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Indian Pharma: Transitioning To A Sustainable Future

Suday Karkera
24 Jan 2023

With climate change being the single biggest health threat facing humanity as per the World Health Organization (WHO), Sustainability targets are now front and center for the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Consequently, many pharma industry leaders believe that sustainability and profitability are no longer mutually exclusive corporate goals.

The recent Capgemini Invent India report titled ‘How Indian Pharma is transitioning to a Sustainable Future’ addresses key questions related to how Indian pharma industry is embracing the change towards a more sustainable future including what are some of the sustainability milestones or Environmental, Social, & Governance goals undertaken so far, how the Sustainable Goals are being governed, and how the global pharma industry is driving sustainability. To support the study , CRI conducted a secondary analysis of pharma companies including a few global  and Indian MNCs, and domestic players to understand their sustainability strategies, best practices, key performance indicators, and gaps.

The crises of the COVID-19 pandemic have redefined the priorities for the Indian pharmaceutical sector, which has seen tremendous growth in the past decade and is now recognized as a leader in vaccine manufacturing. It is also known for its export of generics to the world. However, as the industry grows and gains momentum, it is imperative to prioritize and encourage sustainable development. The hazardous waste generation and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions are significantly high for the pharma sector.

Over the years, several Indian pharma companies such as Sun Pharma, Cipla, Glenmark, Dr. Reddy’s have been focusing on building sustainable environmental, social, and governance levers. Cipla was ranked as one of the most sustainable healthcare companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index in 2021 and was the recipient of ‘Sliver Shield’ for reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (2020-21). The company has set aggressive targets to be a CN, water-neutral, and zero-waste company by 2025.

However, collectively, the sector needs to explicitly commit to major sustainability targets. This would entail bold moves with changes in technology, governance, engagement models, R&D and supply chain infrastructure, extended ecosystems, collaboration, and economic models for organizations. The report ends with future growth levers for sustainability.

Download the full report to find out more about – How Indian Pharma is transitioning to a Sustainable Future.