We sat down with Sarah McDonald to learn how Haleon promotes sustainability on Earth Day and everyday.

Q. Why is sustainability important at Haleon?  

A. As a leader in consumer health, with a purpose to deliver better everyday health with humanity, sustainability is at the heart of what we do. Climate change and other environmental crises are having a significant impact on people’s everyday health today and Haleon is stepping up to make a difference. We’re committed to reducing our emissions in line with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5C and have made significant progress, cutting net Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 48% compared to 2020 and using 100% renewable electricity in our operations. Teaming up with healthcare professionals, we're also spreading awareness about how climate affects health and offering practical solutions to help people manage this. 

Q. What motivates you in your role as VP of Sustainability?

A. Seeing tangible results in reducing carbon emissions and promoting health inclusivity is deeply fulfilling. It's not just about making a positive impact on our stakeholders but also about driving business growth and enhancing Haleon's reputation as a responsible company. Developing our team and fostering an environment where everyone can thrive is equally important to me. By attracting and nurturing top talent, we're better equipped to tackle environmental challenges and advance health inclusivity which require new, breakthrough thinking, to help create a brighter future for all. 

Q. How is the company supporting Earth Day this year?  

A. Haleon colleagues around the world are showing their support for Earth Day by taking part in activities aimed at making a positive impact on the environment within their local communities. From tree planting and plastic refuse collection to teach-ins on sustainable packaging and the circular economy, teams in each of our markets have identified opportunities to get our colleagues involved in helping to build a more sustainable community where they live and work.   

 In London, my colleagues and I will be cleaning up near our office and joining virtual panels on sustainable packaging. Afterwards, we'll discuss ways to create a circular economy for healthcare packaging. Collaboration is key in driving change, and we're thrilled to work with peers towards our goals. 

Q. How is the Earth Day theme of Planet vs Plastics relevant at Haleon? 

A. This year's Earth Day theme aligns with our commitment to sustainable packaging. By 2030, we aim for all our packaging to be recyclable or reusable, where safety, quality and regulations permit. We’ve already made great progress toward this goal with 70% of our packaging now recycle-ready1. Additionally, we're targeting a one-third reduction in virgin petroleum-based plastic by 2030 compared to 2022. Through compact designs, innovative materials and collaboration, we're making strides toward making our packaging more sustainable.  

Q. What are some of the simple steps consumers can take to help the environment, particularly when using healthcare products?  

A. Encouraging good recycling habits is crucial. While kitchen recycling rates are high, bathroom recycling lags. We're committed to making all our packaging recyclable or reusable where possible, with over 1 billion toothpaste tubes now recycle-ready. Designed for use with existing recycling infrastructure, our tubes are approved for kerbside recycling in the UK. Consumers can also lessen their impact by conserving water, like turning off taps while brushing teeth. Together, these small changes lead to significant environmental benefits. 

1 Recycle-ready means product packaging and devices that are made of materials that are proven to be compatible with existing or emerging recycling infrastructure. In line with the CDP definition of ‘technical recyclability’ this does not take into account whether the collection, sorting, and recycling of the packaging or device happens in practice, at scale, and with reasonable economics.