Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is inherent to who we are. As a world leader in the design and production of containment and delivery systems for injectable medicines, West is proud of our legacy of innovation and how we have advanced health care to build a better future. We understand building a better future also means being a steward of sustainability for our environment.

For the past 100 years, West has been committed to working side-by-side with our customers to improve patient health. We are also committed to helping to create a healthier environment and to being good stewards of a sustainable future.

In the words of our founder, Herman O. West, we are committed to “Keep everlastingly at it” — and never stop working towards improving our impact on the environment. As our business has evolved, so have we. As the world evolves, so do we. Our Sustainability Program is designed to target reductions in the areas where we can have the greatest impact: CO2 emissions, waste and increased recycling, and energy and water use.

Over the past few years, the pandemic and continued growth of our core business resulted in historic growth in production for West. While this increase in production required an overall increase in energy and water use, our ability to adapt and continue to improve our efficiencies has resulted in a higher output of product per unit of energy and water used.

  • In 2022, we saw steady improvement in our Energy Intensity, bringing us to 12% improvement, and well on our way to achieving our 2023 goal of 15%.
  • For Emissions, we made a 4.1% improvement over 2021, and have plans in place to help us meet our goal by the end of 2023, despite a significant increase in production over the 5-year period of this metric.
  • We made continuous progress against our Water Target, achieving a 6.7% reduction in water intensity versus the baseline year.
  • We continued to focus on Landfill Diversion. In 2022, 83% of our waste was recycled, and we are exploring ways to increase this amount towards reaching our goal in 2023.

In 2022, West was recognized by several organizations, serving as a testament to our commitment to caring for our environment. These recognitions include being named as one of Barron’s Top 100 Most Sustainable Companies and one of America’s Most Responsible Companies by Newsweek. In addition, West was honored with several regionally focused awards, including a Corporate Societal Excellence Award in Singapore and Global Public Service Award in Ireland.

West is a signatory to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which affirms our commitment to fiscal transparency and to being a leader in addressing the current climate emergency. In addition, West is a proud member and active participant with the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) and is a signatory of the PSCI Principles, aligning with their vision for excellence in safety, environmental, and social outcomes for the global pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chain.

As we enter the final year of our 2019–2023 metrics, we are excited to look ahead to the future with an enhanced focus on our strategic approach to sustainability.

  • We have added greater scientific rigor and a more quantitative focus to our environmentally based targets.
  • We are aligned with the 2015 Paris Agreement in a commitment to do our part in curbing global temperature rise and are setting emissions reduction targets grounded in science through the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
  • We are working collaboratively with our customers and suppliers to solve ESG challenges, to better align our ESG goals, and to ensure that we are responsive to their needs as well.

During 2022 and 2023, we have been working to enhance our quantitative targets, which will enable us to achieve success in the Environment-related priorities of our ESG Strategy, including Climate Strategy, Waste in Operational Processes, R&D for the Environment, and a Responsible Supply Chain.

Our 2030 targets, which we will expand upon in next year’s ESG Report and will address applicable baselines, are expected to include:

  • Achieve 50% renewable electricity
  • Continuously improve energy efficiency by 3% year-over-year
  • Reduce absolute emissions by 40%
  • Achieve a 15% water intensity reduction
  • Eliminate up to 100% of operational waste to landfill
  • Partner with customers to reduce, reuse, and recycle secondary packaging
  • Collaborate with customers to explore sustainability improvements throughout the product lifecycle
  • Gather additional scope 3 emissions information from our supply chain and develop a plan to reduce those emissions

We are proud to note that our established CO2 emissions targets will be aligned with the SBTi. West takes a concerted, cooperative approach with our customers and other stakeholders to work together to help each of us most efficiently achieve our ESG targets for mutual benefit. This includes investigating shared power purchase agreements, researching more sustainable materials, exploring more efficient shipping methods, and studying beneficial reuses for our products.

We view sustainability as a vital responsibility for our business and will continue to monitor the ever-developing global sustainability standards and regulations, ensuring that we are aligned with leading organizations in this area and following best practices in setting science-based targets.

Moving forward, we will keep everlastingly at it, continuing to build a healthier world and knowing that our strategic commitment to sustainable practices will deliver positive outcomes for our people, our customers, and our communities for generations to come.

Additional Links

In 2017 West joined the United Nations Global Compact, underscoring our commitment to implementing universal sustainability principles.