What is your plan to build a more sustainable business practice in the coming years?

What is your plan to build a more sustainable business practice in the coming years?

October 11, 2022PAO-10-022--RT-01

Anke Luxenburger, Attorney-at-Law, Vice President Legal & Regulatory, Europe, Actylis

Actylis (formerly Aceto) will be focusing on the execution of its strategic plan with ambitious goals for sustainability in 2022 and beyond. To secure the achievement of set goals, we will have to match tasks with appropriate resources, while at the same time we need to be sufficiently agile to adapt to the ever-evolving demands of our customers and the requirements of reporting tools. Fostering a culture of involvement to sustainability-related processes at all levels of the organization of Actylis is key to a robust base for progression towards sustainability. Besides key actions like execution of the sustainable procurement charts and improvements on carbon footprint or products’ life cycle assessments, we think that the real challenge is to organically develop internal resources and integrate sustainable business execution on a daily basis. Finally, we cannot achieve anything alone. Actylis aims to partner with its customers, business partners, and internal clients to make a meaningful impact toward sustainability.

Sergey Vlasenko, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Pharma and Biopharma End Markets, Agilent Technologies, Inc.

Agilent has been committed to sustainability and environmental protection since its founding in 1999. Improving the environment and society is a thread that runs through Agilent, our mission to improve quality of life, and our products and services. An example of this focus is our net-zero commitment. To ensure that the company achieves its net-zero goals by 2050, Agilent has committed to interim greenhouse gas reduction targets. By 2030, Agilent will reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% and Scope 3 emissions by at least 30%.

Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, while Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain. To achieve these targets, Agilent will continue to invest in renewable energy and focus on three areas where its carbon footprint is greatest: purchased goods and services, sold products, and transportation and distribution.

Agilent’s net-zero commitment includes the products we develop, how we work with customers and suppliers, how we manage our internal operations, and the need to be accountable for achieving our goals.

Agilent has dedicated teams across functions that work together in advancing sustainability, including a team focused on integrating environmental considerations into the full product life cycle, a supply chain and procurement team to engage suppliers and processes to reduce emissions, and a forum of internal experts to enable cross-pollination of ideas to advance sustainability in company operations and product offerings.

Colin Grant, Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Astrea Bioseparations

Astrea Bioseparations is not only working to improve sustainability within its own operations but seeks to develop products that help customers do the same. We recognise the importance of considering the sustainability of all operations, so we place an emphasis on recycling, designing products and processes with green chemistry in mind, and producing products that help our customers be more sustainable.

We manufacture our own base matrix, PuraBead™. PuraBead™ is manufactured using a novel atomization technology that does not require the use of organic solvents in the beading process, providing a reduced environmental impact for greener manufacturing.

We are working to develop new nanofiber-based technologies, which help with the process intensification of the downstream processes for cell and gene therapy and reduce the environmental impact by using less water, therefore increasing sustainability and reducing the cost of the biopharmaceutical. This means that new therapeutics can reach a wider group of patients in need.

Our commitment to increasing sustainability is not only limited to our internal operations, however. Increasing sustainability throughout the entire biopharmaceutical value chain is essential to ensuring the ongoing viability of the industry, so developing products that help customers ultimately improve their sustainability is equally important to us, and we feel that we have an obligation to future generations to make it happen faster!

Bailey Risteen, Ph.D., Global Sustainability Manager, Pharma Solutions, BASF

Building more sustainable business practices requires a full value chain approach: from sustainable sourcing policies to the environmental impact of own production sites to the products and data transparency that we provide to our customers.

We’ve already taken great strides in our sourcing policies. We source 100% RSPO Mass-Balance certified palm kernel oil for our lipids-based excipients portfolio, and we maintain strict environmental and social criteria (e.g., no forced or child labor, no endangered species) for our crude fish oil supply that goes into our omega-3 portfolio. Next, we will be evaluating sustainable sourcing strategies for other raw materials, such as castor oil.

For our own production sites, we continuously track and manage our carbon emissions, and BASF has committed to a net zero goal by 2050. On our path to net zero, we will leverage green energy, new technology, and continuous operational improvements. A great example of this in action is our ibuprofen production in Bishop, Texas, which has reduced its carbon footprint by over 20% since 2002 through efficiency gains and renewable electricity purchases.

