Sustainability commitments accelerating in pharma supply chain, reveals CPHI report

Published: 20-Oct-2023

80% of pharma execs state "sustainability metrics" and "sustainability goals" will be expected in contracts within just 2 years

Sustainability goals and metrics are now being implemented across the pharma supply chain, with the rate of adoption accelerating quickly.

A majority of CDMOs are expected to use them within the next 2 years, a significant shift from last year’s survey when the expectation was that changes would take up to 5 years.

The new findings are announced at CPHI Barcelona – the world’s largest pharma event held at Fira Barcelona (24-26 October) – with 93% of executives stating that "visibility on supply chain partner’s sustainability record" is either extremely important or important.

The rate of change is also increasing and 60% of executives forecast that innovators will require CDMOs to implement sustainability metrics (such as full waste recycling, green power use, low PMI targets, and/or green chemistries) as a part of contracts with the next 2 years.

A further 20% anticipate that CDMOs will be expected to show ESG goals as part of any supplier deals, with just 20% believing that only "cost and capabilities" will remain an innovator’s single factor in assigning new contract decisions.

Sustainability commitments accelerating in pharma supply chain, reveals CPHI report

“The 2023 CPHI event in Barcelona is our greenest to date, but we are also increasingly using the event as a platform to centralise debate, propagate best sustainability practices, and help our partners accelerate towards greener manufacturing methods,” commented Silvia Forroova, Director, Partnerships & Sustainability, at Informa.

Earlier this year, CPHI also launched its first sustainability report – which evaluates the sustainability developments across supply chain partners and details global initiatives currently under way – with the Barcelona event hosting a dedicated sustainability track on 25 October.

Looking deeper at the findings released from CPHI Barcelona, only 9% of the pharma companies stated they had "no current green manufacturing activities."

The most popular initiatives currently in use across the industry are

  • waste and water reduction programmes (40%)
  • process improvement working groups – including green chemistries, metal catalysis, continuous processing (33%)
  • manufacturing equipment optimisation, such as intelligent energy programmes and machine learning for process efficiency (32%)
  • decarbonising company supply chains (29%).

Forroova added: “The trend in the industry is very clear and we are seeing all supply chain partners exploring more efficient manufacturing processes."

"You only need a look around the show floor to see a proliferation of this type of approach – which also often brings cost benefits as a more efficient process is typically cheaper."

"I would therefore encourage any company starting from material manufacturers to finished dose to read our report and attend this year’s best practice sessions."

"The rate of change is increasing rapidly and we expect this to be one of the biggest themes for manufacturing in 2024, as well as the fastest evolving. Getting ahead now will undoubtedly help in achieving competitive differentiation.”

CPHI Barcelona, the heart of pharma, will also feature its first ever Sustainability Centre (Hall 8 F30), as well as exploring good corporate citizenship issues such as Hiring for diversity and a dedicated wellibeing session.

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