How Does Your Company Measure Up? Read the Highlights of DCAT’s Latest Benchmarking Study: Incorporating Sustainability in the Bio/Pharma Supply Chain

Sustainability has emerged as a major consideration in bio/pharma supply-chain management. Climate change, national “green” policies, and expectations of investors are driving bio/pharma companies and their suppliers to address sustainability in their operations. Sustainability concerns for bio/pharma companies have gone beyond the dependability of their raw material supplies to include the challenges of carbon emissions, water usage, and waste.

As they articulate their sustainability initiatives, bio/pharma companies are extending their commitments to their entire supply chains, and that will have significant ramifications for how companies select and manage their suppliers. To better understand how sustainability goals will impact supply-chain management, the Research & Benchmarking Committee of the Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association (DCAT) undertook a survey of DCAT Member Companies, both bio/pharma companies and suppliers, to determine where their supply-chain sustainability initiatives stand, where they are heading, and what challenges they face. The survey was administered in late 2021/early 2022.

The full results of that study are available to DCAT Member Companies in the report, Incorporating Sustainability into the Bio/Pharma Supply Chain. Employees of DCAT Member Companies may access the report on a complimentary basis as a value-added member benefit. See here for further information on the report, and here to access the report. Highlights of the study were also presented in a special program on March 21, 2022, at DCAT Week 2022.

Highlights from the study
Key takeaways from the report are outlined below.

  • Bio/pharma companies and their suppliers, including CDMOs and providers of ingredients and packaging materials, are making progress in addressing sustainability in their operations, driven by investors, customers, and employees, but the efforts are still in their early stages.
  • While bio/pharma companies have announced aggressive targets for their supply chains, including reducing carbon emissions and other resource use, they are still determining how to achieve those objectives. Initial efforts are focused on initiatives that can also reduce cost of goods, including reduced energy and water consumption and less waste.
  • Measurement of progress in achieving supply-chain sustainability objectives is complicated by the immaturity of science-based measurement schemes and the vast amount of data companies might be expected to compile.
  • There is still much uncertainty and ambivalence on the part of bio/pharma companies and suppliers regarding the degree to which companies will weigh sustainability performance versus other factors in their sourcing decisions, especially price.

Read more highlights from the report in this DCAT Value Chain Insights article.

We encourage all DCAT Member Company representatives to take advantage of this value-added benefit to evaluate your own company’s practices for achieving sustainability in your supply chain. Please feel free to share his report with colleagues at your company.

About DCAT Research & Benchmarking
DCAT Research & Benchmarking is a complimentary, value-added member benefit providing in-depth studies that examine the crucial issues impacting the bio/pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain and the bio/pharma customer-supplier relationship. DCAT Research & Benchmarking studies are developed by the DCAT Research & Benchmarking Committee, composed of member representatives with diverse industry experience, to identify the topics of greatest interest for DCAT Member Companies and is administered and prepared using an external research firm.

Incorporating Sustainability into the Bio/Pharma Supply Chain is the sixth report by DCAT Research & Benchmarking. Information on this report and past reports may be found here.