Finally, we will continue to lead in environmental data transparency for our customers. BASF developed an award-winning product carbon footprint (PCF) digital tool, which has allowed us to calculate PCFs (i.e., kg CO2 per kg product) for our entire portfolio based on high-quality primary data from our sites. This is an exciting initiative and will grow in importance in the coming years as pharmaceutical companies set carbon reduction targets that require supplier collaboration (e.g., Scope 3).

Molly Mjolsness, Director of Client Experience and Transformation, Be The Match BioTherapies

Like all vendors in the cell and gene therapy (CGT) arena, we are constantly evaluating our business model, looking for opportunities to improve business practices, generating business cases for new products and services, and then also making hard decisions to obsolesce certain lines of business. The CGT field is changing very rapidly as more clinical insight is garnered through clinical trials and through larger and larger volumes of commercially approved products being prescribed. As a vendor, we need to adapt quickly in this rapidly changing environment, and we are implementing a new (to us) agile operational model, which we believe will result in faster decision making and significantly improved client experiences. This will be the first of many steps that we plan to take to build an operationally efficient delivery platform.

Renee Aguiar-Lucander, Chief Executive Officer, Calliditas

Our plan to achieve sustainability as a business practice in the coming years lies within Calliditas’ strategy to execute on our vision to efficiently expand, develop, and market our pipeline of innovative medicines targeting rare diseases that have the potential to improve the lives of patients with significant unmet medical needs. The development and commercialization of TARPEYO™ (budesonide) delayed-release capsules, the first and only U.S. FDA–approved treatment for IgA nephropathy (IgAN), reflects the successful execution of our strategy. This marked a momentous breakthrough for the treatment landscape, as, despite the need for advancements, there has never been a disease-specific treatment option for patients with IgAN until now. We have already seen the success of our strategy play out — most recently with the subsequent conditional marketing authorization for the treatment of primary IgAN by the European Commission (EC).

Sustainability ultimately lies in our ability to be precise in identifying appropriate commercial opportunities relevant to our key USPs and engaging with industry leaders to bring treatments to those who need it most. Calliditas’ pipeline is based on late-stage development programs based on evidence from our novel NOX inhibitor platform compounds, such as the lead candidate, setanaxib, the first NOX inhibitor to reach the clinical trial stage. We are very excited about the existing preclinical and clinical evidence to date from this first-in-class platform of NOX inhibitors and believe that there is great potential for this platform to address a variety of orphan diseases.

Pete Williams, Vice-President of Global Environment, Health & Safety, and Sustainability, Catalent

Customers, investors, and employees all look for companies with a strong record and sound plans for sustainability. At Catalent, we focus our sustainability program on patients, planet, people, and community.

To ensure that we continue to deliver for patients, our focus is on delivering operational excellence while innovating across the sector — enabling customers to succeed at every scale and stage of their product’s development life cycle. Catalent will continue to work closely with our supply chain partners to minimize risks to production and delivery of vital medicines to patients.

A healthy planet is a priority for all of us. Catalent was the first CDMO to join the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI), and we remain committed to it. Reducing carbon emissions while better managing waste and stewarding water resources will enable us to meet or exceed environmental guidelines. We are setting new carbon-reduction goals based upon science-based targets that propose reductions of Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions, aligning us with the goals of the Paris Agreement. We are also committed to becoming a landfill-neutral organization.

People and the community are vital components of sustainability as we continue to build a positive culture, nurture talent, and work responsibly. In 2022, Catalent was voted Best Place to Work for People with Disabilities based on the Disabilities Equality Index, and we strive to improve the working experience for all colleagues. Growing our community work through the Catalent Cares program is another way that staff contribute time, expertise, and resources to communities, and, in 2022, over 600 nonprofits were supported through Catalent Cares grants and outreach programs.

