The last few weeks have reiterated the critical importance of sustainability action. From Extinction Rebellion and the overwhelmingly positive response the Committee on Climate Change’s call for net zero emission targets by 2050, to the UN’s report on biodiversity, to the pharma-specific crisis around opioids and prosecutions in the US; the issues are high profile, high impact and demand change.

The effect on the pharma industry was spelled out in a focused report by Fitch Solutions. It emphasised both the growing importance of sustainability issues to customers, employees and regulators – and the seemingly slow-moving response from the industry.

While there are many fantastic examples to be found of pharma companies helping to solve complex societal issues, they are not consistent across the industry and are rarely discussed publicly so do little to change the overall reputation of the industry among consumers and governments. As a result, the industry faces near-constant backlash and negative focus, despite appearing in top ten lists for charitable giving globally.

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