Green is the word

Oct 01, 2010
Volume 22, Issue 10

Fedra Pavlou
Every day we are exposed to messages of advice and guidance on what we can do to reduce the damaging effects that our lifestyles have on the environment — from reducing energy consumption in our homes and cutting down the number of car journeys we make, to considering alternative energy sources, such as solar or wind.

But under more intense pressure is industry and for most pharmaceutical companies, developing a 'green' approach to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing processes has been a key strategy in recent years. In fact 62% of respondents to a recent survey by Pharmaceutical Technology * confirmed that their company had already initiated a programme to make its processes more environmentally friendly.

It is clear that companies are looking very seriously at all aspects of their manufacturing and logistics procedures to reduce energy, waste and solvent usage and to increase efficiencies. In an interview with Pfizer's Global Green Chemistry head** earlier this year, we heard how the company had managed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from energy use by 20% between 2000 and 2007 and they were on track for a further 20% reduction by 2012. Implementing new enzymatic processes have also proven very popular for high volume manufacturing, with Pfizer touting an 85% reduction in energy use with a new enzymatic process implemented for the manufacture of pregabalin. This month, we spoke with Peter Seufer-Wasserthal, Senior VP Pharmaceuticals at Codexis, about an award-winning biocatalytic method developed for the synthesis of Merck's sitagliptin, which has been shown to reduce waste by 19% and improve productivity and yield by 50% and up to 13%, respectively, when compared with traditional catalyst use. It is clear that initiatives such as these will continue to make a very positive impact and the use of biocatalysts in particular will continue to expand with the introduction of new products.

Next month, we'll be speaking with some of the world's leading pharmaceutical packaging companies about their green strategies.

I hope you enjoy this month's issue and if you are travelling to Paris for this year's CPhI exhibition, please do stop by our stand in Hall 5, number R54. It is always a pleasure to meet with our readers.

Best wishes, Fedra Pavlou

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