When listing the top polluting industries, it is sectors like transport, mining and agriculture that immediately come to mind. However, “the health sector plays a significant role in the global environmental crisis”, states international non-governmental organisation Health Care Without Harm pharmaceuticals and policy officer Jean-Yves Stenuick.
Stenuick notes that healthcare’s climate footprint totals 4.4% of global net emissions – the equivalent of 514 coal-fired power plants – meaning “if the health sector were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter in the world”.
Although the ways that pharma contributes to the world’s climate crisis are multifaceted, according to Stenuick, 71% of those emissions are linked with the supply chain, including the production, transport, disposal of pharmaceuticals, other chemicals and medical devices. . .

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