Biopharma increasingly factoring sustainability into cold chain decisions

A survey has found that the biopharma industry is taking sustainability into their cold chain considerations more and more, with 66 percent saying it is very important.

Cold chain logistics

A new survey, completed by key opinion leaders in biopharma cold chain, has revealed that nearly half of all respondents always factor sustainability into cold chain purchasing decisions. 

The survey, conducted by Peli BioThermal, found that the biopharma industry is increasing its pace to prioritise sustainability in business and operational strategies. 

“Biopharma companies work every day to manufacture and distribute drug products all over the world and their primary focus is on the safety and efficacy of these life-saving products,” said David Williams, President of Peli BioThermal. “As biopharma companies begin to accelerate work on their sustainability goals, our survey shows they expect the same of their supply chain partners. The cold chain industry needs to continue its focus on improving green thinking to keep pace with its biopharma clients.”

Overall, the survey uncovered several key trends. The first is that although 66 percent of organisations rate sustainability as very important, valuing sustainability has not yet translated into widespread action. More than half of respondents – 53 percent – reported their companies do not currently use sustainable or green initiatives in their organisations. However, organisations have a desire to work with companies that help them advance their sustainability goals, ultimately moving sustainability from valuable to actionable.

The second trend revealed that cold chain partners can help advance biopharma companies’ sustainability goals. Fifty-three percent of biopharma companies indicated that it is very important to choose cold chain packaging options that advance their organisation’s sustainability.

Additionally, 64 percent of organisations inquire about sustainability when performing audits of suppliers and 52 percent indicated that they in turn were audited for sustainability by vendors supplying their organisations.

The final trend reveals that recyclability and lower emissions matter. Greater focus is being put on how cold chain packaging is constructed, with increasingly high value placed on cold chain packaging that is recyclable or can more easily enter the waste stream. Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) said they always look for packaging with these characteristics.

Likewise, the industry leans toward lighter, more energy efficient shippers that reduce carbon emissions for temperature-sensitive pharma products being shipped by air. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they already use these shippers and 81 percent are likely to use energy-efficient packaging in the future.

According to Peli BioThermal, these solutions already exist, allowing biopharma companies to make quick progress toward sustainability goals.