Embracing Sustainability Article - EPM June 2024

By Gill Power

Embracing Sustainability in Cleanroom Operations Article in European Pharmaceutical Manufacturing 

An article written by our Managing Director, Andy Whittard, has been featured in the May / June 2024 issue of European Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.  The article called "Embracing Sustainability in Cleanroom Operations" highlights how the challenge of maintaining clean and controlled environments is paramount in pharmaceutical manufacturing and the significant environmental toll this comes with.

Here’s an extract from the article:

As the world grapples with the escalating climate crisis, the need for our industry to diminish its environmental impact is more urgent that ever.

From heavy use of single-use consumables to the continuous operation of cleanroom systems, pharmaceutical manufacturing is characterised by its reliance on energy-intensive processes and materials.  While these resource and energy-intensive practices ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and control in cleanroom environments, they also contribute to the industry’s huge carbon footprint.

As the pharmaceutical industry strives towards net zero operations, it is crucial for manufacturers to reassess and improve the sustainability of their operations.  Although the challenge may seem daunting for cleanroom operators, there are several strategies that sterile manufacturers can adopt to slash carbon emissions whilst maintain the utmost standards of sterility and compliance.

The material composition of consumables can have a significant impact upon carbon footprint.  Choosing the most environmentally friendly consumables is a nuanced task.  The use of plastic versus glass consumables is a current hot topic and the emerging consensus might surprise you.

Lab consumable made from recycled plastics have started to become a reality.

The article covers:

  • Evaluating Energy Consumption
  • Rethinking Resource Use: Consumables and Waste
  • The Glass vs Plastic Debate
  • Taking Steps Towards a Greener Future


The article advises that "as the pharmaceutical industry intensifies its journey towards net zero emissions, it's imperative to reassess and innovate every aspect of production, especially within energy-intensive cleanroom operations. Environmentally friendly alternatives are quickly emerging to help save energy and curtail waste – and their adoption and further development brings optimism that net zero can be achieved".

This article is taken from the May/June 2024 issue of European Pharmaceutical Manufacturing on pages 32 and 33.


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