We acknowledge the human right to water and recognises the global challenges addressed in the water-related Sustainable Development Goals, specifically for clean water and sanitation (SDG 6) and life below water (SDG 14).

We recognise that climate change influences water availability at a global scale and see climate impacting temperatures across the globe, impacting water availability. We depend on access to freshwater for production of pharmaceuticals, and we believe it is crucial to take proper actions to mitigate all risks related to water issues, especially in areas with water stress.

We continuously monitor and report on water use at all production sites globally. Water is included as one of the three prioritised areas in our 2030 Environmental Strategy, with a focus on reducing water use and reusing water whenever possible at our production sites.

All our production sites are certified according to ISO14001. This means we are committed to continuous improvements, which also includes optimising water use.  Each production facility has the opportunity to submit water innovation projects for approval, leading to an overall decrease in water use. It is our goal to achieve ‘no waste of water’ by optimising production, using existing production capacity better and by reusing water whenever possible.

Annual water targets for relevant business units are in place to increase water use efficiency and the reuse of water.  We acknowledge that water use should ideally decrease, but increased water use is a natural consequence of increased production to meet market demands for our products.  We strive to decrease water use relative to production output. 

We continuously monitor waste water and report on discharged water. All waste water is treated in biological-chemical waste water treatment plants and fully complies with local standards and limit values.

We include water impacts such as flooding in risk management procedures to assess and manage the impacts from water stress in our operations and supply chain. We have mapped all production sites and conducted water risk analyses by using the ‘AQUEDUCT’ tool from WRI. Based on this analysis we know and pay close attention to production facilities located in areas subject to water stress.

Based on the new 2030 Environmental Strategy, we will engage with key suppliers to reduce water use and manage risks within our supply chain. We already evaluate water related issues from new suppliers as well as their mitigating initiatives as part of our supplier selection process. This helps us manage risks and reduces overall water use from our supply chain.

We support the ‘Alliance for Water Stewardship’ initiative and we have introduced our own ‘Water Stewardship procedures’ for production facilities located in water stress areas.