Trends, challenges and priorities

With the Race to Zero now well underway, players across the industry have already started to design and implement ways to control and reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. To maximize the industry’s impact, members recognize that we need to collaborate across the industry now more than ever; developing shared definitions and metrics so that we can understand the industry baseline and chart our progress through science-based targets.

Ready to launch

BioPhorum Sustainability launched on 1 November, with the first governance call scheduled for mid-November. This will be the first time the industry has come together as a whole, manufacturers and suppliers, to talk about their vision of a sustainable biologics industry and to develop a clear roadmap to address the challenges the industry faces in achieving sustainability goals.

The Phorum is ready to tackle the numerous challenges ahead. The Paris Agreement sets out the global framework to avoid dangerous climate change. By collaborating through BioPhorum Sustainability the biopharmaceutical industry can maximize its contribution to reducing emissions by focusing and stretching our industry ambition, sharing best practice and preparing for increased transparency on reporting. Perhaps more fundamental than target delineation for the industry at this stage, is the creation of standard definitions such as biohazardous waste and alignment on key concepts such as circularity. Obtaining clarity about these definitions and concepts will enable the team to develop metrics and milestones to chart and track the industries progress. In turn this will enable members to benchmark themselves so that as an industry we can develop clarity about where innovation is required over and above sharing best practices.

Through SUSTAIN01 and SUSTAIN02, members have articulated the challenges they are facing in addressing internal and external sustainability targets including:

  • Absence of common industry metrics and tools
  • Unquantified industry and organizational baseline
  • Absence of science-based targets to chart progress
  • Constrained people power in traditional roles and governance
  • Innovation stifled or niche, not proven to work at scale and not supported by regulators and enforcement agencies
  • Organizations unable to commit sufficient resources in the absence of a clear business case which limits at scale adoption

Developing a path forward

As the leadership team forms, members have begun to outline the need for an industry roadmap which will include setting science-based targets in key sustainability areas contributing to net zero emissions by 2050 including water, energy, plastics, green chemistry and bioethics.

The Phorum will initially launch workstreams and pathfinders to pursue early tactical opportunities in critical areas whilst the industry roadmap, due for publication late 2022, is being developed to address the industries strategic long-term goals.

We are looking forward to what can be achieved through collaboration and plans to connect across BioPhorum, in pursuit of the sustainability agenda. We are already engaging with the regulatory governance group on USP88 and endotoxin and pyrogen testing and after the Phorum launch we will begin discussions with BioPhorum Technology Roadmaping to collaborate on enabling technology. Early engagement with BioPhorum Development Group is critical to ensure that sustainable solutions can be designed in.

On the topic of sustainability, unlike any other, we are bound together as organizations and as individuals – every success and every failure will be felt by each of us in time. To this end, the Phorum plans to reach every part of the industry and every player within it to ensure that we maximize all available opportunities to reduce the industries emissions.

Sustainability deliverables 2021

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