Open Letter to suppliers published by members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Health Systems Task Force
Signed by the CEOs of AstraZeneca, GSK, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Samsung Biologics, and the Chairman of Roche, the Health Systems Task Force is calling on suppliers to commit to joint, minimum climate and sustainability targets.
London, England: Private sector members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Health Systems Task Force have signed an Open Letter , calling on suppliers to commit to joint, minimum climate and sustainability targets to play their part in decarbonising the healthcare value chain.
The letter is signed by the CEOs of AstraZeneca, GSK, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Samsung Biologics, and the Chairman of Roche. The supplier targets outlined in the letter aim to reduce emissions across the value chain and reduce the complexity of multiple asks for suppliers, through setting common expectations of the minimum targets that suppliers should achieve.
As the letter outlines: The climate crisis is one of the most urgent risks to global health. The science is clear: there is a rise in non-communicable and infectious diseases due to climate change, with seven million people dying prematurely each year from air pollution alone. At the same time, the healthcare sector contributes 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with around half of this footprint coming from healthcare supply chains. Joint action at scale is needed to move the needle.
Healthcare supply chains must become greener, more efficient and circular. We must work across the value chain to decarbonise operations, and do all we can to move away from fossil-fuelled heat and power. Having launched a set of core commitments at COP27, we are scaling our impact above and beyond the actions we are taking within our own organisations. As part of this, we have set joint, minimum climate and sustainability targets for suppliers which aim to address emissions across the value chain and reduce the complexity of multiple asks.
The targets were developed collaboratively by evaluating industry best practices and engaging with a cohort of suppliers to incorporate supplier perspectives. Pharmaceutical companies within the Sustainable Markets Initiative Health Systems Task Force will now implement these targets individually with their respective suppliers as part of their existing engagement processes. (N.B. some members of the Task Force will have more ambitious or additional targets; in cases where member organisations have more stringent requirements than those in the targets, the more stringent requirement takes precedence).
Members will collectively drive stronger collaboration with suppliers on this topic, including by supporting suppliers with solutions to achieving the targets. The publishing of the joint supplier targets reflects another important step towards accelerating the transition to net zero healthcare systems to improve individual, societal, and planetary health.