Omar Kurdi, Co-Founder and President, Cellares

One of the ways that Cellares is building a sustainable business now and in the future is by creating technologies that are both flexible and high quality, thereby reducing unnecessary waste. Cellares’ cell therapy manufacturing product is intended to be a long-lasting solution that anticipates the future needs of our customers while also staying ahead of the ever-changing regulatory landscape. We are working to accomplish this through extensive conversations soliciting input from our customers, not only to determine cell therapy manufacturing needs but also to understand what we can provide in terms of reagent flexibility, software, and beyond. On the regulatory front, we are engaging with the U.S. FDA and are participating members in various industry organizations that are involved in steering regulatory direction. We also have designed the Cell Shuttle platform to be extremely flexible and modular, which will allow us to accommodate advancements in cell therapy manufacturing processes as they are developed, enabling us to continue to serve customer manufacturing needs as they evolve. Above all, we take pride in the quality that has gone into the design of the Cell Shuttle and associated products, as well as the amazing team that we have assembled to bring this technology from concept to reality.

Gregg Belardo, Executive Director of Corporate Sustainability, Charles River

Charles River’s global sustainability practices are guided by a sense of purpose and a commitment to create healthier lives while safeguarding the planet for future generations. To ensure meaningful impact reductions, our rigorous Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)–approved goals include Scope 1 and 2 (fossil fuel use and electricity use at our own facilities) greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in line with a 1.5 °C pathway and Scope 3 (value chain) GHG emissions reductions in line with a 2 °C pathway. To help us achieve our goals and decarbonize our business, we are focused on three areas: (1) purchasing renewable electricity, (2) becoming more energy efficient, and (3) collaborating with suppliers. To address the first area, we have entered into two virtual Power Purchase Agreements (vPPAs) that we anticipate will supply 90% of our global electricity with renewable energy by 2023. In the second area, we’ve established a $5 million Annual Sustainability Capital Fund to support sustainable design efforts. Finally, in the third area, we’ve started engaging with suppliers through the Ecodesk platform to better capture GHG emissions data and encourage them to set science-based GHG reduction targets. We are committed to doing our part to limit climate change by setting aggressive goals and working to reduce our carbon footprint.

Jeff Elton, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, ConcertAI

ConcertAI was built to create greater contributions to societal, economic, and environmental benefits over time. For two examples: first, we are a digital company operating in multiple geographies with a distributed workforce. Our operating models meld software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools with natural language processing and AI-enabled models for deriving variables and insights. This translates into a business model where increasing scale, accuracy, and utility are inherent. Because we do this with ever greater productivity, business efficiencies are designed to scale more rapidly than required business resources. 

Second, our solutions themselves replace legacy ways of working. Our assessment, and that of trial sponsors, is that our solutions can be 30–40% more efficient and less burdensome than the approaches used before the pandemic. Some of this includes the replacement of activities that required physical site visits and the like. This is another major driver in reducing environmental burden and wasteful costs that are no longer necessary. 

In sum, the business model of a series of cloud architectures is itself contributing to sustainability. Beyond that, the model fundamentally opens up clinical development capacity, allows for different study designs, and assures the ability to grow the therapeutic pipeline on a consistent resource base. This in turn offers the promise of faster trial completion times and earlier access to approved medicines. Thinking about this beyond the economic aspects, trials will now be more available for more people in clinical settings closer to their homes — a great social benefit combined with advantaged environmental impact. We aim to continue to grow these kinds of benefits in the years to come.

Adam Walker, Senior Sustainability Manager, CRB

From designing and building LEED-certified facilities to guiding clients on WELL-certification standards, CRB has an established track record of innovative, sustainability-focused manufacturing service offerings that help clients eliminate waste, reduce rework, and prevent overengineering.

But as repeated climate shocks imperil our communities and test the limits of our world's manufacturing infrastructure, more action is needed. CRB has undertaken an ambitious, rigorous, and urgent carbon emissions evaluation to understand where we are today and how we'll reduce our impact in the future. This audit spans our company's entire footprint. From project teams to overhead functions, our learnings from this audit — joined with the subsequent actions we must take — represent our company's most important opportunity to serve our clients efficiently and profitably while maintaining a conscious and careful stewardship of our world's most critical resources.

