The reality of our industry is that while many products provide
life-saving solutions for patients, it also has an impact on the
environment. Whether it is medical-waste plastic ending up in
landfills, the water required for manufacturing, or the greenhouse
gases emitted for transport, the entire ecosystem—from production to
disposal—has opportunity for more purposeful, environmentally
Consider, for example, recycling programs for used plastic devices.
At Novo Nordisk, we have found a solution through an innovative
TakeBack program that allows patients to return insulin devices. We
have also changed much of our transportation packaging to an
eco-friendly, insulated container called Biocooler®, which
will compost in almost all environments. This also helps reduce the
need for refrigeration on long-haul transports.
But it’s not just about what the pharmaceutical companies ourselves
do, we must also make purposeful decisions about our vendors and
suppliers. Setting requirements for ourselves will certainly ensure
progress, but choosing to partner with companies that prioritize
sustainability will enhance and accelerate our impact.