ABPI releases new carbon footprint tool for pharmaceutical products

Launched in the UK by the ABPI in association with the Carbon Trust

The UK's Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), in association with the Carbon Trust, has launched a tool to calculate the carbon footprint of medicines distributed in blister packs.

The tool, based on a spreadsheet, is said to be a first of its kind for the pharmaceutical industry and was funded by the ABPI, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen-(J&J), Eli Lilly and Pfizer. It will help companies estimate the carbon footprint of tablets in blister packs in a relatively quick and easy way.

Commenting on the launch, ABPI Chief Executive Stephen Whitehead said: 'The development of this tool forms part of the ABPI’s commitment to help its members to identify carbon hot-spots for products and areas for potential carbon footprint reduction.'

The tool's model includes data on carbon emissions for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), transport and distribution, formulation and packaging, retail and use phase and the disposal of the packaging.

Sonia Roschnik, Head of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, added: 'This tool adds real value to the body of evidence emerging around the carbon footprinting of pharmaceutical products which account for approximately 20% of the NHS carbon footprint. This tool should be useful to manufacturers, commissioners and providers to start highlighting carbon hotspots and to target work to reduce emissions further.'

Access the tool here.