Pharmaceutical companies are facing pressure to go carbon neutral from organizations in their supply chain. That’s according to Andrew Sinclair, managing director of BioPharm Services.

According to Sinclair, organizations such as the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) are requiring their suppliers to show how they’re reducing emissions during their manufacturing processes.

“Pharmaceutical companies have their own imperative to meet carbon neutral goals, but parts of their supply chain are also making moving to zero carbon by a certain date a requirement of doing business,” he says.

Sinclair explains that, in the last decade, pharmaceutical companies have put initiatives in place to boost sustainability and reducing their environmental impact.

“Some of the metrics they’re looking at are becoming critical as parts of California, for examples, suffer water shortages,” he continues. “And [pharmaceutical manufacturing] facilities use relatively large amounts of water for [the quantities] of product they produce.”

According to Sinclair the software package offered by BioPharm Services allows companies to calculate Process Mass Intensity (PMI), a metric developed by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to assess how many materials are needed to manufacture a product.

As most energy is used for maintaining cleanrooms, rather than doing the manufacturing process itself, Sinclair says the software now works out the energy used by a clean room in a certain climate/geographical location. The system can be used to help pharmaceutical companies work out how to minimize plastic, energy use, and carbon emissions during manufacturing scaleup.

“It allows users to understand the environmental impact from the operation of their facility, “notes Sinclair. “The ability to predict carbon footprint, water use, and waste before scaleup can have a beneficial impact on the product and process.”

Sinclair hopes to use the software to assess the carbon embedded in resources used in manufacturing, such as single-use plastic components. This, he says, is quite complex as the plastics are often composites and the manufacturing process requires many different components.

“We’re working with LCA [Life Cycle Analysis] experts in the U.S. on a quick and easy way to do this, and how to incorporate it,” he tells GEN.

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