As society becomes more and more aware that climate change is a real problem, the economy is moving steadily towards a decarbonization that, far from being just an environmental issue, will become a key part of the fourth industrial revolution.
The biopharmaceutical sector is no stranger to these changes. In fact, more and more laboratories are implementing “carbon neutral” or “zero emission” strategies. Nowadays large companies have already set themselves these objectives for the next decade. So, we are in a time of change, here and now.
Thus, the decarbonization of the economy addresses several key aspects:
- Greater value of our products and services using fewer natural resources, either by reusing waste from other processes, by optimizing process resources, or by discovering new materials and combinations of them. That is why it is increasingly common to see products that require fewer resources to be equally effective, circular economy giving added value to waste, or the transition from batch to continuous processes.
- Reduced use of energy resources (e.g. through the integration of heat exchanges), water and materials in buildings and infrastructures. So far, these costs have been seen as fixed and unavoidable, but the truth is that 2030 is approaching. 2030 is the horizon in which all companies will have to report the emissions and impacts derived from their activity. That is why more and more companies rely on specialists on sustainability consulting to assess and mitigate these impacts, or construct their buildings following internationally known and valued methodologies such as LEED or BREEAM.
- Increasing the quality of life of the people who carry out a certain economic activity. This means having better and healthier environments inside buildings, while requiring less travel (to the workplace, meetings, travel, etc.) and more efficient travel. Undoubtedly, an increase in efficiency has been achieved due to hyperconnectivity and ICT developed during the first 2 decades of the century.
- Impact value associated with investors. Increasingly, the financial sector is looking for investments aligned not only with financial profit, but also with impact value. This concept encompasses any positive impact on something other than financial, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (https://sdgs.un.org/goals). The implication of this on sustainability is direct. Activities that are carried out in an environmentally friendly and compatible manner attract more attention and, therefore, more money.
In short, as we stated at the beginning, the decarbonization of the economy is more than just a struggle to reverse (or at least try to reverse) climate change. It is a key factor in the adaptability and resilience of companies to a new environment which, although imposed by the obvious climate emergency, is nonetheless a new and exciting opportunity to take advantage of the paradigm shift brought by the fourth industrial revolution.
This means that, for companies (and that includes biopharmaceutical laboratories), having an environmental sustainability policy is no longer an option, but an obligation. At Klinea we are aware of this paradigm shift and the future needs of our clients. That is why we offer sustainability consulting services within the biopharmaceutical sector and integrate these concepts into our designs.
Article in collaboration with our partner specialist in sustainability Caba Sostenibilitat and its director Xavier Saltó.
- Posted by Klinea
- On 18 February, 2021
- 597 Comments