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Swift sustainability analysis reduces ecological footprint

Swift sustainability analysis reduces ecological footprint

Researchers at Ghent University have managed to reduce the time needed for environmental sustainability analyses in drug production from six months to ‘the touch of a button’. This new method enables Janssen to determine the sustainability of its production processes much more quickly. In this way, Janssen can optimize its production processes and reduce its ecological footprint.

Life cycle analyses (LCA) give researchers an insight into the path followed by a drug, from raw material to the processing of waste products after use. This enables researchers to put forward suggestions for improvements in the production process.

From 6 months to ‘1 touch of a button’

Researchers at the Department of Sustainable Organic Chemistry and Technology at Ghent University have managed to optimize the methods used for environmental sustainability analyses. Together with Janssen, they have developed a model based on 2,800 basic operations that are needed to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients. An in-depth analysis of the data has shown that the environmental impact could be predicted on the basis of a limited number of key parameters.

Janssen is the first company from the pharmaceutical sector to collate such a huge amount of data and create such a model. We started with a model that is adapted to our chemical production in Geel, and we are currently investigating whether this type of model can also be deployed for pharmaceutical production and distribution in Beerse. The objective is to chart the sustainability profile of the entire supply chain until it reaches the client and to identify where we can make improvements. With this approach, Janssen is aiming for a world in which high-quality healthcare goes hand in hand with a better environment, two aspects which are inextricably linked.