Pharma offsets carbon footprint with tree-planting

AstraZeneca Phils. employees during the tree-planting in Cavinti, Laguna. (Contributed photo)

As part of biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca’s sustainability efforts in environmental protection and in celebration of the World Environment Day, 150 of its employees in the Philippines have planted around 1,000 indigenous trees in Cavinti, Laguna with the objective of helping offset the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of its car fleet.

In 2018, the company’s fleet contributed about 722 metric tons of carbon CO2, which requires planting 800 trees to help offset the greenhouse gas emitted last year.

The 1,000 trees planted also fulfills the first phase of the 3-year partnership of AstraZeneca with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the municipality of Cavinti to support the latter’s “Tayo ang Kalikasan” reforestation management program.

“Taking care of the environment is a monumental undertaking that requires the participation of everyone. So, we’re very happy that AstraZeneca is doing its part for this effort,” said Vener Garcia, OIC Chief, Policy Studies Division, DENR.

Cavinti Mayor Milbert Oliveros expressed his gratitude for this initiative.

“The Caliraya Watershed is very important to our municipality, as it provides water supply for drinking and power generation. We’re grateful to AstraZeneca and DENR for their help in rehabilitating our watershed,” said Oliveros.

Lotis Ramin, AstraZeneca Philippines country president, said the company aims to plant a total of 3,000 trees by 2021 by increasing the number of sites as well as involving more employees around the country.

“Sustainability is a journey. A journey that we’re deeply committed on taking. We’re making great strides towards reducing our carbon footprint and I’m very happy to see our people excited and taking ownership of protecting the environment. There’s still much to do, so we’re very proud to partner with the DENR and the municipality of Cavinti towards this mission. We are also the only pharma company with a 3-year partnership with DENR,” said Lotis.

AstraZeneca is no stranger to giving back to the environment and the community. The biopharmaceutical company regularly holds Community Day every year wherein various activities are planned to allow its employees to pay it forward – from building houses, educating school children about health and proper nutrition to spending time with orphaned children, elderly and persons with disability.

The company also launched its “Go Green – Say No to Plastic” campaign in the head office where single use plastic is strongly discouraged. Bamboo tumblers and wooden utensils were given to employees. AstraZeneca is continually looking for ways on how to help the environment and is currently working with its suppliers to support this advocacy.

AstraZeneca’s sustainability journey is about reducing the negative effects and having a positive impact on the patients, the society, and the environment.

” At AstraZeneca, our approach to sustainability puts health at the heart of our work. Sustainability means using our capabilities to make the most meaningful impact where society needs it – health. We believe there is a strong connection between the health of our patients, people and the planet, and each of these impacts one another,” said Ramin.