Emmanuel Abate, Vice President of Genomics and Cellular Research and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Cytiva

Our industry transforms human health. To be successful in this, our solutions must deliver for the planet as well as people. Human health is directly tied to our planet’s health. At Cytiva, we design sustainability into how we conduct our business and work with customers, and we’ll never stop refining, implementing, or discovering additional ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

We start by building an inclusive and diverse organization to bring perspectives, insights, and solutions that we might otherwise miss. We publish an annual sustainability report to promote transparency and hold ourselves and our suppliers accountable. We contribute to community building through charitable giving and supporting our associates to volunteer. We focus on reducing our carbon emissions and energy usage; rethinking our packaging to reduce, reuse, and recycle; closing the loop on plastics; and using water wisely at our manufacturing sites. We strengthen our resilience as an organization by designing our products sustainably from an early stage, expanding our infrastructure with a continuous improvement mindset, and sourcing our purchased goods and services from suppliers that align with our ambitions.

To have an industry-wide impact, we must work as a whole to create a circular supply chain and make a meaningful impact. No one company can go it alone; we are dependent on one another from creating sustainable design to reducing emissions to eliminating waste.

Raj Indupuri, Chief Executive Officer, eClinical Solutions

As an entrepreneur, building a sustainable organization has always been top of mind. One of the primary ways that eClinical Solutions ensures the sustainability of our business is by maintaining our focus on the pillars of people, process, and technology. One of our company's core values, and the one we prioritize first among the others, is “People first.” Hiring team members who become your trusted business partners and who are committed to the company's mission and vision is critical. This year marks our 10-year anniversary, and our mission to bring positive change to health and society has remained the same as we strive to help bring new treatments to patients faster. In addition, the growth of your organization depends on the growth and well-being of your employees. At eClinical, we want to create opportunities for personal growth and enable each individual to be challenged, encouraged, and celebrated. As a leader, I aim to inspire the team by keeping our mission front and center and reminding us that our work impacts the life sciences industry and helps advance human health. 

Diane Bartoli, Vice President and General Manager, epocrates

We see the needs of both our clinical audience and that of our commercial customers only continuing to grow in the coming years as more therapies are introduced to the market and patients present increasingly challenging questions for providers. Given that, our strategy for delivering sustainable growth is to 1) ensure that we continue to be a go-to source for clinicians for their point-of-care information and educational needs, 2) expand beyond our primary mobile offering to include new ways of delivering information and commercial opportunities for our clients, and 3) ensure that our business models allow us to appropriately capture the value that we create for both clinicians and commercial clients. This strategy requires us to be extremely close to both clinicians and their changing needs, as well as our commercial clients, as they are navigating a world that is increasingly digital. Solutions like epocrates that have been mobile from the start are very well placed to offer valuable insights about how clinicians make decisions and the changes we see in their behavior.

Jochen Becker, Ph.D., Global Project Manager RD&I, Evonik Health Care

Evonik Health Care has adopted sustainability as a guiding business principle and has set the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. As one of the key global suppliers for pharmaceutically active ingredients and excipients, we take responsibility for both the quality of manufactured pharmaceuticals and the footprint of our manufacturing processes.

We increasingly use the green chemistry principles at our main pharmaceutical process research and development sites. We look to substitute reagents and solvents for less toxic, greener alternatives and develop safer reaction conditions. For example, our manufacturing process for lactide, which is used in the biodegradable polymer excipients RESOMER®, has a low process mass intensity (PMI) and uses only the green solvents isopropanol and ethyl acetate. The raw material, lactic acid, comes from a renewable feedstock, and the product is fully biodegradable.

Outside the site boundaries, our supply chain groups qualify the quality and sustainability of raw material suppliers. We investigate the best ways of reducing and managing waste generated by our processes. For example, wastewater treatment or solvent recovery are evaluated to reduce the need for thermal incineration of waste streams. We have started a successful project to recover precious metals through nanofiltration using our own membrane PURAMEM®.

In the coming years, we will expand such initiatives by working closely with customers to review processes, identify weaknesses, and align on actions for improvement.

