IMA and sustainability in the pharmaceutical sector


IMA specialises in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for the processing and packaging of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, tea and coffee

Thanks to its high technological profile and ability to offer tailor-made solutions, IMA is able to respond to the varying requests of the pharmaceutical industry with the aim of increasing the quality of production and products while respecting safety and the environment through its three highly specialised divisions: IMA Active (Solid Dose Solutions), IMA Life (Aseptic Processing & Freeze Drying Solutions), IMA Safe (Packaging Solutions).

Research and constant innovation have always formed the basis of IMA's philosophy. IMA collaborates with research institutes and universities in Italy and around the world. For example, it works with Continuus Pharmaceuticals Inc., which has developed integrated continuous manufacturing technologies that make the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients faster and more efficient.

Continuous manufacturing is a new production method that IMA has decided to invest in, leading to the development of Croma (continuous coating by IMA Active) and LYnfinity (continuous freeze-drying by IMA Life). Both machines were devised with the contribution of specialist partners to find an innovative solution using a non-traditional production process.

At the same time, IMA is constantly scouting new ideas, techniques and materials, paying special attention to environmental sustainability, which is not limited to the optimisation of manufacturing processes, but involves the entire drug life cycle and packaging materials as well. There have been significant changes in containment technology for capsule filling, reducing the use of disposables (often made of plastic) and water, leading to significant energy savings and economic benefits.

IMA promotes projects, often in cooperation with customers and institutions, to raise awareness about the correct use, reuse and recycling of packaging, in line with the concept of a circular economy; more generally, it offers support for activities aimed at improving the synergy between businesses and the environment in line with the principles of the Green Economy. The projects developed with high-profile customers and partners, for the development of eco-sustainable flexible primary packaging, are an integral part of IMA's sustainable development strategy, like the use of recyclable and biodegradable films on IMA Safe blister machines.

With regard to secondary packaging, it is also worth mentioning the completely paper-based solution for very fragile products, an eco-friendly alternative to plastic trays, as well as the paper wrapping for end-of-line solutions, again proposed by IMA Safe, which represent IMA's concrete commitment to sustainability.

The spotlight for the pharmaceutical market is definitely on IMA NoP (No-Plastic Program), a project begun in 2019. It is one of the four pillars of IMA ZERO which promotes eco-friendly plastic substitutes for the packages manufactured on the Group's machines.

IMA is completing its route to sustainability, strengthening its commitment in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the fight against poverty to ensure health and well-being, with the help of food security, and achieve a type of growth that is respectful of people and the environment worldwide, guaranteeing inclusion and collaboration.

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Every year since 2017, IMA has been preparing a Consolidated Non-Financial Report to communicate environmental, social and economic information, which is certified by a firm of external auditors.