Developing a Sustainable Packaging Roadmap for a Pharmaceutical Company

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An international pharmaceutical company wanted to embed sustainability principles throughout its packaging inception, design, and production. This included improving data quality and quantity to help identify key areas for impact and to monitor progress against its targets.


Anthesis became the trusted partner to assist the large, international pharmaceutical company with developing and implementing sustainable packaging programs.

Multiple projects were undertaken with the aim of progressing their sustainable packaging strategy in a complex and highly regulated industry. This included:

  • Creating a set of packaging goals through a series of stakeholder ideation workshops to drive ambition and action around promoting the circular economy and reducing emissions.
  • Setting up sustainability advisory boards with key external stakeholders to gather input into what sustainability programs/initiatives/actions will need to be implemented within the business regarding its packaging portfolio.
  • Creating a ‘playbook’ which identified how an innovative packaging idea could be taken from the idea stage through research and development into packaging development and rollout.
  • Creating, implementing, and monitoring a packaging supplier engagement program to gather a large quantity of high quality data to help inform packaging developments, monitor progress against targets and improve efficiency of extended producer responsibility (EPR) reporting.
  • Creating design criteria for new packaging developments.
  • Conducting LCAs on key packaging items to help evidence sustainability claims.


Anthesis engaged with 150 packaging suppliers and gathered data on 1500 components through an extensive supplier engagement program. We provided robust LCAs for two business critical packaging items which will enable the evidencing and marketing of sustainability claims.

We also created and implemented processes to identify current and upcoming requirements in the sustainability space that will need to be responded to and to realise the potential of innovative packaging ideas.