International pharmaceutical and medical device guidelines
Carbon footprinting pharmaceuticals and medical devices
Globally pharmaceuticals and medical devices contribute a significant proportion of healthcare associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The Sustainable Development Unit has been working with a range of pharmaceutical and medical devices companies to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint of medicines and medical devices. We have formed an international alliance that has created the first international guidance for calculating the carbon footprint of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
New International Guidelines
The SDU believe that standardised guidance is essential if the NHS and other health systems are to create a model for sustainable healthcare. Accurate greenhouse gas accounting and reporting requires detailed processes, and measuring GGHs emissions consistently globally will help us to identify emissions “hot-sport” where we initially need to focus our attention to achieve the greatest impact.
After consulting widely across the industry the SDU and partners have produced the first ever international guidance.
The guidance document and a summary of the guidance, both published in November 2012, are available to download at the bottom of this page.
Globally pharmaceuticals contribute a large proportion of healthcare associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In England the SDU’s research suggests that in 2010 22% of NHS GHG emissions were attributable to pharmaceuticals and 8% to medical devices.
About this guidance
The SDU and an alliance of international pharmaceutical and medical devices companies commissioned the environmental consultancy ERM to write industry specific guidance to aid in uniform greenhouse gas accounting and reporting for pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
ERM and the SDU worked with an international collaboration of manufacturers, carbon foot-printing specialists and healthcare experts, to develop this guidance. The collaboration has resulted in internationally relevant guidance that facilitates greater uniformity in greenhouse gas (GGH) accounting and reporting for pharmaceuticals and medical devices from their manufacture to their disposal.
This guidance will allow industry to highlight areas of intensive greenhouse gas (GGH) use and consequently inform procurement decisions. In the future the guidance may be used as the basis for the creation of product category rules, which could be used to compare the greenhouse gas (GGH) emissions of two equivalent products.
The World Resources Institute (WRI) have reviewed the guidance and awarded it their Built on Greenhouse Gas Protocol Mark, which means that it meets their international greenhouse gas protocol standard.
Further information and feedback on the guidance
If you would like further information about the project or to comment on the guidance documents please email email@example.com
PowerPoint Presentations from the launch event for the guidance (held at St. Thomas’ Hospital, November 30th 2012) are available to download below.
The full 180 page document - Greenhouse Gas Accounting Sector Guidance for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices
28 page summary of the Greenhouse Gas Accounting Sector Guidance for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices
Slides from the launch of the "Greenhouse Gas Accounting Sector Guidance for Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices" launch event, afternoon session 30 November 2012
Slides from the launch of the "Greenhouse Gas Accounting Sector Guidance for Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices" launch event, morning session 30 November 2012