Biopharma successful in achieving climate-related goals, report finds

A report shows two Big Pharma companies made the top 10 in the FTSE sustainability leaderboard, yet progress against climate goals has stalled since COP26.

Biopharma most sustainable sector finds report

EcoAct’s 12th annual Corporate Climate Reporting Performance Report revealed the biopharmaceutical sector was above average in achieving emission-related goals, with GSK being FTSE 100’s best performer. Yet half (52 percent) of FTSE 100 companies were found not to have reduced emissions aligned to a 1.5°C trajectory. Some unfortunately, increased their emissions.

Along with GSK gaining first place in FTSE 100, the research acknowledged AstraZeneca’s spot in the FTSE top ten.

The 2022 report focused on the commitments and actions businesses are taking and assessed how international firms across the FTSE, DOW, DAX, CAC, FTSE MIB and IBEX are handling climate sustainability challenges.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), emissions must achieve reduction of 43 percent by 2030. Over a third of the international businesses reviewed have a validated (SBT) for Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Just eight percent have one for Scope 3 supply chain emissions.


The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Corporate Net-Zero Standard is the first framework for corporate net-zero science-based target setting. The initiative states most companies must have long-term targets, which include reducing emissions at least 90-95 percent by 2050.

In the last three years, the percentage of businesses committed to net-zero were found to be:

  • At 45 percent in 2020
  • At 66 percent in 2021
  • At 75 percent in 2022. 

The report found 48 percent of FTSE 100 businesses achieved Scope 1 and 2 emission reductions in line with 1.5°C, compared to 72 percent in 2021. EcoAct identified that 97 percent of FTSE 100 businesses do not have long-term reduction targets for Scopes 1 and 2. This statistic was 96 percent for Scope 3.

Stuart Lemmon, CEO of EcoAct and Managing Director of the Net Zero Transformation practice at Atos commented: “It is positive that three in four businesses intend to reach net-zero… [especially as] many businesses have become well-versed in the requirements of climate disclosures.” Nevertheless, Lemmon added that since the UN Climate summit in 2021, measures companies are taking to improve their climate responsibility has stalled. COVID-19 saw a significant reduction in the industry’s emissions, yet this action has not been followed through in 2022.

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