How Pfizer redefined their communication strategy with their suppliers

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Pfizer, one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies, is on a journey to become Net Zero by 2040. To achieve this, they must communicate their sustainability targets to their supplier ecosystem and encourage their suppliers to adopt sustainable practices within their own processes.   

Working closely with Supplier Day, Pfizer hosted a virtual supplier summit encouraging audience engagement and securing supplier alignment for their sustainability initiatives. This event converted their top-down communication strategy into a dynamic 2-way dialogue between suppliers and Pfizer Procurement. 


The Challenge: Developing effective communication with suppliers. 


Solving sustainability challenges requires clear and active communication channels between leadership, business partners, and suppliers. Establishing these channels ensures all stakeholders can efficiently work together towards a common goal. 

In 2022, Pfizer announced their goal of reducing 90% of their value chain emissions by 2040. That is ten years earlier than the industry expectation. To kick start their efforts, Pfizer needed to communicate their ambition to their suppliers. Previously, Pfizer held several sustainability-based webinars. Unfortunately, the one-directional nature of these webinars failed to achieve alignment from suppliers and catalyse the actions required to reduce Scope 3 carbon emissions. 


Learn more about the differences between virtual events and webinars here. 


Their solution was to innovate their communication strategy and develop a platform that gave suppliers the opportunity to: 

  • Voice their opinions, questions, and inquiries regarding Pfizer’s sustainability targets.
  • Connect with Pfizer leadership. 
  • Create an ecosystem dedicated to driving success. 


The Solution: A Virtual Supplier Summit


Pfizer hosted a virtual supplier event: 2023 Net Zero Supplier Summit: “Accelerating a Net Zero Future Together”. This event reinforced their commitment to Net Zero across their value chain and provided best practices for suppliers who may be at different stages of their sustainability journey. 

The event brought suppliers and stakeholders together via a collaborative platform and marked the beginning of strategic conversations around Sustainability between Pfizer and their suppliers. 


The result: A two-hour virtual event, hosting nine sessions and 14 high-level speakers, all designed to create transparency and 2-way dialogue between Pfizer Procurement, strategic suppliers and other key stakeholders.


The supplier summit attracted over 1,200 attendees (a 76% turnout rate) from 62 countries and representatives from over 600 of Pfizer’s supplier companies. Pfizer’s objective was to produce an unforgettable virtual experience for their attendees and secure stakeholder alignment with their sustainability priorities. 

Supplier Day worked with Pfizer to achieve this by: 

  1. Executing Supplier Day’s specialised Empathy Mapping to determine audience mindset prior to the event.
  2. Hosting a live Q&A session conducted by Pfizer leadership to answer audience questions.
  3. Encouraging audience members to utilise the event platform’s engagement features, including a chat box, a Q&A box and session polls.

By engaging in the Empathy Mapping process, Pizer were able to identify industry pain points for their suppliers and stakeholders.  With this knowledge, they curated sessions communicating their sustainability focuses without sounding inconsiderate of existing supply chain struggles. Read more about Supplier Day’s Empathy Mapping here:


Curious about what Empathy Mapping would look like for you? Contact our advisory team to learn more about the process and how it could benefit your next supplier event.  


To carry on the momentum of engagement and further demonstrate their focus on developing a 2-way dialogue, Pfizer ensured their attendees could communicate their thoughts and opinions via a post-event survey. This survey collated audience experience and gave them an anonymous platform to express their views on Pfizer, their sustainability initiatives, and the event. 

According to the survey, 70% of respondents strongly understood Pfizer’s Net Zero ambitions and goals, and 100% understood Pfizer’s expectations of their suppliers to support their goals. There was also an overwhelming amount of positive comments regarding the event, a snapshot of which can be seen below.  

  • “This was an important and very well-run event”
  • “Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to share my recommendations”
  • “Great insight on the topics happening internally at Pfizer and what expectations are on the table for the suppliers working with the company”

By fostering an environment of open exchange and 2-way dialogue, Pfizer has taken a significant step towards their sustainability goals with their suppliers. Now with active communication at the forefront of their sustainability strategy, Pfizer is no longer alone on their journey to Net Zero, and together with their suppliers, they can continue to develop ‘Breakthroughs that change patient lives’. 


“Partnering with Supplier Day has shown us a new way of communicating with our value chain and has helped us deliver a dynamic virtual experience. Their expertise in content design has allowed us to open a 2-way dialogue with our strategic suppliers as we accelerate towards Net-Zero”
Fred Turco | Indirect Enterprise Sourcing, Vice President, Sourcing & Enterprise, Pfizer