Sustainability in the Biopharmaceutical Market
The Biopharmaceutical market adopted single-use biomanufacturing equipment, also called Single-Use Technology (SUT), more than ten years ago for many reasons such as process efficiencies, increased manufacturing, and flexibility. Sustainability is a growing concern as global warming is accelerating and plastic usage is under environmental pressure. Thus, decarbonization and circular economy are the two main trends observed in the market. While SUT applies in a clean room where HVAC systems are very carbon intensive and are incinerated or landfilled as it is required for hazardous waste, switching to SUT helps reduce energy and water consumption for washing and sterilization operations.1 This does not mean that the industry is not taking action. In fact, it is highly committed to collaborating to fight climate change and promote circular economy through global industry organizations such as BioPhorum and BPSA.
1 Single-use technology and sustainability: quantifying the environmental impact in biologic manufacturing, Cytiva
As one example, our ValPlus™ service offers sustainability benefits to customers:
The documented cleanliness of ValPlus™ eliminates the need for our customers to rinse and cleanse the inner part of the tube. Thus, it is reducing the time needed for operations, and, therefore, the resources required on site. In addition, this offer demonstrates environmental benefits. Our customers are reducing their usage of Water for Injection (WFI) consumption by up to several million liters and the energy required to dry the tubes.
Manufacturing in a Responsible Manner
In line with the Saint-Gobain 2025 and 2030 objectives on waste, water, energy, and CO2 (scope 1 and scope 2), Saint-Gobain Bioprocess Solutions plants are reporting on several indicators to keep improving their environmental performances. To continuously improve our environmental performance, 60% of our plants obtained the Environmental Management certification ISO 14001. View ISO Certificates
Energy & Carbon Emission
Saint-Gobain Bioprocess Solutions' Scope 1 is relatively low compared to Scope 2 and Scope 3. However, improvements are being made in every category.
- Scope 1 - Replacing propane-powered forklifts with an electric-powered fleet or reducing the amount of natural gas used for heating by improving the thermal efficiencies of our sites and operations.
- Scope 2 - Saint-Gobain North America (United States and Canada) has entered into two virtual power purchase agreements (vPPA) in 2020 (Invenergy) and 2022 (TotalEnergies) totaling 320 megawatts (MW) of green electricity. The two projects combined are expected to represent a 62% reduction in Saint-Gobain North America’s scope 2 emissions over the next 10 years, effective. The second PPA will be active as of end 2024.
- Scope 3 - Saint-Gobain Bioprocess Solutions has begun quantifying the broader emissions related to the life cycle of our products and services. We aim to provide accurate and thorough emissions data in support of our customers’ carbon accounting requirements.
Increasingly, Saint-Gobain Bioprocess Solutions is localizing its production sites. This will help reduce the footprint coming from transportation, among other benefits.
Having a Conscious Use of Plastic
As a principle of circular economy, reducing the use of plastic is the most virtuous option. Committed to starting work in circularity, an internal project has been launched to explore new concepts around reducing or removing spool packaging. This is a win-win-win approach: reducing waste generation and costs associated at our customer site, reducing dependency on plastic packaging on our side, and reducing the consumption of plastics for a reduced impact on the environment.
We also intend to explore eco-innovation in our product development for weight optimization, reduced packaging, design for easy disassembly, extended shelf life, and so many other paths for a more sustainable offer.