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Major healthcare companies, including AstraZeneca and GSK, join forces to expand renewable energy in China and India, reducing carbon emissions.

In a significant collaborative effort, leading healthcare corporations, such as AstraZeneca, GSK, Novo Nordisk, and Roche, are uniting to escalate the use of renewable energy within their supply chains. This initiative involves crucial negotiations with China and India, two pivotal markets in the pharmaceutical industry.

These companies are integral members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Health Systems Task Force, a public-private partnership forged at COP26. The pharmaceutical markets in China and India are vital, with these countries supplying up to 50% of materials essential for medicine production.

Under the agreements with China, the task force aims to facilitate renewable energy projects in Jiangsu, Guangdong, Shanghai, and Beijing. Starting in 2024, these projects are expected to contribute approximately 70 megawatts of green power annually to the electrical grid. The anticipated outcome includes significant emissions savings, estimated at around 120,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.

In India, the focus is on supporting suppliers in Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu to embrace renewable energy solutions.

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Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca and chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Health Systems Task Force, emphasized the urgency of the situation in a statement: “The world has finally woken up to the reality that the climate crisis is also a health crisis.” He highlighted the need for “bold, scalable action” to ensure a sustainable future, adding that this announcement is a crucial step towards decarbonizing the healthcare sector.

The healthcare industry's carbon footprint is a growing concern globally. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution alone leads to approximately seven million premature deaths annually. The healthcare sector is responsible for about 5% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, which is double the emissions of the aviation industry.

To combat this, the healthcare sector is actively seeking sustainable alternatives. Companies like Bausch + Lomb are making strides with recycling programs, while GE Healthcare and ReLink Medical are finding ways to reduce medical device waste.

Significantly, more than half of the healthcare industry's emissions originate from its manufacturing supply chain, with energy use in these chains accounting for about a quarter of the sector's total emissions. Therefore, the move to decarbonize the healthcare supply chain is seen as a crucial step in reducing the industry's overall carbon footprint.

As climate change increasingly impacts public health, these initiatives by the world’s healthcare giants mark a crucial transition towards more sustainable practices, setting a precedent for other sectors to follow.

Samira is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, but deep inside, her heart is a nomad! She's a state champion debater, a public speaker, a scriptwriter, a theatre actress, but most importantly — A GREEN CITIZEN! She thinks of herself as a storyteller who thrives on enjoying the life at fullest and telling everyone the tales of life.

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