Dago Caceres, Global Strategy Director, IFF Pharma Solutions

We view our sustainability plan as a journey of continuous improvement that requires our complete and sustained commitment. While more than 90% of the products in our excipient portfolio come from naturally derived sources, we have put in place a comprehensive, ambitious strategy to increase our sustainability efforts and contribute to making the world a better place. Our sustainability plan can be divided into four fundamental pillars:

  1. Sustainable solutions. We are dedicated to driving environmentally and socially conscious innovation. To deliver on these commitments, we expect 100% of our innovations to include a sustainability value proposition.
  2. Climate and planetary health. We have set goals to protect the planet for future generations, including zero waste to landfills, championing water stewardship, and achieving a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. As part of this plan, we are also working toward our ambition to become net zero by 2040 and net carbon positive by 2050.
  3. Equity and wellbeing. We are committed to unleashing the potential of our people and strengthening local communities by increasing the number of POC people in management positions to 40% and the number of women in management positions to 50%.
  4. Transparency and accountability. We will continue to adhere to the highest ethical standards by holding our leaders accountable. To achieve this, we will increase transparency of our annual ESG disclosures and annual ESG key performance indicators for executive compensation, as well as expand ESG governance at the Board of Directors level.

Prasad Raje, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, LGM Pharma

LGM Pharma is focused on three main areas that will drive our sustained business. The first focus is centered around building diversified service segments — specifically, service segments that can withstand funding from early-stage to late-stage development to commercial manufacturing. From past experience, we know that if you are unable to diversify service segments to include early- through late-stage development, your business will not be successful if the funding cycle undergoes any changes. By diversifying our service segments, we will be able to ensure continued business growth in the event of a funding shift. Our second highest priority, specifically in the CDMO division, is going back to “service industry 101”: solving customer problems. By consistently meeting timelines, committing to meeting our clients’ challenges, and creatively solving problems, we are confident that we can fortify a client base built on trust, and customers will continue to do business with us. Lastly, it is imperative in this industry that we stay current on changing regulatory expectations. Industry regulations are constantly changing, and by staying up to date on regulatory expectations, we will ensure that we are in good standing. If we are able to do these three things, we will have a sustainable business that remains relevant in the industry not only today, but for many years to come.

Ling Wong, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Lightspeed Venture Partners

The best advice that we share with our portfolio companies on how to build a business that lasts is to go where the market is. Identify the pressing health needs and listen to where and how the patients want you to address those needs and you’ll be ahead of the curve in providing the solution at the right place and right time. If you’re looking at product development today, look at what shape the product will need to take three to five years from now as the market changes and evolves and build your product to address that future need. 

Treatments, surgeries, and interventions have gotten extremely cost prohibitive, so look at how to deliver those solutions in cost-affordable ways. As disease incidence increases, the need for healthcare services will also grow, so we need to look at how to provide the infrastructure, create the solutions, and pay for them. The essence of healthcare is in not just knowing what we need but in how we supply it to improve patients’ lives. 

Jeffrey Whitford, Head of Sustainability and Social Business Innovation, MilliporeSigma, the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

We embed sustainability in everything we do at MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Scientific progress and responsible entrepreneurship go hand in hand, enabling us to create a more sustainable future for our customers and society. We’ve set ambitious goals: by 2030, we’ll achieve human progress for more than one billion people through sustainable science and technology and integrate sustainability across our value chains, and by 2040 we’ll achieve climate neutrality and reduce resource consumption.

We’re taking strategic action to reach these three goals. We currently offer customers 1,800+ Greener Alternative Products to help reduce their environmental footprint while maintaining quality. We’re embedding design for sustainability (DfS) across our R&D organization. DfS is our design framework that focuses on the entire product life cycle and enables us to make sustainability improvements at each stage of product development.

To accelerate transparency in our supply chain, we’re calculating the carbon footprint of our entire 300,000+ product portfolio to help customers make more informed decisions and focus our reduction/elimination efforts.

Product packaging is one of our customers' most visible environmental impacts. We developed the SMASH Packaging Plan, an industry-first framework to drive significant sustainability improvements. We’re both reducing the amount of packaging material we use and opting for more sustainable materials that align with zero-deforestation standards.

