s Chief Procurement Officer, Lisa Martin stated: “As a global biopharma company committed to getting ahead of disease together, we must work closer than ever with our supply chain and beyond to catalyse positive change across environmental systems and protect the health of the planet and people.”