The Earth Day movement has been advocating for climate action since 1970.  That’s over fifty years of educating, mobilizing and empowering people to support the environmental movement worldwide. 

Today, the global mandate for climate action is beginning to impact organizations across every industry. Rob O’Beirn, Sharp’s executive sponsor of ESG initiatives reflects on the increasing mandate our environmental responsibilities play in the organization’s strategy.

For Sharp, issues of the environment fall under the broader term of sustainability, which we interpret as the manner in which we use natural, social and economic resources to live and work in the world today that ensures we don’t compromise future generations’ ability to meet their needs. 

Environmental regulation is, out of necessity, a challenging landscape for organizations to navigate with many complex global standards and metrics to measure and report against. Just like the pharma clients we serve, and the supply chain we participate in, Sharp recognizes the increasingly urgent need to agree and execute a robust strategy on sustainability, one that is both ambitious and actionable, so that we can play our part in contributing to social and climate goals, as set out in the Paris climate agreement.

Redefining what success looks like

As a multi-national organization with production facilities in many different countries, Sharp has a broad reach and therefore, a broad responsibility. For our organization, acting sustainably means that we begin to frame our decisions in terms of environmental, social, and human impact for the longer term, not just our immediate operational demands.  Increasingly, our success is being measured in how we create long-term value by delivering on our commitments to all our stakeholders, including our employees, our parent company UDG Healthcare and their investors, as well as our clients and most importantly, their patients. 

Creating a roadmap to carbon reductions

While we have achieved some important tactical environmental goals at Sharp specifically around waste management and green energy, we are at the early stage of our long-term sustainability journey.  Like many of our peer organizations, we are focused now on detailing an accurate picture of where we stand today, in terms of our waste, energy and water consumption. This will give us a clear baseline, allowing us to build an actionable roadmap to reducing our carbon emissions in a more significant way. Although we have been measuring and reporting environmental KPIs on our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for a number of years now, and that gives us a really solid start, we have more work to do to set specific and certified targets for carbon reduction.  Ultimately, our goal is to position ourselves, along with our parent UDG Healthcare, to be able to contribute to the Net Zero ambition in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement.

A multi-pronged approach to emissions reduction

In parallel with reporting on our scope 1 and scope 2 carbon emissions and making a commitment to carbon reductions across our own facility network, we are looking at other ways to make a positive contribution to reducing emissions.  We are working with our own suppliers to explore how together, we might offer a more sustainable packaging supply chain solution for our pharma clients.

Another area of focus extends beyond Sharp, to collaborations with other industry partners and supply chain organizations.  We are examining ways in which Sharp can proactively contribute to progress the climate action agenda across the pharmaceutical supply chain in which we play an active role.

Our larger pharma clients in many cases are leading the way for us, having themselves committed to ambitious climate targets and we are actively engaged with many of them on how we can support a reduction in their Scope 3 emissions.  Scope 3, or indirect emissions is where the greatest positive impact on environmental targets can be made, although they are also the most challenging and will demand intense collaboration and transparency across the pharma supply chain.

Read more about the Paris Climate Agreement and learn about the Earth Day movement.