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Reducing our Environmental Impact: How We’re Making Biopharma Manufacturing More Sustainable

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Reducing our Environmental Impact: How We’re Making Biopharma Manufacturing More Sustainable

Biopharma manufacturing is an essential part of the healthcare industry, producing lifesaving treatments for patients around the world. Traditional manufacturing methods can have a significant environmental impact driven by stainless steel equipment requiring extensive cleaning and sterilization processes that consume substantial amounts of water and energy in addition to cleaning agents.

Let’s explore how single-use manufacturing offers a sustainable alternative that can reduce the carbon footprint of biomanufacturing in conjunction with suppliers, transportation, and single-use processing.

Sustainability in Single-Use Manufacturing

Single-use processing is a key component of sustainable biopharma manufacturing. Single-use solutions such as bags, tube sets and manifolds, and microcarrier and cell separation systems can eliminate the need for extensive cleaning and sterilization processes, which can consume significant amounts of water and energy.

Some research shows that hospitals can cut their carbon emissions in half by switching to single-use devices. In one example, cleaning and sterilizing a powder-handling machine consumed over 8,000 megajoules (MJ) of energy, while producing and disposing of a similar single-use device only consumed 4,156 MJ.

Single-use products such as our Aramus™ bags:

  • Can seamlessly replace polyethylene bags and bottles in a myriad of applications
  • Have increased drug product yield, resisting damage and reducing product loss
  • Have a footprint optimized to the size of their containers and freezers
  • Have increased recovery with a lower surface energy, providing maximum product recovery

Moving from traditional stainless steel to single-use technologies not only protects high-value therapeutics but also creates sustainability throughout the manufacturing process.

Sustainability in Transportation

One of the key challenges of single-use manufacturing is the need for a reliable supply chain of materials. These must be manufactured and transported from the supplier to the manufacturing facility and to the customer, emitting significant amounts of greenhouse gas during transit.

The further materials must travel, the more the product and environment are at risk. Products must withstand potential temperature fluctuations, time constraints through travel delays, and bumps along the way. These risks can be mitigated through sustainable transportation methods, closer endpoints, and consolidating shipments to reduce the number of trips.

Entegris has purpose-built our shells and fluid management offerings with these challenges in mind. Our transport systems are designed to withstand rough shipping environments, protecting critical high-value therapeutics. While closer endpoints and fewer trips between deliveries are optimal ways to mitigate environmental impact, the space-saving design of our freeze/thaw offerings maximize freezer space, saving energy and effort for the end user.

This is best shown through our bulk drug freezing workflows, which use Aramus™ bags in conjunction with plate and blast freezers. Our reusable metal and plastic shells enable optimal control in the plate freezing process and provide state-of-the-art protection when storing and transporting biological materials. Our metal shells are compatible with high throughput plate freezing systems, enabling more rapid freeze/thaw processing, and have a stackable design for space efficiency.

Sustainable Suppliers

When choosing suppliers of single-use products, it’s important to look for companies that have a commitment to sustainability. This means sourcing materials and components from suppliers that prioritize sustainability in their operations.

As part of our corporate social responsibility priorities, Entegris has completed energy and water audits at our largest manufacturing plants, which contributed to a 15% reduction in energy consumption starting in 2020. This audit included our plant in Bloomington, Minnesota, where our Aramus™ line of single-use bags is produced. We have also achieved the Supplier Excellence Award in Environmental, Safety, and Governance (ESG) from Applied Materials, recognizing our commitment to incorporate sustainability.

As we continue to innovate and improve our sustainability practices, we’re committed to being a leader in the biopharma manufacturing industry and contributing to a greener, more sustainable future.

Learn more about how Entegris is doing the right thing.

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