Four ways the life science industry is embracing sustainability in 2022
While life sciences companies historically have played a pivotal role in environmental, social and governance (ESG) because of the social benefits their products offer patients, there is still an opportunity to have a more positive impact on the environment.
Pharmaceutical and life sciences firms pursuing sustainable strategies and solidifying reputations as sustainable entities are fast gaining the trust of governments, global institutions, stakeholders, and consumers who share similar environmental aspirations. This collaboration is excellent news for our planet and may be the key to securing a better future for all!
In the past, these industry players would promote sustainability in several ways. For example, they would donate products, invest in renewable energies, and make better waste management a priority. While these initiatives still stand, 2022 and beyond present new challenges that must be addressed. Let’s look at how the growing life sciences sector is planning to embrace sustainability in the years to come:
1. Directing skills and talent
Many life sciences companies have adopted an approach where employees are trained in climate change and sustainable practices. Some entities even reward other organisations that direct skills and talent toward sustainability. For example, ISPE’s handbook includes guidance on policymaking for sustainable objectives, along with practical suggestions for retrofit principles and methodologies.
This directive helps to implement sustainable actions across the entire health ecosystem while also reducing the organisation’s own carbon footprint. Employees are also benefiting from cleaner, healthier, operations.
2. Support through funding
Some life sciences initiatives have developed a “Green Bank” philosophy that invests in infrastructure projects that support sustainable objectives or “net-zero goals.” Green Banks are mission-driven institutions that use innovative financing to accelerate the transition to clean energy and fight climate change. These objectives can include reduced carbon emissions, life sciences directives towards climate change, and “greener” deliverables (such as recyclable drug packaging).
For example, Japanese pharmaceutical company, Takeda, has committed to sustainability through funding by investing in suppliers that reduce their emissions and use verified carbon offsets where possible.
3. New regulations
New regulatory standards have been introduced to measure and report on sustainability efforts such as reduced carbon emissions, effective waste management, and waste reductions. Regular evaluations and reports will help to track carbon footprint details and further drive sustainable industry practices.
A Deloitte report highlights J&JCH as a life sciences company that’s eagerly implementing new regulations to improve the health of the planet (and people). One of J&JCH’s initiatives is to make disposable wipes from plant-based, home-compostable fibres!
Of course, sustainability doesn’t work without transparency and companies around the world are diligently collaborating with healthcare professionals and patients to release annual transparency reports that confirm regulatory success.
4. Technology for data refinement
It’s no secret that pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors emitted large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions in the past (some still do). To curb this problem, and to progress towards sustainable economics, many companies are investing in data-driven technology to help methodically adjust production processes and supply chains. AI and engineering automation innovations are good examples of technologies being utilised.
This embrace will not only be good for the environment but would also enhance product and service value.
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