Survey | How do pharmaceutical manufacturers address the environmental impact of their production at both their own-operated facilities and those of third-party suppliers?

(Please find the survey below or alternatively click here to open the survey in a new window).


Recognising that most Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are produced in emerging and developing countries, this survey aims to gather information about how pharmaceutical manufacturers manage manufacturing waste throughout their supply chains and identify best practices.

Pharmaceutical residues have been detected in surface water, sewage effluents, groundwater, drinking water, manure, soil, and other environmental matrices globally. There is scientific evidence that even low concentrations of pharmaceuticals have harmful effects on animal and plant life. Some of the effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment described in research are:

Pharmaceutical residues can enter the environment during their production, consumption, and disposal. Many pharmaceutical companies have outsourced their API production outside Europe/US, mostly to China and India – the APIs produced there are sold on to markets worldwide. Pharmaceutical manufacturing is a source of pharmaceutical pollution that can be exacerbated by weak environmental legislation in countries that produce many of the APIs for pharmaceutical products globally.

The effects of pollution from pharmaceutical production are not only a local or national problem – numerous studies and documentaries point out that uncontrolled manufacturing discharges contribute to the spread of resistant bacteria from the environment to humans and animals with a global impact due to travel and trade.

The survey

This survey is being sent to the top 50 pharmaceutical companies worldwide (according to annual ranking published by Pharmaceutical Executive). The respondent companies that manufacture APIs in emerging and developing countries will be scored and ranked according to their responses, as well as any other publicly available information.

If you would like to look at the questions in advance, a preview of the survey is available.

The resulting data and ranking will be presented in a report to be published by HCWH Europe in 2018 that will be widely disseminated and published online. HCWH Europe plans to repeat this type of evaluation periodically with the aim of benchmarking pharmaceutical companies’ environmental practices across four key areas:

Policy and commitments (75 points):
  • What are the company’s environmental policies?
  • How are these policies implemented?
  • What are the company’s future goals for reducing its environmental footprint?
Governance (25 points):
  • Is there a department in the company in charge of reducing company’s environmental footprint?
  • How does the company incorporate environmental aspects into its sourcing policies?
Traceability (50 points):
  • Is the list of suppliers, from manufacturing to raw material level, made publically available on the company’s website?
  • If yes, how much information is shared there?
Supplier assessment and remediation (50 points):
  • How does the company verify that its suppliers’ environmental policies are being implemented?
  • What assessement procedures are in place?
  • How does the company deal with problems found at suppliers’facilities?
  • Are assessment findings reported or made publically available?

This survey was prepared by Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe, a non-profit European membership organisation hospitals, healthcare systems, healthcare professionals, local authorities, research/academic institutions and environmental and health organisations. HCWH Europe brings the voice of healthcare professionals to the European policy debate about key issues, and educates the healthcare sector to understand the importance of its environmental footprint. HCWH Europe also works to encourage healthcare leaders and professionals to advocate for broader societal policies and changes.

The survey will take approximately 40-45 minutes to complete – we hope that you will take the time to complete the survey with information from your company. Companies that choose not to respond will be listed as non-responsive in the resulting report, but will still be included in the ranking based on their publicly available information.

Data related to individual companies will not be published or shared with third parties in any form for any purpose, but will be used internally to rank/score against other companies.

Deadline for submitting your response: 31 August 2018 – 23:59 CEST

Please find the survey below or alternatively click here to open the survey in a new window.

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