How we take care of at AstraZeneca safety, health and the environment

How we take care of at AstraZeneca safety, health and the environment

At AstraZeneca, we believe in, pursue and achieve ambitious goals in the area of SHE – Safety, Health, Environment. We care about safety, we put health first, and we are unrivalled when it comes to taking care of the environment. It can be said that these three values – safety, health and the environment – are the pillars of our daily activities and all the aspects of our operations, whether in terms of development and research, production of medicines or even office work.


We all know that prevention is better than cure. Paradoxically, although as company we develop and manufacture innovative medicines, in the work environment we put the greatest emphasis on prevention and we can see that this approach makes sense.

We have more than three decades of dynamic development behind us. In this time there have been significant changes in our organisation. We constantly create new departments and grow our teams. In addition to Warsaw, we also have an office in Krakow. The Global R&D Centre was established in Warsaw in 2011. Currently it employs over 1500 people. The commercial division of the company is also based in Poland, ensuring that the AstraZeneca medicines reach Polish patients. Such rapid employment growth – and the fact that it has increased six-fold in the last 10 years – presents us with some challenges. We are committed to ensuring that our employees – currently over 3000 people – can work in a safe environment. Such dynamic company development presents us with obvious challenges in terms of workplace safety.

We operate systemically by applying preventive safety measures. Each employee has access to an online platform offering a very wide range of trainings, from soft skills development through hard skills, to very specialised competencies related to specific roles. These trainings include additional safety workshops that go beyond the already extensive range of knowledge that we pass on to new employees during the onboarding process and targeted trainings.

We are not afraid of difficult questions and of reacting to new problems in the work environment – the team in our Warsaw Site is an amazing group of active and helpful people attuned to the voice of the office community. Our health and safety officers are focused on being constantly in touch with employees and taking pro- and reactive actions. We rely on HOP (human and organizational performance). As a result, our working environment is comfortable for its users, while maintaining quality safety standards.

Examples of practical measures for health and safety are endless. For convenience, and with regard to the diversity of our employees, we have replaced their desks with models that can be adapted to the appropriate height, and even allow work when standing up. There are even desks with treadmills or stationary bikes, allowing employees to work actively. And when employees get up from their desks and move around the hallways, they are still safe – because we have even taken care of such details as foam-protected edges of screens and TVs in the hallways.

The understanding of safety is now more multidimensional than a few years ago, which is why we also pay attention to the needs of women, providing the so-called “pink boxes” with all the necessary hygienic items in business bathrooms. Because safety in this case is also about the sense of security and peace of mind.

We have a First Aider team that is passionate about first aid and is constantly growing. Trainings conducted in a non-judgmental and inclusive manner are the new normal for our people. We have different types of teaching aids – because practicing helps reinforce new habits.


It would be naive to only take care of employees while they remain at the employer’s disposal. That is why we look at them as people and we understand that we need to support their physical, mental and social wellbeing outside working hours too. The ability to integrate private and professional life results in efficient and happy employees with a positive attitude to work. The wellbeing-supporting initiatives help ensure that AstraZeneca’s employees treat their contribution to the company’s activities as part of their own achievement and growth.

We support the Speak Up culture – we believe that every voice, comment, or insight matters. We create a working environment diverse in terms of age, gender and generation. We strive to include people with disabilities and neuroatypical persons. Both our trainings and the basic principles of our daily cooperation are geared towards tolerance.

Our office is a combination of classic and modern solutions: a typically corporate open space is modified on the basis of the latest indications regarding employee wellbeing. Spaces are shared; we have a large number of plants; desks and workplaces are organised so that everyone can sit in a place that suits their own preferences. The latest, first floor of our office was created in cooperation with the TH!NK employee network which helped design the space in such a way that it would be as friendly as possible for neuroatypical people.

Office employees have access to quiet work zones, gym, massage, showers, library, creativity zone, Agora (space for meetings and internal events), music corner, games corner, chess corner and variously themed canteens and kitchenettes. We regularly organise sports challenges to build good habits; we work with coaches so that our people can receive tailored advice on their physical health. It will not be an exaggeration when I say that at our Warsaw Site you can sometimes forget that you are at work!


There are currently no AstraZeneca drug manufacturing sites in Poland. Instead, we have an extensive Warsaw office area, which is the company’s most important hub in the region and handles AstraZeneca’s numerous operations around the world. That is why at our Warsaw Site we are particularly mindful of looking after natural environment. We promote and implement solutions that help protect the planet in many ways.

We manage office waste by segregating it in accordance with municipal standards, including bio waste. In all bins there are compostable bags, which helps reduce the use of plastic in our organization by 5 thousand pieces per month. We are proud of the fact that our office has been free from single-use-plastics since 2017. We also have specially marked containers for used batteries. Furthermore, employees can dispose electro waste in the workplace during regular collection campaigns. 4,000 kilograms of this type of waste were collected in our office in 2020.

All our paper towels and toilet paper are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council FSE (confirming that certain forest areas, where pulp for their production is sourced, are managed in accordance with regulations). In addition, we are currently introducing a closed loop system of paper towels.

Our car fleet is composed of hybrid and electric vehicles. The company undertakes a number of pioneering initiatives in the field of infrastructure to ensure that from 2025 the entire fleet will be fully electric. In recognition of its consistent and long-term electromobility activities, in 2022 AstraZeneca received the “Eco Fleet” Award from the Polish Vehicles Rental and Leasing Association, for the third year in a row.

It is worth emphasizing that we have been measuring our carbon footprint since 2021. As a result we can realistically analyse our actions in terms of our environmental impact.

Our Warsaw office is powered solely by renewable energy. Furthermore, the AZ Forest initiative is currently underway – its aim is to plant 50 million trees worldwide. This proves that we do not want to be just another corporate passenger on our planet – we want to lead the organizational culture of companies towards a green future.

Katarzyna Ochman,

Director, Safety, Health & Environment AstraZeneca Pharma Poland Sp. z o.o.

Edyta Wojtkiewicz

CFO AstraZeneca Pharma Poland Sp. z o.o.

Head of GFS EMEA AstraZeneca

Diversity is the source of our strength. To us, diversity is more than simply differences in terms of gender, religion or origin. This is why the psychological safety of our employees is our key value.

Even before the pandemic, we were taking action to ensure the psychological safety of our employees. And yet new crises are constantly emerging. Therefore, we are constantly proposing new wellbeing solutions for all our employees. We are aware that each of us faces a variety of challenges, regardless of our role and the nature of our work. We are all human.

The strength of a modern company stems from innovation and diversity. We try to create a workplace where everyone can be themselves.  We want to be leaders – the role of a leader is to encourage people to express their opinions, to notice these types of voices and to think about how to translate new and unique points of view into positive actions.”

Last Updated on June 23, 2023 by Anastazja Lach