5 MINUTES WITH: Jim Miller, DCAT Research and Benchmarking Committee

Jim Miller
DCAT Consultant and Content Advisor

DCAT Value Chain Insights’ “5 Minutes With,” part of the new DCAT Member Community section, features interviews with industry leaders on issues impacting the bio/pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain and other business leaders. 

This “5 Minutes With” features Jim Miller, DCAT Consultant and Content Advisor, who serves as staff liaison for DCAT’s Research and Benchmarking Committee. 

Q: DCAT’s Research and Benchmarking Committee recently announced that Supply Chain Sustainability is the focus of the 2022 Research & Benchmarking survey and subsequent report. Why is this a particularly salient topic for bio/pharmaceutical companies and their suppliers?

Miller: Sustainability as a topic has emerged as a major consideration in bio/pharma supply chain management. Many factors are driving the sustainability focus including climate change, national “green” policies, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies and initiatives of major investment firms. Sustainability concerns for bio/pharma companies have gone beyond just the dependability of their raw material supplies to include things like carbon emissions, water usage and pollution.

Bio/pharma companies are making commitments to address ESG and sustainability, and their commitments typically extend to their entire supply chains. For instance, Merck and AstraZeneca have committed to carbon neutrality by 2025, and others are committing to carbon neutrality in their entire supply chains by 2030. Policies, practices, and measurement criteria are still evolving, but suppliers will be expected to comply with customer demands for ESG compliance.

Q: What are the learning outcomes of the report?

Miller: The DCAT Research and Benchmarking study on “Incorporating Sustainability in the Bio/pharmaceutical Supply Chain” will address how the industry’s response to sustainability is evolving and what expectations are being placed on bio/pharma companies’ internal supply chain links and their external suppliers to incorporate sustainability into their supply chain objectives and management.

Questions the study will/might address include:

  • Have bio/pharma companies articulated clear sustainability goals for themselves? For their suppliers?
  • If so, what are the main objectives?
  • Have bio/pharma companies set specific, measurable targets for their supply chain and suppliers?
  • If so, how are they measuring them?
  • Are bio/pharma companies requiring their suppliers to meet those targets or just encouraging them to do so?
  • How much time have suppliers been given to meet the targets?
  • Have sustainability objectives and targets been integrated into supplier qualification processes? Supplier performance reviews? Regular supplier meetings?
  • How are bio/pharma companies dealing with suppliers at different tiers of the supply chain? What responsibilities have been put on Tier 1 suppliers for assuring Tier 2 suppliers address sustainability objectives?

Q: How can DCAT Member Companies participate in the Research & Benchmarking survey?

Miller: DCAT’s Research and Benchmarking Committee will distribute the survey via email to DCAT Member Company representatives or their delegates, who will respond on behalf of their companies.

Q: When will the survey results be available?

Miller: The complimentary final report will be available in March 2022 as a value-added member benefit to all employees of DCAT Member Companies. Highlights from the report will be presented at DCAT Week, March 21-24, 2022. I highly encourage everyone to read the final report. It is a terrific way to evaluate your company’s best practices and learn from industry peers.

To verify the recipient of the survey for your company, or if you have questions, please contact Jessica Dunkerly, DCAT Project Specialist, at jdunkerly@dcat.org or 609.208.1888, Ext. 7008. 

About the DCAT Research and Benchmarking Committee

The committee is responsible for identifying and developing research and benchmarking studies of value for DCAT members that examine the crucial issues impacting the pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain and the pharma customer-supplier relationship.