Interview: Green Chemistry “Green Chemistry – Key Driver of Sustainability in the Pharmaceutical Industry”

Author / Editor: The interview is conducted by Editor, PROCESS India, Soumi Mitra. / Dominik Stephan

Orienting on the facets of Green Chemistry and Engineering, Director API-R&D, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, India, Dr Rakeshwar Bandichhor details why its practice is encouraging and elaborates the significance of academic-industry partnership for a healthy, innovative environment in the Indian pharma sector. Excerpts of the interview…

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(Picture: PROCESS India)

PROCESS: In order to encourage the integration of Green Chemistry and Engineering principles into the pharmaceutical industry, the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) Pharmaceutical Roundtable (PR) was set up around a decade ago. How do you perceive the contribution of global pharmaceutical companies till date towards meeting this objective?

Dr.RAKESHWAR BANDICHHOR: ACS-GCI has pioneered the Green philosophy globally and promoted the application of Green Chemistry and Engineering in schools, colleges, universities and various industry segments since its inception. It undertakes work through different chapters and industry memberships, and also encourages training programs, workshops and Green Chemistry publications in the Organic Process Research and Development Journal on a regular basis. It also supports research grants to Green Chemistry-based proposals submitted by academicians across the world and disseminates valuable information on cutting-edge advancements in this area to the roundtable member companies.

Most of these companies are on the track of institutionalizing and practising Green Chemistry and Engineering on a large scale. However, several medium- and small-scale enterprises are still not aware of the benefits that Green Chemistry can offer. The lack of knowledge on this can cause major setbacks to business prospects of such enterprises and even result in ecological imbalance, thereby impacting the entire society.

In the pharmaceutical industry, Green philosophy acts as the key driver of sustainability. Moreover, the challenges faced by this sector, irrespective of geographies and culture, are common. Therefore, I believe ACS-GCI serves as an interface where all the pharmaceutical industries can work together towards attaining global sustainability and business profitability. Since Green Chemistry and Engineering is an emerging science, it will continue to evolve. So we need to follow the change and keep growing in business without compromising on the sustainability components.

PROCESS: Since Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is an active member of ACS’ GCI-PR, what initiatives are taken to drive Green Chemistry more enthusiastically in India?

Dr. BANDICHHOR: Dr Reddy’s commitment towards environment and sustainability is supplemented by objectives set by ACS-GCI. We promote and actively participate in GCI-related

events. I believe ACS’ GCI-PR is open to offer membership to deserving Indian industries. In India, it has already opened a chapter at the University of New Delhi to popularize the Green Chemistry and Engineering concept. It also works with Industrial Green Chemistry World and TATA Strategic Management Group to endorse and enable smooth conduct of the conference that is held every two years.

Besides, training programs are offered to few schools, colleges, universities and IIT(s) in India. GCI is expanding its arm across India but there is a long way to go. The Indian chapter of American Chemical Society in collaboration with various Indian Chemistry Associations, which are set to open in Mumbai, will benefit Indian scientists. In addition, ACS membership to Indian scientists will be subsidized in due course.