The Challenge & The Vision

Generation Green is an initiative by the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki that aims at implementing environmental view on pharmacy education, research and policymaking.



Generation Green task force is taking the responsibility of the environmental impact of medicines. In recent years, our understanding of the ecotoxicity risks related to pharmaceutical residues in the environment (PiE) has substantially increased. For example, endocrine disruptive agents and antibiotic residues may lead to severe developmental disorders and enforce the global antimicrobial resistance, respectively, even at trace-level concentrations. Considering the current demography, limited natural resources, ever-increasing population, urbanization and prolonging human lifespans, it is clear that the risks originating from PiE are increasing at an accelerated pace and action has to be taken today. Much is to be done in reducing the environmental load of drug development (benign-by-design and green chemistry concepts), but also in terms of packaging, pricing and distribution, not to mention the responsible use and correct disposal of drug products.

In 2019, the EU launched its Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment which describes six actions areas targeting better control over pharmaceutical emissions. Already in 2015, the International Pharmaceutical Federation published a report on Green Pharmacy Practice. Since 2015, also the Association of the European Self-Medication Industry (AESGP), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and the European Generic and Biosimilar medicines association (EGA) have combined their expertises to address the emerging environmental concerns under an Inter-Association Initiative on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (IAI PIE), called the Eco-Pharmaco-Stewardship program. To name just a few international approaches.



The Generation Green initiative aims primarily at educating a new, environmentally-aware generation and changing the entire approach to Green Pharmacy, including reform of the pharmacy curriculum. The team believes that the only way to sustainable change appears through education and promotion of creative thinking among the future pharmacy graduates, the Generation Green, for whom sustainability and green actions are an integral part of their professional expertise.

The Generation Green task force therefore seeks to promote constant updating and reform of the curricula in pharmacy and related disciplines in Finland and abroad.

At the same time, the Generation Green initiative aims to promote sustainable development of the entire pharmaceutical sector ranging from drug discovery and development processes to policymaking.

The coordinating team wants to serve the pharmacy teachers, the students and the alumni by increasing our awareness of the environmental impact of medicines and by supporting the implementation of Green Pharmacy practice locally and globally.