Environmentalism has come a long way since the first Earth Day nearly 40 years ago. After nearly two decades of operating on the fringes, green has entered mainstream public policy and infiltrated nearly every commercial enterprise.
Pharmaceutical and biotechnology operations were slow to catch on. In some respects the former remains dirtier than most industries as measured by waste generated per unit weight of product produced. But the situation is improving rapidly. Every pharmaceutical and biotech company has implemented rigorous, organization-wide directives to conserve, recycle, and minimize waste in every theater of operation, including corporate, R&D, manufacturing, and distribution. And without exception they are uncovering substantial financial savings in the bargain.
This article examines the rationales and strategies for going green at the level of facility, laboratory, and in production.