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Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability

Building a Healthier and More Environmentally Sustainable Future

Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability (EHS&S) refers to the practices to protect the health and safety of employees and the public as well as the environment. Strong EHS&S management requires the implementation of systems and processes to assess and control the risks of environmental impacts and health and safety hazards. Besides assuring compliance with applicable legislation, EHS&S management systems drive continuous improvement and learning.

Equally important, the rapidly growing rate of resource consumption throughout the world is unsustainable. The pharmaceutical industry recognises that reversing the use of natural resources, the degradation of ecosystems, and the disruption of the environmental systems that support human life, are critical for the benefit of current and future generations. Therefore, we believe that an increased focus on environmental sustainability is key for the future health of our planet. EFPIA member companies strive to invent, produce, and distribute new medicines and vaccines in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Furthermore, we are actively providing a safe and healthy workplace while reducing the environmental impact on our operations and those of our supply partners around the world. A risk management approach is employed to create transformational health innovations while protecting our employees and employing practical aspects of environmental sustainability.

Building a Healthier and More Environmentally Sustainable Future

The pharmaceutical industry is committed to building a healthier and more environmentally sustainable future. We do this by driving an agile, innovative, evidence-based sustainability strategy to enable the pharmaceutical industry to embrace evolutions in science, technology & society and to integrate sustainability across our entire value chain to deliver quality-based, healthy, and green outcomes while positively impacting the lives of patients. EFPIA welcomes and embraces the Commission’s focus on the Green Agenda and a more sustainable Europe and looks forward to engaging constructively on the roll-out of their policy priorities.

Our members are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of patients whilst operating in a sustainable manner. As we have a responsibility toward the health of the population, we are moving forward in making a beneficial impact by actively addressing climate change and the transition to a circular economy with changes throughout the value chain, as we continue to innovate.

What are we doing?

Environmental sustainability is a key value driver to accelerate delivery, improve efficiency and sustain transformational health innovation. Our industry encourages the appropriate use of a risk-based approach to environmental challenges and undertakes initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility. The European pharmaceutical industry is committed to continuing to play an active role in addressing concerns around risks associated with Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (PiE). Minimising the impact of medicines on the environment while safeguarding access to effective treatments for patients is a critical issue across all sectors of healthcare.

At EFPIA, we believe that a collaborative approach allows us to increase our mutual knowledge and understanding of how to proactively address any potential risks imposed by the presence of PiE. To this end, EFPIA, AESGP, and Medicines for Europe have developed the Eco-Pharmaco-Stewardship (EPS) framework that applies the widely accepted principles of product stewardship and is implemented across the industry and with broader stakeholders in the healthcare and environmental sector. The pharmaceutical sector is one of the most regulated in Europe and the world. Accordingly, the pre-approval of manufacturing plants, clinical trials, and marketing authorisations should be given consideration when implementing and interpreting some elements of EU Chemicals legislation. The long development timelines and highly regulated nature of this industry are fundamental aspects of the ability to react to changes in legislation (e.g. restriction of chemicals). Chemical processes comprise a significant portion of a medicine’s environmental footprint, and responsible use of chemicals is a key environmental stewardship priority for the sector.