We aim to minimize net increase in energy usage despite significant growth in our business while reducing our absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% and Scope 3 by 30% by 2030.

Craig LaMarca, General Manager, Boston Clinical Trial Services, PCI Pharma Services

At PCI Pharma Services, we developed an Environmental Social Governance (ESG) committee about a year ago as the foundation for our sustainable business practices. The committee consists of individuals across departments at all of PCI’s global sites. Since then, we’ve begun leveraging best practices across sites for waste management, energy consumption, and water usage. For example, PCI’s Philadelphia site achieved energy sources that are 100% renewable, and the process that achieved that is now being implemented across all facilities to come closer to 100% renewable purchase energy.

Because of these actions and what we have learned from them, we’re now able to weave ESG into the fabric of PCI’s growth by implementing ESG efforts into new and expanded sites. For example, we recently announced the opening of our New England Clinical Center of Excellence in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, which was constructed to reflect ESG and sustainability efforts. The site’s features include a stormwater runoff system, an underground oil and sedimentation separation tank, electric vehicle chargers, and the exclusive use of LED lighting.

Overall, our goal is to integrate ESG practices into PCI’s DNA, making it a priority item when implementing new practices and procedures and building or expanding facilities.

Ian B. Walters, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and Director, Portage Biotech

In today’s challenging market, it is critical to develop sustainable practices that save costs while still maintaining the ability to advance potentially lifesaving therapies for patients. At Portage, our unique business model allows us to rapidly advance multiple products through clinical trials at relatively low cost. In addition to our veteran core employees, we utilize consultants and part-time employees to flex our fixed costs depending on current needs. Collaboration agreements, grants, and other non-dilutive measures are implemented to broaden the scope of work done with less outside investment. We also use our stock as currency to acquire technology and minimize cash costs to the company. Together, these approaches preserve a much longer cash runway which is particularly advantageous in challenging markets. We acquire multiple drug platforms rather than focusing on a single modality to diversify and minimize technical risk. We also have a few programs that focus on novel delivery modalities of validated targets which minimize biologic risks.

We demonstrated these capabilities through our acquisition of four potentially best-in-class adenosine antagonists from a private company, Tarus Therapeutics. This was done for stock and preserved our cash to drive development efforts. We also secured full ownership of our invariant natural killer T cell agonists from academic institutions as a stock swap. This led to full ownership acquired over time with a mix of cash, fee-for-service agreements, and stock. These transactions reflect the strength of our corporate strategy and our company’s potential to advance groundbreaking technology for people with cancer while reducing research and development costs.

Chris Gibson, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Recursion

Recursion was founded to use science and technology to change the world for the better through our mission to decode biology to radically improve lives. As a company driven by science, we recognize the need to act with urgency to mitigate our impact on climate change, and we are deliberate in our decisions to give back to our communities and invest in our people, culture, and patient communities.

As outlined in our 2022 Global Environmental, Social & Governance Report, we aim to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions from our operations with a goal to become net zero by the year 2030. This includes a near-term commitment to perform a detailed measurement and analysis of our emissions, with plans to disclose Scope 1 and 2 emissions in our next ESG Report.

Equal gender representation is also a key component of our sustainable business practices. By 2030, we aim for roughly equal representation of female and male genders (50/50 after considering non-binary representation) for the whole company and for Vice President and above.

We also plan to direct 1% of our equity into the Recursion Foundation, a non-profit entity established in 2019. The Foundation will continue to support the communities in which Recursion is based, including Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Toronto, and Montreal, with a focus on helping build sustainable, diverse, and equitable life science and technology hubs; expanding STEM education opportunities for diverse youth; and directing and amplifying employee volunteerism into causes aligned with the company’s mission. This includes an ongoing commitment to Altitude Lab, the life sciences incubator dedicated to supporting the next generation of diverse healthcare entrepreneurs, which launched in 2020 as a joint collaboration between Recursion and the University of Utah.

