Shire Examines Packaging to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Apr 20, 2017 1:00 PM ET

Product carbon footprinting
In 2016, we worked with third party partner, The Carbon Trust, on a lifecycle assessment to recertify the product carbon footprints of three different bags of Flexbumin 25% [Albumin (Human)] sold in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia. From plasma collection, to manufacturing, distribution, and end-of-life, the assessment looked at the whole product lifecycle to understand where the biggest carbon impacts arose. The results show that product distribution has the greatest carbon impact, because the bags are typically airfreighted and require refrigeration during transport. Understanding these results helps us to focus on strategies for product distribution and route optimization, which will deliver the greatest environmental benefits.

In 2016, we made a number of improvements to our packaging, delivering tangible environmental benefits. In Europe, we worked with a local partner to reduce the shipping weight of our Elvanse® product by 77 percent and the number of airfreight shipments by 74 percent. We also optimized pallet packing to increase the number of units per pallet and the number of pallets that can be carried per truck. This means we make fewer journeys with our products, reducing the environmental footprint of our product transportation. Another example was changing to a more environmentally friendly ink to print the scale on our Natpara® cartridge holders. The new ink uses fewer additives and is halogen and aromatic compound free.

Learn more about Shire's commitment to the environment in the 2016 Annual Responsibility Review.