A commitment to sustainability, supported by three pillars

More Health. More Potential. More Green. These are the three pillars of Boehringer Ingelheim’s company-wide sustainability strategy: “Sustainable Development – For Generations.” The approach encompasses the company’s global commitment to driving sustainability in health for humans and animals, communities and the environment.

Boehringer Ingelheim has a long tradition of thinking responsibly about future generations. More than a century ago, the company’s founder, Albert Boehringer, provided affordable housing, health insurance and paid holidays for his employees. Ever since, the company has continuously adapted, expanded and deepened its commitment to acting responsibly towards society — and the environment.

More than a quarter-century ago Boehringer Ingelheim drew inspiration from the groundbreaking 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio, which set global commitments to an equitable, peaceful and sustainable world. Our company redoubled its commitment to sustainable development.

And in 2021, we consolidated all our corporate sustainability initiatives under a broad strategy, “Sustainable Development – For Generations.” Our approach is based on three pillars: More Health, which includes all of the company’s health-related initiatives; More Potential, encompassing the company’s plans to build on the strength of its people and communities; and More Green, for our commitment to environmental sustainability.

More Health

More Health for people, animals and communities around the world. That’s the ambitious aim of the initiatives under this pillar. Boehringer Ingelheim works with partners to develop and implement promising solutions to challenging health issues.

One of these partnership programs is PATHWAYS – Indigenous Health Collaborations initiative in Canada.

According to the UN, there are more than 476 million indigenous people across 90 countries worldwide. And often, they’re underserved in social support and healthcare. Because many indigenous people live in isolated communities, part of the challenge is providing appropriate access to healthcare suited to these groups’ unique needs. This is particularly a challenge in countries which cover an extensive geographic area.

PATHWAYS is an example of the programs through which Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to helping indigenous people gain better access to healthcare. Many of the indigenous communities in the Canadian province of British Columbia live hundreds of miles away from urban healthcare centers. One of them, the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations community, suffers from a particularly high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes. In fact, almost 80 percent of indigenous people in Canada develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives (source).

Mutual respect is key

Through PATHWAYS, Boehringer Ingelheim is partnering with the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations to close the healthcare gap for more than 20,000 members of indigenous communities.

“A big part of being a partner is listening and finding out what people really need,” explains Mehmood Alibhai, Director of National Policy and Patient Access at Boehringer Ingelheim Canada. Trusting that people know what’s best for their own communities is the most effective way to optimize the healthcare they receive.

Training and knowledge transfer in indigenous communities is also important. The PATHWAYS initiative is currently running a pilot project to help community health workers make better use of technology and provide healthcare in a culturally appropriate way.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Boehringer Ingelheim is working on various initiatives in collaboration with healthcare professionals, patient advocacy groups and the national Pharmaceutical Management Agency to assist the Māori and Pacific Island populations, to provide more equitable access to type 2 diabetes medications.

More Potential

Projects launched under the More Potential pillar focus on promoting good health, as well as the best possible conditions for the people at Boehringer Ingelheim and its communities and at the company’s partners to reach their full potential. The company’s various projects address health, education and work, along with issues involving living conditions, poverty and inequality.

Supporting disadvantaged communities

In 2010, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, jointly established the “Making More Health” (MMH) initiative. This long-term partnership focuses on innovative solutions to complex healthcare challenges for people, animals and their communities.

The approach addresses interdependent issues that, besides healthcare, include economic development, infrastructure, education and culture. It emphasizes collaboration with communities as equal partners and enables Boehringer Ingelheim employees to share their knowledge and skills.


employees involved in MMH


social entrepreneurs worldwide working in human and animal health are supported

12 million

people reached by MMH

MMH commited to impact

30 million

lives by 2025

More Green

More Green focuses on reducing the environmental footprint of Boehringer Ingelheim and implementing environmentally sustainable solutions. To become more green, we need to further reduce water usage, while also protecting clean water in the communities where the company operates. In addition, we commit to reducing waste as well as applying eco-design and green chemistry concepts to all new products.

Less is more: milestones

Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to becoming carbon-neutral in its company operations by 2030. The company has launched numerous initiatives to achieve this objective, including an investment of 205 million euros for a new environmentally friendly biomass power plant at the company’s headquarters in Ingelheim. And by stipulating a carbon price of 100 euros per ton of CO2 for all new investments, the company has challenged every division to find the most innovative solution with the lowest level of emissions.

Local success, global impact

Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to have acquired various certifications for its environmentally friendly approach. The company, for example, became the first pharmaceutical company in China to achieve carbon neutrality and also the first pharmaceutical company to achieve the internationally recognized “Zero Waste to Landfill” certification.

In addition, the biopharmaceutical production facility of Boehringer Ingelheim in Shanghai, China, was one of only two multinational pharmaceutical companies to be included in the Shanghai Ministry of Ecology & Environment’s Top 100 best practices list, as well as being the recipient of the 2022 Sustainable Business Award by the European Chamber of Commerce in China.

Our plant in Zhangjiang was also certified as carbon neutral by TÜV Rheinland, the German technical inspection association — as was our poultry vaccination site, in Gainesville, Georgia, in the USA.

Cooperation – the key to success

Felix Gutsche, Boehringer Ingelheim Country Manager in China, says the company’s success there is the result of a true team effort.

“The close partnership between our local team in Shanghai and the team at the head office in Germany is a perfect example of what the ‘think globally, act locally’ mindset looks like in practice,” explains Gutsche. “It plays a vital role in helping us achieve what we have set out to do — making all of our facilities climate-neutral and significantly reducing our natural resource footprint at every stage of the value chain.”