Brian Peutherer, Vice President of Environment, Health, and Safety, Sterling Pharma Solutions

Sterling Pharma Solutions is committed to environmental sustainability and has created a roadmap that balances initiatives throughout every part of its global operation. Our responsible business policy highlights key material ESG areas: energy use; carbon dioxide emissions; water consumption; waste generation; and supply chain sustainability.

The long-term goal is to achieve complete carbon neutrality by 2045 via stepwise progression, the first being to reduce emissions by 50% by 2025. At our headquarters in Dudley, UK, a combined heat and power plant has made the site almost self-sufficient in electricity, and energy consumption surveys are currently ongoing at our other sites. A quantification process is underway at Dudley using state-of-the-art software to analyze all areas of the site’s supply chain, and, since 2019, emissions per ton of production have fallen by around 40%.

None of our global sites are in areas of high water stress, and monitoring for leaks within water systems ensures that wastage is minimized. Sites’ waste streams are also monitored closely, and, at Dudley, an anaerobic digestion plant is being commissioned, which will convert waste into energy to supply back into the national grid and reduce waste treatment emissions by up to 65%. Similar potential facilities at other sites are being evaluated.

To reinforce its commitment to responsible business practices, Sterling has joined the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative and in 2021 and 2022 was awarded a gold medal by EcoVadis, in recognition of the company’s sustainability management system through its policies, actions, and results.

John Newsam, D.Phil., Chief Executive Officer, Tioga Research

I view our commitment to sustainability in four categories:

    1. The products to which we, as a contract research and early development (“R&D”) organization (CREDO), contribute;
    2. Our internal R&D processes;
    3. Our role as an industry participant; and
    4. Our actions and perspectives at the individual staff level.

Our scope for improving the sustainability of pharmaceutical formulations themselves is limited; the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are presented by clients, and the slate of acceptable excipients is constrained. However, we strive to minimize the number of excipients and to simplify the processing required. Furthermore, a more efficient product, one in which utilization of the applied API is maximized, has numerous benefits.

The container and packaging represent much of the durable waste associated with a topical product. Although cost is often a driving concern, we have considered alternatives to trash plastic tubes. The Topical Science Talk series has also included presentations on fresh packaging design approaches. My own view is that an awareness of sustainability issues in one area can impact behavior in numerous other areas. By emphasizing recycling, waste reduction, and time and resource efficiencies in our R&D processes, we improve the services that we provide to clients and encourage our company family in broader sustainability efforts. Although small as an organization, we can perhaps have an outsized voice in our industry and community at large. The greater the awareness that we each have of our professional and personal carbon footprint and plastic handprint, the more substantially momentum will build.

James Peterson, Vice President, Global Pharmaceutical Ingredients, Univar Solutions

At Univar Solutions, we have continued to advance our sustainability ambitions and positive impact, helping to achieve our mission to keep global communities healthy, clean, fed, and safe. Our ambitious global sustainability and ESG goals to 2025 and beyond demonstrate our ongoing commitment to delivering meaningful change for a more sustainable world.

These goals are embedded throughout our business, positively impacting our people, products, operations, and supply chain. We have set forth a strategy to reduce energy and emissions. We are embedding more sustainable practices into each step of our supply chain. Our global operations are committed to preventing accidental chemical releases during all handling stages. We’re partnering with organizations that are aligned with our stance on ESG issues to reduce energy emissions. And we recognize our critical role in supplying the ingredients, specialties, and technical expertise needed by our customers and society for essential products and services, such as producing useable water, improving waste management, and identifying synthetic and naturally derived, high-performing ingredient solutions for customers performing vital drug development, production, and formulation.

Additionally, we support customers seeking to infuse sustainable and natural ingredient practices and processes into their own product development and manufacturing. For example, we recently initiated a solvent recycling ESG research project aimed at recovering solvent waste streams from large users and returning the high-purity, reclaimed waste streams back into the pharmaceutical manufacturers’ process.

From end to end, we work closely with our global supplier base in identifying markets and opportunities to launch new and innovative ingredients that meet the evolving market, regulatory, and safety standards and societal expectations. We are committed to our sustainability journey and to supporting our customers' own journeys.


Read Part 2: What key indicators do you look at to predict the future of this industry?


chat button