GSK is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, developing and supplying medicines to a global market. The company employs more than 97,000 people in over 100 countries and has an extensive worldwide supply chain. One third of GSK’s carbon impact comes from raw materials. For GSK to be successful in achieving its environmental sustainability goals, it needs its suppliers to take bold action.


The Challenge

As a key part of its commitment to being a responsible business, GSK needed to understand its supply chain’s sustainability credentials.

  • How could it engage with groups of suppliers effectively without putting a cost and resource burden onto its supply chain?
  • How could it quickly and accurately understand and compare supplier sustainability performance in terms of carbon, energy, water and waste?
  • How could it identify areas of potential collaboration to improve sustainability?
  • Is there any scope for additional data tracking on raw materials such as wood fibre?


The Solution

The company is actively targeting its suppliers, requesting that they share energy consumption, water use, waste output and carbon emissions data and publish it openly on Ecodesk.

  • GSK has so far communicated with over 550 suppliers to submit their data to help it better understand and map supplier sustainability performance.
  • Suppliers have not been charged and have responded well to GSK’s requests with an 81% response rate.
  • GSK is using the collated data to prioritise its efforts to reduce suppliers’ environmental impacts. For example, GSK met with Granules, the company that supplies the active ingredient it uses in Panadol. Together, they identified opportunities to reduce energy use by 16% and have set up a collaborative programme to realise these savings.
  • Ecodesk is working with GSK closely on developing tools and services to help it better understand its supply base for a range of raw material products.


Key Business Benefits

  • Supplier engagement – raising awareness of key sustainability issues for all suppliers to improve cost efficiencies.
  • Identifying risk in paper packing – Working with its suppliers GSK is tracing the source of all its wood fibre to ensure that it comes from responsible sources.
  • Internal capacity building on sustainability and energy efficiency – GSK’s procurement team increase understanding of supplier sustainability for continuity and cost issues. This is essentially embedding sustainability into the heart of the business.
  • New supplier screening – GSK has used Ecodesk to help screen suppliers to identify efficient and sustainable partners
  • Time saving – automated reporting has significantly reduced GSK time on supply chain sustainability analysis, a process that was previously spreadsheet based.


September 30th, 2014

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