The pharmaceutical industry is characterized as a sector loaded with innovation and development (R&D), but its progress does not depend solely on new technologies; sustainability also plays a role. In Spain, 58% of companies in the pharmaceutical sector see it as a priority to incorporate sustainable impact measures in their activity, compared to 48% of the average, according to a report prepared by the Spanish Network of the United Nations Global Compact.
The study also points out that 24% of pharmaceutical companies have set public and measurable objectives, compared to 20% of the average, in line with the 2030 Agenda.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by more than 150 heads of state and government gathered at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.
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Sigre is one of the measures to promote sustainability in the sector
One of the highlights of the Sustainable Development Goals is precisely number 12, which states that achieving sustainable consumption and production is about “promoting the efficient use of resources and energy, the construction of environmentally friendly infrastructure, improved access to basic services and the creation of green, fairly paid jobs with good working conditions.”
This goal is also strongly linked to environmental protection, as reflected in targets 12.4 and 12.5. One of the measures being implemented by the pharmaceutical industry through Sigre, is the system for the management of waste medicines and their packaging of domestic origin, which was launched by the pharmaceutical industry, together with pharmaceutical distributors and pharmacies, in 2001.
Sigre works with a twofold objective: the environmental objective is to reduce the environmental damage that medicine packaging and waste can cause by preventing waste at the source and the correct environmental treatment of the waste generated. The second objective is health, by encouraging the non-accumulation of medicines in homes and raising public awareness of the health risks arising from inappropriate use.
In 2021, pharmaceutical laboratories carried out 421 eco-design projects
In 2021, pharmaceutical laboratories carried out 421 eco-design projects that made 117 million packages placed on the market more sustainable, according to Sigre data.
Also noteworthy is the positive evolution of medicines collected in 2021, thanks to citizen collaboration. Specifically, the recycling rate of packaging was almost 70%, 8% more than the previous year, thus recovering pre-pandemic levels in Spanish households.
On the other hand, the report highlights that the sector entities are above the Spanish average in the knowledge of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda (87% knowledge, compared to 81% of the average).
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First published in PlantaDoce, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the articles from the originals. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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