Why Pharma Should be Focusing on ESG
ESG Report 2022
Datwyler’s award-winning sustainability work is helping the global pharmaceutical market transform into a greener, more environmentally friendly industry.
In September 2022, the annual Pharmaceutical Technology Excellence Awards and Rankings were announced. The event celebrates the innovation and achievements within the global pharmaceutical industry, highlighting outstanding companies and institutions across a number of categories.
This year, Datwyler was delighted to be commended in the Environmental category for the second year in a row. The award recognizes companies that have made a significant effort to reduce their environmental impact. In the words of the Awards organizers:
The Environmental category aims to highlight companies that are undertaking projects that reduce their impact on the natural environment. With the effects of climate change becoming ever more obvious, corporations have a responsibility to update and change their practices to prevent further damage being caused.
The award is a reflection of the investment Datwyler has made into making its materials, manufacturing processes, and logistics more sustainable, examining each step of the product journey to see how we can reduce our carbon emissions and our impact on the environment. But while we are always grateful for receiving recognition for our work, we understand the value of pushing forward with new initiatives and innovation.
For the second year in a row Datwyler was commended in the environmental category.
Like all global industries, the pharmaceutical and biotech market is facing a number of pressures to become more sustainable in all areas of operation. From materials and manufacturing to distribution and waste, governments and consumers are challenging the industry to become more efficient and decrease its contributions to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to a 2019 study by Canada’s McMaster University, the emission intensity of the pharmaceutical industry is actually 55% higher than the automotive industry.
However, given the critical nature of storing, transporting, and administering medication, the primary packaging sector faces a number of unique challenges when it comes to sustainability. Since any material that comes into contact with a drug faces stringent quality tests to ensure the drug remains uncontaminated and effective, any change to that material would require years of development and testing. Moreover, primary pharmaceutical elastomeric packaging requires full traceability of the material supply chain, and the use of recycled material makes this an enormous challenge.
As a company that is aware of its responsibility towards society and the environment, Datwyler is currently working on a number of initiatives and projects that could substantially reduce its emissions and improve its sustainability.
As a founding member of the non-profit association Alliance to Zero, the company has committed to help facilitate the transition of the pharma sector to compliance with net-zero emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
The formation of this alliance is the first step in a challenging but urgent journey that our member organisations have committed themselves to. Enabling the launch of net-zero pharmaceutical products in regulated markets will require companies like ours to transform our operations, products, services, logistics, innovations and investments.Sebastian Gerner, president of Alliance to Zero
In addition, Datwyler constantly carries out proactive compliance work with many of its materials, investigating new solutions for raw materials to replace harmful toxins with safer alternatives. For example, while the use of potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines in rubber compounds is allowed, Datwyler primary packaging has been manufacturing nitrosamine-free compounds for decades. This is just one example of how Datwyler goes above and beyond legal requirements with its proactive chemical compliance management at all sites worldwide.
As part of Datwyler’s 12 focus topics for enhanced sustainability, Eco-design also looks at the role of material development on environmental impact and the lifecycle assessment (LCA) of a product. Currently, LCAs are being carried out on a number of Datwyler healthcare components, which will identify areas with the largest carbon footprint. Once we have that information, we can focus our attention on those areas and make the most difference in reducing emissions.
There’s little doubt that the pharmaceutical industry is currently going through huge transformation with regard to the environment. While it’s one of the world’s most important markets, with a direct impact on the lives of billions of people, it’s also one of its largest carbon emitters.
As a leading supplier of primary pharmaceutical packaging, we understand our responsibility to our customers as well as the environment. Whether it’s investigating more efficient manufacturing and distribution methods or proactively researching new materials, we continuously strive to improve our processes to work towards a greener, more healthy planet. This work has resulted in a Silver award from the global rating agency EcoVadis for the fourth time in a row, which places Datwyler in the top 15% of more than 90,000 companies from 160 countries.
Head of Material Development Healthcare