Pharma sector a bigger carbon emitter than automotive industry

May 30, 2019, 8:02 AM EDT
(Source: Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker/flickr)
(Source: Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker/flickr)

Here’s a bitter pill to swallow. The global pharmaceutical industry is nearly 13 percent more polluting than the automotive sector when accounted for its direct and indirect carbon-dioxide emissions.

An eye-opening analysis of the carbon footprint of the pharma sector, which has strangely evaded the scrutiny of environmental scientists for long, found that pharma companies emitted about 52 megatons of CO2e (carbon-dioxide equivalent) in 2015, which is far higher than the total emissions of 46.4 megatons of CO2e from the automotive market in the same year, writes The Conversation.

What’s more alarming is the level of opacity many big pharma companies maintain in assessing and reporting their environmental impact, notes Eco Watch. Of the 200 companies representing the global pharmaceutical market, only 25 consistently reported their greenhouse emissions in the past five years. That number drops to 15 when it comes to reporting emissions since 2012.