Net-zero supply chain: SCHOTT Pharma launches next phase of decarbonizing program

Tuesday, January 23, 2024, Mainz, Germany

  • After switching to 100% green electricity, SCHOTT Pharma is kicking off phase II of its three-step process to drastically reduce supply chain carbon footprint in total by about 70%
  • The company is the first in the industry introducing products made of advanced pharma glass, which will be manufactured with a climate-friendly production technology
  • Pharmaceutical companies pressured to decarbonize can test SCHOTT Pharma drug containment solutions and drug delivery systems now to meet their sustainability targets
SCHOTT Pharma, a pioneer in pharmaceutical drug containment solutions and delivery systems, has developed a blueprint to help pharmaceutical companies drastically reduce emissions. The company has already achieved a significant milestone: Switching to 100% green electricity in 2021 results today in 30% CO₂ savings (market-based calculation for a 10R vial) for the supply chain in parenteral drug administration. SCHOTT Pharma now aims to reduce emissions by 50% in total by utilizing FIOLAX® Pro, a recently launched advanced pharmaceutical glass tubing from SCHOTT. The new Type I borosilicate glass tubing will be manufactured in the first climate-friendly electric melting tank at the SCHOTT site in Bavaria, Germany. The melting process will change from a state-of-the-art oxy-fuel technology based on natural gas to an electric melting technology. Finally, SCHOTT Pharma plans to decrease emissions by an additional 20% through various measures, for example adopting a circular economy approach. Combining all three steps will lead to a potential carbon emission reduction of about 70%. Decarbonizing the pharma supply chain requires collaboration throughout the industry. Today, pharma companies can already test SCHOTT Pharma’s core product segment, including standard vials, ampoules, cartridges, and glass syringes, made of the new glass tubing. 
Woman in cleanroom suit checks a pharmaceutical vial
In a three-step process, SCHOTT Pharma plans to drastically reduce supply chain carbon footprint by about 70%.
Image: SCHOTT Pharma
More than half (54%) of SCHOTT Pharma’s supply chain emissions stem from the used glass tubing, with 38% coming from the converting processes, and 8% from packaging. The company’s three-step approach will not only create dramatic results in the efforts to achieving climate neutrality by 2030, it will also help the pharmaceutical industry to implement sustainable practices in their manufacturing supply chains.

“With this change, we intend to give our customers an advantage on their sustainability journey and support them in their ambitious goals. This will help pharma companies develop more sustainable products for a better future”, says Andreas Reisse, CEO of SCHOTT Pharma.

Partnering for sustainability

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. The global economy has to find innovative solutions to decarbonize its production and the supply chain. To follow a reliable and scientific approach, more than 7,000 companies have committed to science-based targets, including 19 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies. As part of the research-driven SCHOTT Group who just joined the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), SCHOTT Pharma also strives to align its targets with the latest climate science.

For SCHOTT Pharma a green transformation can only be achieved together. That is why the company is actively participating in associations and co-founded the Alliance to Zero. This pharmaceutical supply chain initiative focuses on facilitating the transition of injection devices to net zero.

“The pharmaceutical industry faces steep challenges in advancing next-generation drugs while making manufacturing supply chains more sustainable, and SCHOTT Pharma is a partner to help them achieve both,” says Arne Kloke, Head of Services and Sustainability at SCHOTT Pharma and President of the Alliance to Zero. “We understand the pressures and constraints that companies face, and through cross-company initiatives we can play it green together.”

FIOLAX® is a registered trademark of SCHOTT AG.
Man with heat protective clothing looking into the glass melting tank

The latest pharma glass will be produced with low CO₂ emissions in the first electric melting tank in Mitterteich, Bavaria. Image: SCHOTT

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Several pharmaceutical tubes at the end with a flame

By utilizing FIOLAX® Pro from SCHOTT, SCHOTT Pharma aims to further reduce emissions by 20%. Image: SCHOTT

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View from above of a pile of pharmaceutical vials

The third phase of SCHOTT Pharma’s decarbonization program will focus on several measures, including circular economy. Image: SCHOTT Pharma

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About SCHOTT Pharma

SCHOTT Pharma designs solutions grounded in science to ensure that medications are safe and easy to use for people around the world – because human health matters. The portfolio comprises drug containment solutions and delivery systems for injectable drugs ranging from prefillable glass and polymer syringes to cartridges, vials, and ampoules. Every day, a team of around 4,700 people from over 65 nations works at SCHOTT Pharma to contribute to global healthcare. The company is represented in all main pharmaceutical hubs with 16 manufacturing sites in Europe, North and South America, and Asia. With over 1,000 patents and technologies developed in-house, a state-of-the-art R&D center in Switzerland, the company is focused on developing innovations for the future. SCHOTT Pharma AG & Co. KGaA, headquartered in Mainz, Germany, is part of SCHOTT AG that is fully owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. In light of this spirit, SCHOTT Pharma is committed to sustainable development for society and the environment and has the strategic goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2030. Currently, SCHOTT Pharma has over 1,800 customers including the top 30 leading pharma manufacturers for injectable drugs and generated revenues of EUR 821 million in the fiscal year 2022.

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Lea Kaiser

PR & Communications Manager