How is dsm-firmenich driving sustainable change in the healthcare industry?

By DSM Pharma Solutions Editors
  • The health of our planet is inextricably linked to the health of the population. The healthcare sector has a big part to play in protecting our planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to curb climate change as it has a sizable carbon footprint, accounting for 4-5% of total global emissions. 1
  • In light of World Environment Day (June 5 th ), we are highlighting our commitment to a sustainable future and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, aiming to safeguard our planet and people.
  • Discover how we are accelerating our route to net-zero with science- based climate targets and a transparent approach to accurately measure the environmental footprint of individual ingredients.

The healthcare sector has a sizable carbon footprint and a significant impact on the environment. Statistics indicate that the healthcare industry alone generated 4-5% of total global emissions in 2022 1 , and if healthcare was a country, it would rank the 5 th largest emitter of greenhouse gases worldwide. 2 The impact of climate change on human health is evident, with rising temperatures and pollution resulting in an increased risk of developing asthma, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and increased spread of diseases. 3 This World Environment Day, read on to find out how dsm-firmenich is driving a sustainable future, raising global awareness and encouraging action to protect our environment by safeguarding people and the planet.

The time for sustainable change is now

The need for sustainable healthcare is growing and it’s time to take action. Companies can’t ignore the heightened focus on sustainability and must recognize it as a success factor to improve their positioning in the market. While there are complex challenges to overcome, there are also many opportunities to accelerate the pace of change and unlock new business prospects. This is where dsm-firmenich comes in. We have a strong vision to improve our overall carbon footprint, enable our customers to deliver healthy solutions through sustainable innovations and advocate for system transformations.

Discover dsm-firmenich’s commitment to a sustainable future

We bring progress to life by tackling the challenges of today and tomorrow. Challenges like the tension between what people individually want (the desirable), what we collectively need (the essential), and what the planet demands (the sustainable). That’s why we have woven five of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into our strategy:

  1. Zero hunger – we improve nutrition for those who need it most.
  2. Good health and wellbeing - our health, nutrition, biomedical and high-performance materials are boosting health in all age groups.
  3. Affordable and clean energy - we are making affordable, renewable energy a reality with yeast and enzymes for improving biomass conversion of biofuels and biogas.
  4. Responsible consumption and production – our solutions are minimizing waste across the value chain.
  5. Climate actions - we continue to advocate responsible action on climate change with our stakeholders and are increasing the use of renewable energy.

Pharmaceutical companies play a vital role in developing life-saving medicines, granting them a unique opportunity to address social sustainability and improve public health. However, it is crucial to carefully assess their environmental impact and minimize their environmental footprint. In 2016, we set climate targets to track our progress as we accelerate our route to net-zero for a healthier, cleaner and more resilient future. By 2030, we aim to:

  • reduce scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions by 59%
  • reduce value chain emissions by 28%
  • purchase 100% renewable energy
  • improve water efficiency by 10% (in water-stressed sites)

From 2016-2022, DSM (DSM has become dsm-firmenich on 9 May) reduced scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions by 35% and value chain emissions by 17%. We have also purchased 78% renewable energy and improved water efficiency by 7.2% compared to 2016. In 2018 we launched our C02REDUCE program to help our suppliers reduce their carbon footprint by sharing ambitions, exchanging information and creating reduction roadmaps for achieving our emissions targets.

Our targets are independently tested by the Science Based Targets initiatives (SBTi) – an organization that helps companies calculate how much they can decarbonize to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. This science-based partnership plays an important role in our efforts to tackle global warming and supports the transition to a net-zero economy.

Sustainability features at the ingredient level: Imp’Act Card™

Sustainability is top of mind at dsm-firmenich, and the customer is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we created the Imp’Act Card™, to support our sustainability claims and enable transparency and accurate measurement of the environmental footprint at the customer level. The card represents IMPACT and ACTION, which is what is needed to create sustainable innovation. It provides clear information, including the calculated environmental impact, traceability, certifications and social impact of each ingredient.

For example, our ascorbic acid (vitamin C) Imp’Act Card™ demonstrates how this pioneering solution generates 65% lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to alternative vitamin C ingredients4 . The carbon and water footprint are calculated by our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which quantifies the environmental impact of a product, technology or process throughout its entire life cycle from raw material extraction, through manufacture, use and disposal.

Deliver sustainable change with dsm-firmenich

At dsm-firmenich we don’t believe in compromise. We work at the intersection of what’s essential, desirable and sustainable, because that’s where the greatest impact lies. No company can achieve net-zero on its own, but an end-to-end partnership with dsm-firmenich can help you meet your sustainability goals and get closer to net-zero.

Want to know more about how our sustainability initiatives can help you increase transparency and support patients and planet? Find out here: Sustainability | DSM


1. Watts N, et al,. The 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change:

responding to converging crises. Lancet. 2021 Jan 9;397(10269):129-170.

2. Arup & Health Care Without Harm, Health care climate footprint report, 2019.

3. Climate Effects on Health | CDC

4. Life Cycle Assessment validated by third party in 2018. This statement is based on DSM internal business intelligence using latest market insights, permits and other publications

Published on

05 June 2023


  • Pharma Solutions
  • Senior Management
  • Procurement
  • Article
  • Industry News
  • Sustainability


4 min read

Related Articles