Our approach and targets

Our commitment to environmental sustainability is an important part of how we build trust with society and is aligned with our purpose. Unless we can operate sustainably, our efforts to improve and extend people’s lives may be compromised by our environmental impact.

Our targets to be carbon neutral, plastic neutral and water sustainable are the central focus of our environmental sustainability strategy. In 2021, we further strengthened our environmental targets by committing to become net zero in terms of climate emissions across our value chain by 2040, building on our other mid- and long-term goals.

Novartis environmental targets

Novartis environmental targets: Climate, Waste and Water

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Other information

  • Novartis had no violation or paid material fines or penalties over USD 10,000 related to environmental issues in FY2019 - 2021 

Greenhouse gas emissions

Novartis is committed to using resources efficiently and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our ambition is to make the company both energy and climate resilient. Our strategy is consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. We are committed to achieving net zero by 2040 and are in the process of aligning our strategy and targets to the new Science Based Targets (SBT) Net Zero Standard published in October 2021. 

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Health and water are closely interconnected. For Novartis, responsible water management means using water efficiently and safely throughout the lifecycle of our products, including in our supply chain, and avoiding potential risks related to pharmaceuticals reaching the natural environment. We aim to be a water steward wherever we operate, working to achieve water sustainability and helping ensure sufficient and safe water. 

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Novartis is committed to keep the environmental impact from waste at a minimum and follows a clear waste management strategy. The aim is to prevent, reduce, recycle or use waste as an energy source, before selecting safe disposal as an option. Waste prevention and reduction is always preferred to treatment, incineration or disposal. This helps ensure the overall environmental impact related to waste remains minimal, while energy use from waste is maximized. 

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Antimicrobial resistance

The WHO has declared antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – when antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat – as one of the major public health threats facing humanity. Novartis supports the global scientific consensus that overuse, underuse and misuse of antimicrobial medicines all contribute to the spread of AMR, and that a balanced approach encompassing prevention, stewardship, access and innovation is needed. 

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