GSK's sustainability initiatives begin with the selection of potential new drug candidates that have more favorable EHS characteristics, and move into process research and development where green chemistry and green technology concepts are incorporated. In addition, there are inherent safety, pollution prevention, waste minimization, and green packaging programs that are integral parts of manufacturing operations. Finally, there are initiatives to ensure responsible use and disposal of GSK products and wastes. GSK business units are enabled, by realtime access to expert data, information, knowledge, and key experts, to take sustainable design principles and make them integral to the business.

While there are implicit social and economic aspects to the GSK programs described in this chapter, it must be understood that explicit "triple bottom line" discussions within the corporation are not conducted at this time. However, there is considerable investment by GSK throughout the corporation in initiatives that would be considered to be moving towards more sustainable business practices. In addition, GSK continues to partner and work with a variety of organizations as part of GSK's Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, which clearly falls under the banner of sustainable development. Examples include GSK's initiative to eliminate elephantiasis fillariasis, a crippling disease that potentially affects at least one billion of the worlds' people or GSK's leading efforts to make anti-HIV medicines more accessible to those populations most affected by HIV. In addition, in light of recent corporate scandals affecting other industries, the corporation has taken a number of steps to make its financial accounting and general business practices more transparent.

As compelling and significant as these initiatives are, opportunities to pursue Sustainable Development as a business opportunity in the context of a developed world, transnational pharmaceuticals company continues to be difficult and must for the present remain in the future. However, these business opportunities are not out of the realm of the possible and they are achievable.

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