Responsible antibiotic manufacturing

Program Objectives

To reduce the environmental impact of GSK's antibiotic manufacturing.

To audit GSK's own manufacturing and supply chain to verify good practice in managing releases of antibiotic waste streams to water or land and ensure any measures or treatment steps necessary prior to release function appropriately.

Work with external technical experts to establish science-driven, risk-based targets for discharge concentrations for antibiotics for water or land.

Use a mass balance approach to ensure that GSK's own manufacturing and supply chains are compliant with agreed acceptable discharge limits.

Introduce a contractual requirement that suppliers follow this approach and ultimately terminate those who don’t meet this requirement.

To improve the energy efficiency and waste impact at 2 of GSK's key global antibiotic manufacturing plants (see case study).

Reducing environmental impact of antibiotic manufacturing Reducing environmental impact of antibiotic manufacturing Copyright PHOTO CREDITS GSK

What are the health needs and challenges?

GSK recognises that factory discharges of antibiotics and antimicrobial active materials could contribute to an increase in resistant genes in the environment. GSK is committed to ensuring that discharges of active antibacterials to the environment (both water and land) during manufacturing are at or below science-driven acceptable limits throughout its own manufacturing and supply chains by the end of 2020 at the latest. GSK is also actively investing to reduce the wider environmental impact of its antibiotic manufacturing.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

GSK is carrying out a tailored audit of its antibiotics manufacturing and supply chain. By the end of 2016, GSK will have reviewed all 19 GSK sites, and 29 of its suppliers across 39 production facilities.

This audit will ensure all its facilities and suppliers have the appropriate licenses and legal permits in place, in addition to ensuring good practice in:

  • minimising the concentration of antibiotic released in waste streams to water or land; and
  • applying appropriate measures or treatment steps to waste streams prior to discharge to the environment.

Corresponding principle in the declaration

“We support measures to reduce environmental pollution from antibiotics, along with a ‘one health’ approach towards prudent and responsible use, including a global reduction of unnecessary antibiotic use in livestock, and we applaud moves from major food groups to work towards this goal”.

Read full Declaration by the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Diagnostics Industries on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Partnership information

Company(ies) GlaxoSmithKline

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) Drug-Resistant Infections (AMR)


Start Date 2011

More information Media GSK Press Release

Anticipated completion date Ongoing