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The Sustainable Energy for All initiative was launched by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to mobilize action and partnerships focused on sustainably meeting the increasing energy requirements of businesses and society. The initiative has set three primary objectives, to be met by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
This report looks at the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and identifies six priority actions it can take to reduce its energy use while simultaneously driving high performance.
While not as energy-intensive as some other industries, certain aspects of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies’ operations require significant energy use. The highest level of energy use occurs with operational activities related to research and development, office operations, bulk manufacturing, formulation, packaging and filling, and warehouses.
The most significant processes driving energy use in these operational areas include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (65 percent); plug loads and processes (25 percent) and task and overhead lighting (10 percent). The most important energy consuming activities in the industry—typically bulk manufacturing (35 percent) and research and development (30 percent)—represent significant opportunities for companies to realize energy savings. These activities rely on research instruments and equipment such as microscopes, centrifuges, incubators and refrigerators, which constitute a significant portion of the “plug load” or the amount of energy drawn by devices from an electrical outlet. In addition, sterilization and ventilation processes are integral to development procedures and require energy to meet regulatory standards and ensure product quality.
The business opportunity for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry is two-fold:
Provide technological solutions to support the advancement of biofuels and biochemicals.
Improve the energy efficiency of operations.
The value creation opportunities lie in both revenue growth—as demand for renewable fuels and chemicals is expected to rise—and cost reduction through energy-saving practices. There are also opportunities to drive intangible value through brand enhancement, based on a company’s overall use of energy and stakeholder perception of sustainable business practices.
Accenture and the United Nations Global Compact have identified six priority actions the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry can take to become more energy efficient and advance its business opportunities in the sustainable energy market:
Increase the energy efficiency of operations.
Drive advancements in second-generation biofuels development within the biotechnology industry.
Assess the lifecycle energy demand for products and services and work to increase the overall energy efficiency of products and services.
Reduce packaging waste associated with products and reduce the energy intensity of packaging.
Utilize renewable energy to power operations and facilities.
Work to influence public policy that will advance energy efficiency, the deployment of renewable energy, and encourage innovation.
October 2, 2012
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