AstraZeneca’s Chief Executive Officer, Pascal Soriot and its Chairman, Leif Johansson, were today joined by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab and Australia’s Federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, to plant the first of 25 million trees in Australia as part of the Company’s global commitment to plant 50 million trees worldwide over the next five years.
AstraZeneca is working alongside its global partner One Tree Planted, a not-for-profit reforestation organisation, and other local organisations to begin the reforestation programme in Australia, which will account for half of the Company’s global commitment to tree reforestation.
Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The recent Australian bushfires are a powerful reminder of the impact the changing climate is having on our planet. We cannot deny we are in a climate crisis which is why we are doing our part to help with the reforestation of Australia.
These first trees planted today mark the start of our plan to plant 50 million trees around the world and are part of an ambitious programme to eliminate carbon emissions from our operations over the next five years -- measures which I believe will help reduce the worst effects of a changing climate and improve human health.”
Federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley said that AstraZeneca’s commitment to planting 25 million trees showed how corporations can deliver meaningful and practical environmental change.
Minister Ley said: “We all have roles to play in protecting our environment and I am delighted to see AstraZeneca come forward to show leadership in contributing to meaningful environmental outcomes on a significant scale.
We need trees to remove carbon from our atmosphere and to foster biodiversity among our native species and it is pleasing to see that this project focusses on achieving real outcomes.”
$200 million investment in local manufacturing operations
AstraZeneca today also committed $200M to the company’s manufacturing facility in North Ryde, Sydney. The investment follows $100M announced in 2017 and will go towards increasing the facility’s production capabilities, creating 250 jobs and increasing exports to $4.4B over the next four years.
Mr. Soriot, said: “This investment will allow us to bring more life-changing respiratory medicines to patients, with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”
For more than 60 years AstraZeneca has had a presence in Australia and today the company has evolved into one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of pharmaceuticals in the country. The local North Ryde facility is among the most digitised and innovative in the company’s global network, delivering medicines to millions of patients who need them in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and other global markets.
‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ - AstraZeneca’s accelerated sustainability efforts
The ‘AZ Forest’ initiative complements AstraZeneca’s ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ strategy, announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on the 22 January 2020, which strives to make AstraZeneca’s global operations responsible for zero emissions by 2025 and be carbon negative across its entire value chain by 2030, bringing forward previous plans by more than a decade.
The strategy accelerates the Company’s existing science-based targets, doubling energy productivity and using renewable energy for both power and heat, as well as switching to 100% electric vehicle fleet five years ahead of schedule.
AstraZeneca is investing up to $1B to achieve these goals and to develop the next-generation respiratory inhalers with near-zero Global Warming Potential (GWP) propellants. ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ sets out to make AstraZeneca’s global operations responsible for zero carbon emissions without relying on offset schemes to reach zero emissions on aggregate. In addition, the Company has joined the Sustainable Markets Council to help shape policy to reduce climate impact and decarbonise the global economy.
Since 2015, AstraZeneca has reduced carbon emissions from operations by almost a third, water consumption by almost one fifth and converted 60% of energy usage to renewable sources.
Sustainability indices and rankings
CDP A List for Climate Change
On 20 January 2020, AstraZeneca was commended for its climate action, achieving a place on global environmental impact non-profit CDP's prestigious ‘A List’ for climate change, based on the Company’s climate reporting in 2019, for the fourth consecutive year. AstraZeneca was recognised for its actions to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy, based on the data submitted by the company through CDP’s 2019 climate change questionnaire.
Corporate Knights World’s 100 Most Sustainable Corporations
On 21 January 2020, AstraZeneca was also recognised by Corporate Knights as one of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies out of more than 7,000 companies assessed, ranking 56th overall and 2nd in biopharmaceuticals.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism (CVRM) and Respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
For more information, visit www.astrazeneca.com.au and www.astrazeneca.com
About One Tree Planted
One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Their reforestation projects span the globe and are done in partnership with local communities and knowledgeable experts to create an impact for nature, people, and wildlife. Each project focus is different, and can include forest fire restoration, agroforestry, watershed health, biodiversity and habitats, climate, and social impact. Many projects have overlapping objectives, creating a combination of benefits that contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Beyond such projects, One Tree Planted believes that truly engaging people who want to have a personal experience is critical to raising awareness through action. That’s why they also organize volunteer events, create educational materials, and provide ways for businesses to give back to nature. By focusing on collaborative sustainability from the ground up, they hope to make a lasting and positive difference for the planet. For more information, visit onetreeplanted.org.