Sustainability in Manufacture

AstraZeneca Green Labs

AstraZeneca deployed a sustainability engagement programme across the organisation, designed to build a global culture of sustainability in science to transform the organisation to reduce the environmental impacts of our lab operations and lead the industry in sustainable lab practices. AstraZeneca’s Green Lab programme has created a sustainable lab network across our enterprise, embedding sustainable ways of working from lab-bench practices to patient delivery. The programme ensures that every scientist is engaged in environmental sustainability and that they are empowered to contribute towards our organisational sustainability goals.

The programme has contributed to our Ambition Zero Carbon targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, created enterprise wide best practices, been recognised for cold storage management and leading in associated resource reductions in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, and leads the industry in the only internationally recognised certification focused on researcher behaviours, lab operations and facility capabilities (My Green Lab certification).

What was the business impact?
The programme uses ‘low cost, no cost’ tools and initiatives to empower scientists to identify opportunities that reduce resource consumption and operate more sustainably. Subsequently, we have now achieved:
• 108 labs certified across the enterprise (others baselined); including every Operations and R&D site
• Engaged over 4000 scientists
• Won the Institute for Sustainable Laboratories ‘International Freezer Challenge’ award for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industry (saving 5299 kWh/day or 278,844 mobile phone charges)
• Sharing best practice across AstraZeneca’s R&D and Pharmaceutical Technology & Development teams to drive enterprise wide mindset change
• Partnered with AZ Procurement, the nonprofit certification organization My Green Labs and other pharma companies to launch the ‘Converge initiative’; encouraging all pharmaceutical industry suppliers to engage with My Green Labs certification
• Reduced CO2 and associated financial benefits linked to resource reductions

How did this work/project demonstrate our values and behaviours?
Our diverse team of lab-based sustainability champions energised scientists across our enterprise, empowering them to assess their lab practices through a sustainability lensand driving natural resource reductions across our network. These individuals showed entrepreneurial leadership by identifying opportunities to apply lean thinking to our operational lab practices; and creating digital tools to show indicative tangible return of investment linked to implementation of sustainable lab practices. They also encouraged the network to play to win and eliminate waste through resource reduction challenges, external sustainability competitions and lunch and learns, further establishing AZ Green Labs as an industry-leading sustainability programme.

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