Climate change and global warming resulting from greenhouse gas emissions are widely recognized as the biggest threats to global health. The healthcare sector is responsible for 4–5% of global emissions, more than 70% of which are driven by supply chains.
There is therefore an increasing need to focus on reducing emissions across our sector. Many organizations have set or aligned with science-based targets, requiring them to work with their upstream materials suppliers, downstream distribution network, and customers to reduce their total emissions.
While progress is being made, we must increase the pace of sustainability transformation across the value chain. This need has led to a demand from BioPhorum members for a harmonized industry approach across the entire biopharmaceutical sector to accelerate progress – the result is BioPhorum’s Environmental Sustainability Roadmap.
“As the biopharma industry embraces technological advances to increase efficiencies, it is paramount that we also invest our efforts in driving environmental sustainability throughout the value chain,” said Joe Hess, Senior Director, EH&S, Gilead Sciences.
This sector-specific roadmap is the result of collaboration across the value chain and will help industry achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. It fits perfectly with the team’s vision statement of “Improving patient health by providing biopharmaceuticals while respecting the planet and responsibly using its resources.”
The roadmap identifies the key goals and specific actions that industry must take. It focuses on decarbonization and circularity as key strategies and assesses four biopharma product lifecycle areas:
- Raw materials
- Use and end of Life.
Each area’s detailed Roadmap is in a tabular form and contains a hierarchy of:
- Principle problems/challenges
- Impact opportunities
- Key action points.
“This is an important step for the industry because it is setting the first steps on the sustainability journey and the directions to address this critical subject,” said Caroline Calmels, Sustainability Business Manager at Saint Gobain Life Sciences – BioProcess Solutions. “For Saint Gobain, it is important that we’re aligned with the expectations and priorities of our market.”
What’s your impact on the environment?
We understand that each company within your supply chain will be at different levels of maturity. The roadmap can help you select the specific actions that will help you reach your goals.
Our roadmap guides you and the wider biopharmaceutical industry to identify high-impact opportunity areas to improve your environmental sustainability performance. These include the high use of energy, water and plastics, and the carbon emissions associated with a complex global supply chain.
It collates the ideas and resources available to propel the biopharmaceutical industry to a more environmentally sustainable future. Critically, it identifies the significant data gaps that need to be filled to support further action.
“This roadmap lights the way towards the sustainable future of bioprocessing – providing a framework and timeline of how to evolve our industry together,” said Karl Britt, Sustainable Innovation Leader at Pall.
The roadmap is a result of a collaboration of 22 industrial partners and wider input from BioPhorum’s membership, which includes over 150 members drawn from license holders, contract developers and manufacturers, and suppliers (of materials and services to license holders). They collaborated across a range of innovation topics, including drug development, drug substance, fill and finish, medical technology, cell and gene therapy, inbound and outbound supply chain, technology and IT, and regulatory governance.
It is certain that no single organization has all the solutions and that widescale changes in behavior across the sector are needed to meet the commitments many have made. Only through collaboration can we identify the role we each must play against the actions set out through this Roadmap.
Ryan Walker, Sustainability Program Leader at Cytiva, said “Collaborating across our industry on a strategic Roadmap for how we approach some of our planet’s biggest challenges is exciting and it’s quite simply the right thing to do.”
The importance of moving to a model where sustainability sits alongside traditional core business drivers is a fundamental shift for industry and cannot be underestimated. Our Sustainability Roadmap can support wide-scale implementation and, as we move toward 2050, it signposts key challenges that demand collective attention and action.
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