GlaxoSmithKline sets net-zero environmental goals by 2030

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GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) pledged to have net-zero impact on climate and net positive impact on nature by 2030.

The new goals apply principally to its Biopharma business and portfolio while the Consumer Healthcare business will also contribute towards these goals until the spin-off in 2022.

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Over the next decade, the FTSE 100 firm will invest in measures to reduce its environmental impact and restoration programmes to offset its emissions, while it aims to put back into nature more than it takes out.

It will use 100% renewable electricity and sustainably sourced, deforestation-free materials and its sales representatives worldwide will only use electric vehicles.

These goals align with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5° over the current century.

Since setting its first environmental targets in 2010, GSK cut carbon emissions by 34%, waste to landfill by 78% and total water use by 31%.

The pharma company said increasing scientific evidence shows that climate issues affect human health, for example extreme heat contributes to deaths from diseases, while respiratory issues are exacerbated by infectious illnesses and air pollution.

“As a global healthcare company, we want to play our full part in protecting and restoring the planet’s health, in order to protect and improve people’s health,” said chief executive Emma Walmsley in a statement.

“Improving the environmental sustainability of our business also makes us more resilient, protecting our operations, so we can deliver the products that patients and consumers rely on.”

Shares rose 1% to 1,343.2p on Tuesday morning.

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