Stories

Using sustainable production to make new medicines

March 17, 2022

Biogen scientists are using green chemistry and other sustainable production methods to make medicines more efficiently, using less resources and energy. 

Transcription

The world we know is threatened by pollution, loss of biodiversity, and a lack of resources - according to the American Chemical Society, an estimated 44 elements will face supply limitations in the coming years with some becoming challenging to access within 100 years.

Each one of us needs to do our part when it comes to taking care of the planet - reduce, reuse, recycle.

Individuals, private companies, communities, and countries can all have an impact.

Preserving the world's resources effect not only the health of the environment but the health of future generations.

At Biogen, we’re employing innovative, sustainable processes to actively reduce waste and minimize use of natural resources and energy.

These principles form the basis of green chemistry.

Producing a medicine involves the combination of a number of different ingredients across many steps; Biogen scientists are looking at the entire production process, finding ways to reduce the number of steps – creating new, more efficient, less wasteful, methods.

By using flow chemistry in our production process we are reducing the energy needed to reach the low temperatures required to create certain new medicines.

Beyond conserving energy, it's also about resources.  Some of the ingredients that go into making a medicine are ubiquitous, while other ingredients are quite rare - so rare, in fact, that accessing them may become difficult in the next 50 years.  

To conserve these resources, we utilize techniques that allow us to recycle and reprocess the elements needed in the production of medicines.

For example, we’ve initiated the use of packed-bed flow reactors to recover the catalyst in some reactions, allowing them to be reused after production completes.

These resources are finite - we must do our part to preserve them and the environment.

Biogen was the first company in the life sciences industry to become carbon neutral in 2014, and, by 2030, all of our products will achieve greater than 90% of our green chemistry targets - reducing waste at every step of the manufacturing process.

Still, we’re looking beyond even that – our aim is to go ‘beyond net zero’ – by way of our Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives initiative, a 20 year, 250 million dollar investment back into our planet to become fossil fuel free.

The changes that each of us make will shape our planet for future generations - Biogen is committed to this future. Join us as we strive toward building a stronger, more sustainable world for all.

You may also be interested in

Image

Responsibility

The road to a 100% electric vehicle fleet

Image

Responsibility

Helping community health clinics address climate risks

Image
Responsibility

Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives