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Water and Energy Conservation A Sustainable Future – Water and Energy Conservation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

| Author / Editor: Michael Costello / Marion Henig

The pharma industry utilises and needs high quality water for its daily operations. There is an urgent need to find newer and better ways to manage and utilise water efficiently to ensure sustainability.

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Water is used as a direct ingredient for pharmaceutical products, and also for indirect uses such as rinsing and sanitising.
Water is used as a direct ingredient for pharmaceutical products, and also for indirect uses such as rinsing and sanitising.
(Picture: Shutterstock)

Water and energy are intertwined. Not so long ago, water and energy conservation contributed little more than idle discussion when specifying water systems. Today, companies must explore innovative ways to conserve water, reduce energy consumption, and minimise waste. The cost of water continues to rise in most areas of the world. As importantly, water scarcity is a real problem that plagues industry and communities alike.

The statistics are disturbing, with estimates that by 2030, more than 47 percent of the world population will be living in areas of high water stress [UN World Water Development Report]. The implications for industry are serious and can create risks to businesses and manufacturing of all kinds.

The pharmaceutical industry, in particular, requires consistent, high-quality water for production and wastewater treatment to meet the demands of ever-stricter regulatory discharge limits. To meet these challenges, companies must question conventional thinking and typical approaches and explore new technologies and solutions in order to remain competitive. Because of this increased focus on water and energy, companies are evaluating new technologies and integrated solutions to reduce water consumption and increase energy efficiency. These new technologies and solutions cannot, however, compromise on the dependability and robustness demanded by the marketplace. There is perhaps no better example of the need for dependable water solutions and product safety than in the pharmaceutical industry.

For pharmaceutical applications, there are three main drivers that force the issues of utility conservation into product design: longterm lifecycle costs, regulatory requirements and conservation/corporate responsibility.

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