Eco-minded AstraZeneca doubles down on renewable energy push in Sweden

AstraZeneca is often at the forefront when it comes to sustainability efforts among pharma companies. Now, the British drugmaker is doubling down on its clean energy commitments in Sweden.

AstraZeneca and Stratkraft—Europe’s largest renewable energy producer—have entered into an agreement on wind power deliveries that will increase the supply of renewable electricity in Sweden based on the commissioning of new wind farms, the companies said Wednesday.

Under the deal, AZ will purchase 200 gigawatt-hours per year for 10 years, the partners explained. That amount corresponds to roughly 80% of the company’s total electricity needs at its research facility in Gothenburg and its manufacturing plant in Södertälje.

The wind farms for this project will be located in Strömstad and Årjäng, in the same region as AZ’s research and manufacturing facilities.

Across its Swedish operations, AstraZeneca is also working to cut back on its electricity consumption. One way it’s meeting this goal is to recycle excess heat and optimization of humidity and temperature in its facilities, the company said.

“We want to contribute to the green transition in society,” Per Alfredsson, president of AstraZeneca Sweden, said in a statement. “To successfully mitigate climate change, we must collaborate across different sectors and think beyond our own operations.”

AstraZeneca is a leader when it comes to environmental sustainability efforts among global drugmakers. Back in 2021, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Novo Nordisk and seven other large pharma companies unveiled the Energize program with Schneider Electric and Carnstone. The effort aims to engage “hundreds of suppliers in bold climate action and decarbonization of the pharmaceutical value chain,” Schneider Electric said in a release at the time.

AstraZeneca is also chugging along with Ambition Zero Carbon, its program to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by maximizing energy efficiency, shifting to renewable energy sources and investing in nature-based carbon removal.

Meanwhile, the company recently expanded its forestry program to the tune of $400 million. With that new investment, the company is raising its commitment to plant and nurture 200 million trees across six continents by 2030—the same year AstraZeneca aims to halve its environmental footprint across its entire value chain.  

The upgraded effort will see AZ establish new or expanded forestry projects in Brazil, India, Vietnam, Ghana and Rwanda, the company explained.

AZ is taking its planetary stewardship to the U.S., too. Back in June, the company partnered with Vanguard Renewables to enable delivery of renewable natural gas to all of its sites in the U.S. by the end of 2026.