More Biotech and Pharma Companies Join the UN Race to Zero Campaign
The biotech and pharma industry plans to implement green lab programs to further reduce the environmental impact of labs
iStock, hocus-focus

More Biotech and Pharma Companies Join the UN Race to Zero Campaign

Some 46 percent of biotech and pharma companies are now committed to UN Race to Zero

Photo portrait of swathi kodaikal
Swathi Kodaikal, MSc

Swathi Kodaikal, MSc, holds a master’s degree in biotechnology and has worked in places where actual science and research happen. Blending her love for writing with science, Swathi enjoys demystifying...

ViewFull Profile
Learn about ourEditorial Policies.
Published:Dec 08, 2022
|Updated:Dec 14, 2022
|2 min read

In partnership with Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), My Green Lab recently released an encouraging study at the COP27 in November 2022. The study shows that 46 percent of the biotech and pharma industry is committed to joining the UN Race to Zero campaign with zero carbon goals, an increase from 31 percent in 2021. This updated report tracks the industry’s progress since 2015 and evaluates alignment with achieving the Paris Climate Agreement.

The report reveals pivotal facts that lay a roadmap to a zero carbon future:

  • About 91 percent of biotech and pharma companies still lack carbon reduction targets to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

  • Based on emissions from 231 publicly-listed biotechnology and/or pharmaceutical companies, the total carbon impact of the industry is about 260 million tCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent). Specifically, according to the report, the carbon impact from publicly listed companies increased by 15 percent from 197 million tCO2e in 2020 to 227 million tons in 2021. While the impact from privately held companies contributed another 15 percent, reaching a total of 260 million tCO2e.

  • The industry plans to implement green lab programs, which provide practical opportunities at every level to further reduce the environmental impact of laboratories.

A key indicator to progress towards a zero carbon future is the My Green Lab Certification. According to this report, more than 53 percent of the companies in the campaign have started a My Green Lab Certification. The Breakthrough Outcome (set by the UN High-Level Champions to win the race to zero emissions by 2050) for the biotech and pharma sector will be achieved when, by 2030, 95 percent of laboratories are My Green Lab certified.

“While it is encouraging to see the leading companies in the biotech and pharma industry starting to drive year-on-year reductions—we need to get the entire industry engaged, and we need to rapidly scale up our efforts if the industry is going to be part of the climate solution,” said James Connelly, CEO of My Green Lab, in a recent press release.

Correction: An earlier version of this news summary incorrectly stated that publicly and privately owned companies each added 15 percent to the total carbon impact of the industry (about 260 million tCO2e), while in fact, the carbon impact from publicly and privately listed companies each contributed 15 percent over 2020 emissions for the total of 260 million tCO2e in 2021.