A real-time difference

A real-time difference

How sustainability drives innovation in the pharmaceutical cold chain

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A real-time difference

Learn how Berlinger turned the challenge of high emissions in cold chain logistics into an opportunity for innovation and how the company developed an entirely new smart monitoring ecosystem.

There is no getting away from the need for action on the climate crisis. The importance of sufficiently eliminating harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to limit global temperature to the 1.5-degree rise proposed in the Paris Climate Agreement is well understood by leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. And despite the recent pandemic that forced the industry to develop and deliver treatments and vaccines all over the world, the issue of reducing emissions has remained high on industry leaders’ agendas.

A 2021 GlobalData poll among readers of Pharmaceutical Technology, found that 43% of respondents agreed environmental issues were the most important aspect of ESG that pharma companies needed to address. At the same time, a benchmarking survey conducted in late 2021 by South Pole1 confirmed the intensity of emissions in the pharmaceutical industry remained high, putting it down to a host of factors, among them raw materials in manufacturing and shipping, and the utilization of temperature-controlled logistics using electronic components.

Whether through its R&D activities, production, transport, logistics or other supply chain operations, there are many stages at which carbon emissions are generated in the pharmaceutical sector. A study by the Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology, McMaster University, in 2019, published in the Journal of Cleaner Production2, showed that emission intensity in the pharmaceutical industry is approximately 55% higher than that of the automotive sector. COVID reminded us that this industry plays an essential role for humanity. However, yearly $34bn worth of medication gets wasted due to temperature fluctuations3. This wastage contributes significantly to GHG emissions.

The road from ambition to action
Evidently, there is a lot of ambition within the pharma sector to deliver on climate goals, but there is also room for improvement and action. This is particularly true for the more emissions-intense activities within the supply chain, including cold chain logistics. Recognition of the scale of this challenge and the ambition to stop the massive amount of wastage is what drove Swiss company Berlinger to pioneer the cold chain monitoring with a sustainable innovation.

Berlinger has positioned itself as a primary enabler of pharma companies and their supply chain partners in rethinking the cold chain by making sustainability a key part of the strategic vision. A sustainability process for product development and system design was established and Berlinger’s SmartSystem, which minimizes the carbon footprint in the cold chain monitoring of pharmaceutical products, was born.

Learn how Berlinger came about its innovation process, the five steps of sustainability-driven innovation and collaboration and how it can reduce emissions in its customers’ business cases in the white paper.

► Download the White Paper to learn more and visit the Landing Page for more information on SmartSystem available for cold chain monitoring of pharmaceutical products.



[1] https://www.southpole.com/your-climate-journey

[2] www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652618336084 

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