Acting responsibly

Today we mark World Environment Day, a day recognising the need for us all to take urgent action to protect the environment against the harms of global warming, pollution and environmental degradation.

This year’s World Environment Day comes 50 years after the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, the first global conference to focus the international community’s attention on environmental issues. Six years later Hikma was founded and from its inception, acting responsibly has been a priority. 

Our purpose, of putting better health within reach every day, has always driven us to go beyond our core business of providing affordable medicines. We are dedicated to supporting the communities in which we operate, and through this we have learned the real value of the actions taken day-to-day by Hikma employees. Group-wide initiatives, including significant financial donations have been important and impactful. But so have, for example, the volunteering efforts of our employees to rehabilitate a primary school in Portugal, and the career advice our employees have provided to over 58,000 online learners through the platform CareerVillage. 

As we’ve grown into a global business, we’ve recognised that acting responsibly and achieving our purpose also requires care for the environment. In my role as EVP of Business Operations at Hikma, I’m overseeing the efforts we are making to reduce our environmental impact through monitoring, settting targets, delivering change, and reporting our progress through our refreshed sustainability report and in line with TCFD requirements. 

The actions taken day-to-day by Hikma’s employees have proved as essential in our environmental efforts as they have in our community work. Looking back over the past year, undoubtedly a key milestone was announcing our Group-wide target to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030. But I’m also very proud of the impact of the small changes made every day by Hikma’s employees. The tighter management of our energy efficiency at each of our sites and the purchase of renewable energy certificates reduced our emissions by almost a fifth in 2021. We have expanded our use of renewable energy generation capacity with on-site solar panels and applied green chemistry methods to manufacture more sustainably. In Tunisia, we installed our first combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) system, helping to reduce costs and emissions at our locations in the country. Our Columbus plant in the US, meanwhile, has led the way by shifting from incinerating unused labelled paper to recycling and reusing it. 

To achieve our ambitions for 2022 and beyond, we will need both our large and small-scale initiatives to bear fruit. Drawing on the findings of our investigations into our Scope 3 emissions in 2021, we will be finding ways to measure and manage the environmental impact of our supply chain, and working closely with our key suppliers to find ways to reduce our third-party carbon footprint. We have specific programmes in place to better understand and improve our water and waste management. While there will be head office-driven iniatives to tackle these problems, we will also need all Hikma employees to do their part. How can we reduce our waste from operations? Where can we apply more green chemistry principles? What can we change to reduce our energy consumption? 

Acting responsibly is at the heart of what we do and we will continue to elevate our approach to environmental sustainability, ensuring that we continue to do our part in protecting the planet and the communitites in which we operate. I’m proud of the great strides we’ve been making towards minimising our impact on the planet but it doesn’t stop here.