Bayer is working to serve patients – and the planet – with energy-saving measures

“Close the freezer door!” »

Now, a team from the Bayer campus in Berkeley is taking that family complaint to another level. They’re inventorying every freezer on the 46-acre site to determine which ones need a tune-up and which ones they can shut down.

The types of drugs and therapies that Bayer manufactures on the Berkeley campus require certain materials to be stored at very cold temperatures.

“We use a lot of freezer space,” said Greg Parry, director of formulation and device management and a member of Bayer Berkeley’s new sustainability board. “It takes an incredible amount of energy to run all these freezers.”

Bayer has more than 100 freezers on the Berkeley campus, many of which are much larger and much colder, -70 to -160 degrees, than the average kitchen freezer.

Greg Parry. Credit: Bayer

“We have reviewed and cleaned up test samples of products that are no longer needed so that we can reduce the number of freezers we operate,” Parry said. “We also ensure that those that work are as efficient as possible. In the longer term, we try to develop products that do not require the use of freezers or, if they do, that do not require such low temperatures. »

Launched in late 2021, the Sustainability Council at the Bayer West Berkeley campus, which has more than 1,000 people, includes representatives from nearly every department. This group of 15 people is responsible for identifying opportunities to be more environmentally friendly in all operations. This is one of many initiatives the company is taking as part of its commitment to become climate neutral by 2030the efforts that the independent Science Based Targets Initiativeor SBTi, said to meet the highest standards of the Paris Climate Agreement.

With His efforts, Bayer is part of a global corporate movement to improve sustainability measures throughout the supply chain of raw materials and equipment needed to produce medicines at the site. Acting on climate change is an essential element of United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, and a growing number of companies are adopting policies and programs explicitly designed to combat climate change. End of 2021, more than 2,200 companies around the world — more than a third of the market capitalization of the global economy — were working with the SBTi.

Regina Donaldson. Credit: Bayer

Regina Donaldson, director of central utilities at Bayer – and sponsor of the Sustainability Council – said: “Making life-saving medicines for people with serious illnesses can be a resource-intensive business. We are lucky to have people here who care about meeting the needs of patients, while trying to minimize the impact on our environment.

In another Sustainability Council effort, Bayer has partnered with the Oakland-based company Bio-Link Depot Inc.a non-profit organization that accepts donations of lab equipment and other supplies and distributes them free of charge to underserved STEM education programs in the Bay Area.

Bayer’s Berkeley campus is also working to reduce waste from shipping products nationally. Traditionally, when companies ship something in a cardboard box, the responsibility for its disposal rests with the recipient.

At Berkeley, Bayer operates a reusable shipping program designed to ensure transport packaging is handled in the most sustainable way possible. Before the product leaves campus, it is placed in specially designed containers with gel packs that keep it cool during transport. Once the shipment arrives at its destination, the consignee is provided with instructions on how to return the container for reconditioning and return to service.

Amy Lyn Villanueva. Credit: Bayer

“We are also working to transition to more sustainable packaging for our longer shipments,” said AmyLyn Villanueva, Bayer’s acting supply chain purchasing and export manager, who also sits on the Sustainability Council. “Currently we use an ‘active container’ with a large battery that can heat and cool the box, but it needs to be charged and plugged in when the charge is low. We head to a “passive container” about a 4ft tall cube. Reducing size and weight will reduce environmental impact.

One of the most exciting things about the Sustainability Council, Villanueva said, is seeing more and more people sharing their ideas.

“The whole team has been really receptive, collaborative and energized seeing the momentum around sustainability,” she said. “Some of our global warehouse and transportation colleagues have also reached out to share ideas. This is something that the entire supply chain group is passionate about.