Skip to Main Content

As the health impacts of climate change become harder to ignore, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are facing increasing pressure from investors, employees, and government regulators to reduce their carbon emissions, and to make environmental sustainability a core part of their business.

Globally, large public biotech and pharmaceutical companies are responsible for more than 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and equivalent emissions, according to estimates from one 2022 report. The bulk of those emissions are tied to companies’ products and supply chains, which can be hard to measure. In the U.S., about 8.5% of the national carbon footprint can be attributed to the health care industry at large.


While other sectors, such as the financial industry, have been developing environmental standards for years, often in response to pressure from shareholders, this work is just getting started for biotech and pharma companies. But venture capital firms that invest in health-related biotech, employees and other stakeholders are starting to demand that companies take climate action, and that they provide data showing they are making progress toward emissions reduction goals.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


Create a display name to comment

This name will appear with your comment

There was an error saving your display name. Please check and try again.