We’re stepping up – an imperative to evolve beyond Life Engineering.
Two years ago, a woman in Canada was diagnosed as the first person ever to be “suffering from climate change”. This, however, was only an on-the-record diagnosis which will be the first of millions, if not billions, unless things change dramatically. Yes, consumption patterns globally need a radical overhaul. Equally, manufacturing practises too need to keep up with the changing requirements of the times. Nowhere is this need more apparent than in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
5 years ago, Fabtech defined our organisational purpose by announcing to the world that we were Life Engineers whose purpose was to save lives by making medicines affordable and accessible everywhere. We would do this, we said, by giving pharma companies and scientists and nurses and doctors their wings. By building pharmaceutical capability in geographies that needed it most.
We were years ahead of our time.
However, the pandemic has made it clear that the messaging has to be ‘people first’ even for engineering companies. Be it governments, civic bodies, health agencies and organisations or life sciences companies, a key imperative for a long time to come will be ‘pandemic preparedness’ as it dovetails into One Health.
We are now evolving our overarching theme as a group to “Let’s make the life sciences industry future ready together” within the universal context of pandemic preparedness and the health fallout of climate change.
However, in researching approaches to this strategy, it hit us hard that the future has been here for a while.
In the ’70s, oil giant Exxon chose to ignore its own commissioned research on the impact of fossil fuels. Then Al Gore faced scepticism and ridicule when he announced that global warming was real. Our rivers are flush with antibiotic pollutants, which are giving rise globally to AMR. The various natural disasters we witnessed in recent times – floods, droughts, heatwaves, cold snaps – all were created or magnified by climate change.
The evidence is clear and irrefutable.
We are no longer preparing for a not-so-distant future.
We are in the future.
And Fabtech is stepping up to help the pharma industry tackle it now.
Climate change refers to the long-term alteration in Earth’s average temperature, driven primarily by the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that it is highly likely that human activities, notably the burning of fossil fuels, have been the dominant cause of climate change observed since the mid-20th century. In one of the most comprehensive reports on climate change, the IPCC revealed earlier this year that the world is likely to pass a dangerous temperature threshold in the next decade. At that point, climate disasters will become so extreme it will be impossible to adapt. That is, unless nations immediately transition away from fossil fuels.
In the past 40 years, we have witnessed an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes, droughts, floods, melting of glaciers and polar ice caps, sea level rise, and altered migration patterns of plants and animals.
One of the most significant impacts of climate change on human health is air pollution. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 7 million people die yearly from air pollution, and climate change just makes it worse. Burning fossil fuels releases harmful chemicals such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, contributing to the formation of particulate matter and ground-level ozone, two of the most dangerous air pollutants. Exposure to air pollution can cause respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, and stroke and worsen existing medical conditions such as asthma.
Climate change is also contributing to the spread of diseases. As temperatures rise, mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects can move into new areas and increase their range leading to the rampant spread of diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, which threaten millions of people worldwide.
Climate change also has a significant impact on food and water security. Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns are affecting crop yields and causing food shortages in some regions. Rising temperatures also increase the risk of water scarcity, potentially leading to conflict over access to resources.
For the pharmaceutical industry, the effects of climate change are both a business opportunity and a moral obligation. Many pharmaceutical companies heavily rely on fossil fuels, both for energy and the production of raw materials, and are, therefore, major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing their carbon footprint, the pharmaceutical industry can help reduce the impact of climate change on human health and the environment.
As more people are affected by the consequences of climate change, the demand for medical treatments and healthcare services will continue to rise. Additionally, the pharmaceutical industry can significantly reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to global efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
One of the biggest opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry is the development of treatments for climate-related health problems. With millions of people worldwide suffering from air pollution and other climate-related health issues, there is a huge demand for effective treatments and therapies.
As the world grapples with the ongoing effects of climate change, sectors across the economy are being forced to re-evaluate their practices and adapt accordingly. The pharmaceutical industry, with its global reach and significant environmental footprint, is no exception. The pharmaceutical industry is not immune to the effects of climate change. In fact, the industry is particularly vulnerable to climate change, due to its reliance on natural resources, its global supply chains, and its need for energy-intensive manufacturing processes. To maintain the supply of essential medicines and therapies while minimising its contributions to environmental degradation, the industry must implement a range of changes.
Action is needed on reducing manufacturing’s carbon footprint, minimising water usage, on adapting to changes in raw material availability, innovations in cold chain logistics, improving waste management, and increasing regulatory compliance.
The ongoing climate crisis demands an urgent and coordinated response from all sectors of the economy, including pharmaceutical manufacturing. By implementing these changes, the industry can continue to provide essential medicines and therapies in a way that is sustainable and resilient in the face of a changing climate. This transition will not be easy, but it is necessary for the health of both the planet and its inhabitants.
And Fabtech is stepping up to help the pharma industry meet this need.
We’re empowering scientists, researchers, pharmacists, healthcare practitioners, governments and pharma companies to design new medicines and improve healthcare delivery systems with our efficient, sustainable business practices and solutions.
So they can come up with solutions faster and ensure we can fight the good fight.
–> Saving Lives
—>Affordability and Access
——> Better outcomes for children/next generation
How are we doing it?
–> Start to finish
While we cannot singly tackle climate change, we have an obligation to step up and support
- scientists and researchers creating the solutions
- healthcare practitioners treating patients
- governments building the ecosystems and infrastructure needed to mitigate the fallout
Last year, GSK announced a plan to transition to net zero across its entire supply chain. We too are working on a similar plan that will be implemented over the next 10 years. We plan to incrementally reduce our carbon footprint across our manufacturing operations so our customers can benefit from our carbon neutral operations. We are working with suppliers to reduce emissions and promote sustainable practices throughout our supply chain. Our greener engineering solutions focus on designing and implementing eco-friendly solutions that mitigate the impact of climate change.
We are also looking at partnering with other companies, organisations, and individuals to take collective action on climate change and raise awareness of the issue.
Join us and let us step up together so we can make the world ready for whatever comes next.
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