A: ALL INDUSTRIES HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY to respond to public concern about environmental sustainability. As an advocate for single-use technologies (SUT) in biologics and sterile-product manufacturing, I see the need to address both the perceptions and the reality of the waste disposal challenges presented by SUT. Life cycle analyses of single-use technology vs. conventional reusable equipment consistently show that the overall environmental impact of SUT is positive. However, users are often unaware of the benefits provided by reduced water and energy use. Common questions are “What do I do with these used parts?” and “Isn’t this bad for the environment?” To address these legitimate concerns, to promote a broader understanding of the environmental positives of SUT, and to publicize the sustainability-related efforts of suppliers and biopharmaceutical manufacturers, we have formed a Sustainability Committee within the Bio-Process Systems Alliance (BPSA).
MARK A. PETRICH, PH.D., PE
Mark is director, single-use systems engineering at Merck. He serves as second vice chair of the Bio-Process Systems Alliance.