One question: How can Monitoring Providers contribute to reducing carbon footprint of the cold chain?
The pharmaceutical industry is widely regarded as a carbon intense sector. We observe industry players investing in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals, though it is to be seen if these companies are committing to sound quantitative goals. That is because quantifying actions and setting science-based targets remains a challenge. In my experience, the logical starting point is understanding the emission hot spots and the overall footprint and then committing to appropriate and measurable climate action. In the cold chain, monitoring providers can contribute significantly to the industry’s emissions reduction targets both on an individual level and as a collaborated effort with industry peers.
Let me share some relevant insights we gained on the impact of monitoring services from a collaborative Berlinger-South Pole emission hotspot analysis of 2021:
- 80% of all emissions on a monitoring device level coming from the electronic components used in hardware*.
- The emissions breakdown of a real-time device compared to a non-real-time device is approximately 10-fold*.
- Real-Time Monitoring increases emissions significantly on a device level, therefore, an ecosystem needs to be created to bring down the emissions per device or increase the usage of the electronic components.
Based on these insights, we see the following contribution factors of monitoring providers:
With the rise of real-time monitoring, monitoring providers, customers, and partners collaborate to increase the usage cycle of hardware used for monitoring. This relates to setting up smart services for reuse and recycling as well as ongoing design innovation processes to optimize the emission hotspots of devices. Real-time data not only provide insights to optimize device usage times but to further optimize trade lanes based on data analytics and quantify savings in terms of wastage.
Furthermore, the overall number of circulating real-time monitors for full real-time coverage can be reduced significantly by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) intercommunication technology. Berlinger’s unique Modular Real-Time technology can substitute several active real-time devices with one active and a few passive devices for full real-time coverage at lower emissions of the whole monitoring system.
With electronic components being used for active and passive devices, there is and will be a contribution of monitoring services to the emission balance of the industry if not compensated for. Though, it is in one’s company vision and culture to strive for not only investments in emission reductions but in sustainable business partnerships and business models with continuation.
Linda Schwär is driving the strategic sustainability vision and implementation at Berlinger. She is representing the perspective of monitoring device manufacturers on the Industry Panel “Partnering to Drive Sustainability” at LogiPharma 2023. Join the discussion.
More info on Berlinger’s climate journey: Pharma Sustainability | Berlinger SmartSystem
*Qualitative/Quantitative results out of Berlinger and South Poles emission hotspot analysis. Download the whitepaper for more info.