Sustainability, partnerships, alliances and recognition

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When we come together, we can transform the delivery of healthcare to become more resilient, equitable and net zero.

Creating sustainable healthcare and a sustainable planet for all requires collaboration. No organisation, government, or institution can do it alone. Through public-private partnerships, we can deliver innovation worldwide, at pace and at scale.

As a global organisation we have a responsibility to lead and we are committed to using our capabilities and commitments to help tackle some of society’s greatest challenges – be that climate change, biodiversity loss, access to healthcare or health equity. We work closely with a broad range of organisations, institutions and through business and non-governmental organisation (NGO) alliances to build private and public sector collaboration and initiate new programmes to achieve shared goals.

Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience

The Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) is a non-profit, multi-country, cross-sector collaboration launched in 2020 by the London School of Economics (LSE), the World Economic Forum (WEF) and AstraZeneca, with a unified goal to improve global health by building more sustainable and resilient health systems. The partnership has since been joined by other members including Philips, KPMG, the Center for Asia-Pacific Resilience and Innovation (CAPRI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation alongside additional organisations at regional and national levels. The partnership, which has a global reach, is now active in more than 30 countries worldwide.

With collective expertise spanning health research, policy and innovation, the PHSSR has built, and continues to expand upon one of the largest bodies of work on the sustainability and resilience of health systems globally. The PHSSR is activating global leaders and partnering with national stakeholders to drive focused interventions and policy changes. In 2023, PHSSR engaged with over 40 national and multilateral platforms and events, including the World Health Assembly, the World Health Summit and at the European Parliament.

Sustainable Markets Initiative and Terra Carta

We are a founding member of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) and early supporter of the Terra Carta.

Through the Sustainable Markets Initiative Health Systems Task Force, we are partnering across the healthcare sector to accelerate the delivery of net zero health systems. In 2023, the Health Systems Task Force continued to take joint, scalable action to accelerate the delivery of net zero healthcare, with a focus on four priority areas: Supply Chain; Patient Care Pathways; Digital Healthcare; and Consumer Health & Wellbeing.

Formally launched at COP26, the Health Systems Task Force is chaired by our Chief Executive Officer, Pascal Soriot, at the invitation of His Majesty King Charles III, in his former role as His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The Task Force brings together CEOs or equivalents from global life sciences, healthcare systems, multilateral and policy institutions and academia. 

The Terra Carta is the guiding mandate for the Sustainable Markets Initiative, providing a proposed set of principles to 2030 that puts Nature, People and Planet at the heart of global value creation.

World Economic Forum strategic partner

We have a multi-year strategic partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to engage meaningfully with public, private and philanthropic stakeholders and build impactful initiatives. Through this partnership, we have collectively made progress on shared sustainability and health systems strengthening goals. 

For example, our Chief Executive Officer, Pascal Soriot, is a member of WEF’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, which drives bold climate action and accelerates the net zero transition. Through our AZ Forest initiative, we are also a member of WEF’s; a platform committed to helping conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees by 2030.

In 2021, we joined WEF’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business coalition as a founding partner to help set new global standards for racial equity in business. Related to this, we are also a member of the Global Health Equity Network, which aims to mobilise action across sectors and geographies to prioritise health equity action in organisational strategy and purpose.

Highlights from our sustainability partnerships

Alliances and recognition

Access to Medicine Index

In 2022, we were recognised among the top-three global pharmaceutical companies in the Access to Medicine Index (AtMI), a biennial report by the Access to Medicine Foundation evaluating the contributions of 20 pharmaceutical organisations to develop and make certain medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics more accessible for people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This is our highest AtMI ranking to date, reflecting our commitment to driving equitable access to sustainable, innovative healthcare for everyone.

CDP: Climate Change, Water Security and Forests

In 2023, we were ranked as double-A- for Climate Change and Water Security, and BBB for Forests from the global environmental impact non-profit CDP. We are recognised for the actions we are taking to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks, engage our supply chain, and deliver on water stewardship.

Financial Times Europe’s Climate Leaders

In April 2023, we were listed as the top pharmaceutical company in the third edition of the Financial Times’ ‘Europe’s Climate Leaders’ list and ranked 32nd out of the 500 companies included overall. The Climate Leaders list is compiled by the Financial Times in partnership with Statista and provides a ranking of companies across Europe that considers reductions in greenhouse gas emissions intensity between 2016 and 2021 and transparency around scope 3 emissions.

Forbes World’s Top Companies for Women

In October 2023, we were listed as one of the World's Top Companies for Women by Forbes and ranked 61st out of the 400 top companies included overall. The list was compiled by Forbes in partnership with Statista. To create the list, approximately 70,000 women for multinational corporations across 37 countries were surveyed.

MSCI: AA in ESG Ratings Assessment

In 2023, we achieved AA in the MSCI ESG Ratings assessment for the fifth year year running, described as a leader among 270 companies in the pharmaceuticals industry.

Race To Zero

We were an early supporter of the United Nations-backed Race To Zero, a global campaign bringing together businesses, cities, investors and wider stakeholders to deliver a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

RE100, EV100 & EP100

We were the first pharmaceutical company to sign up to all three of the following Climate Group initiatives: by the end of 2025 we will reduce absolute energy use and double energy productivity compared with 2015 (EP100); we will use 100% renewable energy for electricity (RE100) and heat; and we will maximise our transition to EVs in our road fleet (EV100).

Science Based Targets initiative

Our emission reduction targets have been verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and we were one of the first seven companies worldwide to have our net zero, science-based Scope 1-3 targets verified under their new Net-Zero Corporate Standard.

S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)

In 2023, we were again included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and Europe indices. DJSI is the longest standing, global sustainability benchmark system.

State of Children’s Rights and Business Benchmark Report

In the Global Child Forum’s State of Children’s Rights & Business Benchmark Report 2023, we were scored as an Achiever, ranking 3rd overall in the healthcare sector (2021: 5th). In collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, the Global Child Forum assesses how the world’s most influential companies are prioritising children’s rights in their operations, using publicly available information.

Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)

We are an early adopter of the recommendations from the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). This means we will disclose our dependencies, risks and opportunities related to nature from 2025.

TIME100 Climate

Our CEO Pascal Soriot has been named by TIME100 Climate as one of the world’s most influential leaders driving climate action in business. The private sector has a critical role to play in responding to the climate crisis and under Pascal’s leadership, we are accelerating the delivery of net zero, resilient and equitable healthcare, through collaboration and innovation.

Universal Health Coverage 2030 (UHC2030)

We are a member of the UHC2030, dedicated to accelerating progress towards Universal Health Coverage through strengthening health systems.