According to the United Nations, global temperatures are going to rise three to five degrees Celsius this century.1 In addition to more extreme weather and rising sea levels, this increase also carries serious consequences for human health.
"Without a doubt, climate change has the potential to harm global health – from changing disease transmission patterns to affecting the availability of water," according to Thomas Wozniewski, Takeda’s Global Manufacturing and Supply Officer. "How we choose to respond today will determine the health and well-being of future generations."
Understanding a healthy environment’s essential role in forging "Better Health and a Brighter Future," Takeda has taken various actions to reduce its environmental impact and to focus on sustainability throughout its business. As a result, capital markets and investors who evaluate non-financial aspects of corporate behavior, including environment, social and governance (ESG) indicators as a predictor of long-term business, have recognized Takeda for our work in this space. Takeda’s environmental strengths lie in caring about three interconnected areas: climate change, water scarcity, and biodiversity.
Tackling Climate Change
While vaccines and other tools have transformed global public health, climate change is threatening to erase some of the gains made in the fight against infectious disease. Take dengue, for example. As the world gets warmer, the places where the mosquitos spreading this disease are expanding, and consequently putting more people at risk.2
As carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are one of the primary drivers of climate change, Takeda developed an action plan with clear targets to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Takeda supports the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the company signed the Paris Pledge for Action to work towards achieving the Agreement’s targets.
"As a company, we reduced CO2 emissions by 6,000 tons in 2017 just by shifting air transport to more environmentally-friendly modes of transportation, such as ships and railways,” said Thomas. “We’re also tracking the footprint of our suppliers and customers to consider the entire value chain in future efforts. Building on this success so far, we are currently evaluating what it would take to turn Takeda into a fully carbon-neutral company.”
*FY2017 levels compared to FY2005
Everyone needs clean water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning – but water scarcity is becoming a serious concern worldwide. One in nine people do not have access to clean drinking water,3 and up to 80 percent of illnesses in developing countries can be traced back to poor water conditions.4
Recognizing these facts, Takeda is committed to reducing the amount of fresh water used in its operations by 30 percent by 2020 and reducing the volume of final waste disposal by 60 percent compared to 2005.
“Over the past years, Takeda has made significant progress in achieving our targets for 2020 and beyond,” said Thomas. “In 2017, we reduced our water usage by 43 percent and our waste output by 76 percent compared with our 2005 levels. And we are confident that we will continue to reduce Takeda’s water usage further.”
*FY2017 levels compared to FY2005
Biodiversity includes all living things – from humans to organisms, such as microbes, fungi, and invertebrates. Humans rely on biodiversity for basic needs such as food, fuel, shelter, and medicine. Diverse ecosystems also provide crucial services such as pollination, seed dispersal, climate regulation, and water purification. At Takeda, biodiversity takes on another important role, as many medical discoveries have been made by studying the planet's biodiversity. Biological resources make up important ingredients for products, and Takeda utilizes these resources for research activities to help patients.
But concerns about the loss of biodiversity are growing. About 52 percent of the planet's biodiversity has been lost since 19705 which could have held potential for treatments for unmet medical needs that persist today.
Since 1933, Takeda has been helping to conserve endangered species and conduct research on plants with medicinal properties at the Takeda Garden for Medicinal Plant Conservation in Kyoto. Additionally, Takeda incorporates conservation guidelines at each business site and was an early industry adopter of in-house medicinal plant cultivation.
“With the concept-product stewardship initiatives, we want to ensure that the impact of our products is fully transparent from end to end and that we take the right measures to protect biodiversity,” said Thomas.
Protecting and improving the environment is a priority because of its integral connection to human health – for present and future generations.
1WMO Statement on the state of the global climate in 2018
2Dengue in a changing climate
3WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. "Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010." Available at www.wssinfo.org/
4United Nations. Statement by Secretary General Koffi Annan. June 2003.
5WWF “Living Planet Report 2014”