Why facilities should be at the heart of a greener, more sustainable Pharma Industry transformation

by PQE Group & Techniconsult Group

Despite the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is not on the top global polluters list, efforts are underway to ensure that the entire product lifecycle of pharmaceutical products and their facilities are environmentally responsible and sustainable, in line with the global sustainability development goals set by the United Nations. In parallel with these ambitions, the industry is witnessing a concerted effort to slash emissions as pharmaceutical supply chains integrate new technologies to lower their carbon footprint, improve monitoring, and enhance energy efficiency and resource protection. Leading pharmaceutical companies are on track to achieve maximum energy efficiency by optimizing energy consumption, innovating approaches to production development and manufacturing, and implementing sustainability by design principles to minimize environmental impact. New and improved technologies such as artificial intelligence-powered automation have made it possible for pharmaceutical companies to produce more efficiently than before, while reducing waste and utilized resources 

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Four Ways You Can Reduce Waste & Become Greener 

As a constantly evolving industry built on innovation, the pharmaceutical sector develops and provides the latest and most effective treatments to billions of patients worldwide, using varied paces and methods. Defining sustainability in such a dynamic context might seem challenging. However, a closer look at the life cycle of pharmaceutical products reveals that being sustainable and environmentally friendly is not about selectively focusing on certain aspects. Instead, it involves a comprehensive approach encompassing everything from sourcing raw materials and utilizing energy-efficient manufacturing processes to reducing emissions and managing waste responsibly. 



Human activities continue to account for the majority of the Earth’s trend of rising global temperatures, which, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory, are likely to continue increasing due to an upsurge in demand for products to address consumer needs amid shortages caused by the COVID-19 lockdown period. Decarbonization, or the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) or more precisely, Greenhouse Gases (GHG), emissions into the atmosphere should be at the top of every pharmaceutical company's green goals, as decades-long reliance on fossil fuels for pharmaceutical production and HVAC purposes has significantly contributed to the industry's carbon footprint. This shift towards more sustainable practices not only aligns with global efforts to combat climate change but also offers benefits in terms of regulatory compliance, operational efficiency, and corporate responsibility. Switching to alternative and more sustainable energy sources and adopting smarter HVAC systems are some of the key steps we can take as an industry to minimize our carbon footprint. 


Optimizing for Energy Efficiency 

As the world faces increasing energy demands, the European Union's stance on energy efficiency is well documented in its energy policies. Achieving energy efficiency, especially during the production phase, depends on the willingness of pharma companies to responsibly use energy as a limited resource and employ new technologies to moderate, optimize, and monitor energy consumption. This involves the integration of sustainable practices in every step of the production process, from the design of energy-efficient facilities to the innovation of production processes and the implementation of advanced monitoring systems that ensure optimal energy consumption. Such strategies not only align with the EU's environmental goals but also contribute to the overall sustainability and cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical operations. 


Full Resource Utilization and Waste Reduction 

The Earth's natural resources, on which we all rely, are abundant yet finite. Unless we take necessary steps at both individual and industry levels, we may face a future where these crucial resources become scarce or depleted. Drug production, a resource-intensive process, requires a significant amount of raw materials, energy, and water, thus necessitating the adoption of more sustainable manufacturing practices. For the industry and the companies within it to continue thriving, there is a need to optimize resource utilization by using only what is necessary, and avoid producing waste and discharge hazardous pollutants to water and soil. 


Reuse and Recycle  

The current environmental crisis we are facing, although serious and life-threatening, has prompted us to reconsider and revamp our entire production chain to ensure that resources are being recycled and reintroduced into the production process to reduce waste and minimize our environmental impact throughout the entire product lifecycle. This push towards sustainability has not only been driven by regulatory authorities; consumers, who have become more environmentally conscious in recent years, are increasingly demanding eco-friendly products, thereby compelling pharmaceutical businesses to adopt more environmentally responsible practices. 


Why Your Sustainability Journey Should Start With Your Facility 

Our world is going through a transformation as natural disasters and unpredictable weather patterns are prompting us to rethink how we operate and continue to provide cures and treatments for patients in all four corners of the world. Sustainable production facilities should be at the core of every pharma business that wants to thrive in our ever-changing industry, which requires us to adapt to the outside world to remain compliant and functional. PQE Group and Techniconsult Group understand the challenges that come with running a facility in the modern world in one of the most highly regulated industries globally. That is why they have developed a strategy to help pharma businesses like yours become greener and minimize waste and environmental impact while maximizing efficiency and output. By taking the initiative to decarbonize, reuse, recycle, reduce waste, and optimize energy efficiency in our facilities, we can all contribute to a greener, cleaner, and brighter future.

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