Pharmaceutical giant fills greener prescription to tackle air pollution

AstraZeneca has pledged to switch its 16,000-vehicle fleet to electric cars by 2030

Festival Net Zero 2021

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has made a commitment to limit the health impacts of air pollution by electrifying its global vehicle fleet.

It has become the first pharmaceutical company to join the EV100 initiative and has announced a switch of its 16,000-vehicle fleet to electric cars by 2030 to tackle climate change.

AstraZeneca’s EV fleet will also be fully powered by renewable energy, with 61% of its total electricity use generated or sourced from green sources so far.

It plans to expand the charging infrastructure at its office sites to support the shift to electric vehicles, with its latest pledge expected to save more than 80,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Businesses representing around $900 billion (£725bn) in annual turnover and 2.8 million employees in total have now committed to electrifying transport through The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative.

Katarina Ageborg, EVP, Sustainability and Chief Compliance Officer at AstraZeneca, said: “Recognising the link between a healthy environment and human health, we believe that by investing in electric vehicles and emissions-reduction initiatives, we can help reduce the burden of respiratory diseases and other air pollution-related conditions. Environmental stewardship will prevent disease as well as protect the planet for future generations.

“Sustainable business is about addressing the impact of our activities on both the planet and on people’s health and this needs to be a joint effort. We should all work together in partnership on climate action.”

AstraZeneca is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with major corporate sites in the US and Sweden.

The company currently has 120 EVs in the UK, representing around 23% of its national fleet.

UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore welcomed the news.

He said: “Cleaning up our transport system is one of the biggest challenges we face in tackling climate change so it’s essential we do everything we can to encourage all sectors of society to rise to the challenge.”

Latest Podcast