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Zero-waste journey: how Controlant is redefining sustainability in pharma supply chains

Controlant is on a journey toward becoming a sustainability leader for pharma supply chains. Medicines and vaccines are an essential part of our society; however, what is less talked about is the vast amount of waste generated by the pharma industry. Vicki Preibisch, VP of Sustainability at Controlant, recently shared insights into Controlant's steps to reduce waste in pharma supply chains at a tech conference in Iceland hosted by the IT services provider Advania.

Vicky Preibisch presenting at Advania Fall Conference 2023 on sustainability in Pharma Supply Sustainability.

Sustainability in Pharma is in high demand

“Sustainability is a key value enabler for Controlant. We see the demand for more sustainability not just from our customers, but also from our suppliers, investors, employees, and the wider community,” says Vicki. “We know that there is no future without sustainability.”

An estimated 30% of all vaccines and medicines are wasted as they travel from production to the patient, and approximately $35 billion is lost every year due to failures in temperature-controlled logistics.

Watch the presentation by Vicky Preibish

Ensuring strong Pharma supply chains

Beyond the financial losses, the impact on the environment is immense. Compounding this issue are both demographic trends, including a growing and aging world population, as well as the rapid pace at which new, breakthrough medicines are introduced to the market, many of which are sensitive, complex drugs requiring particular care as they travel from product to patients.

“To realize the potential that modern medicine holds, we need to ensure strong pharma supply chains are in place,” highlights Vicki.

“We at Controlant are at the heart of addressing this challenge, guided by our vision. A vision to unleash the power of people and technology to deliver zero-waste supply chains for our partners and the planet. We do this through digitalization, automation, and transformation of the pharma supply chain.”

Measure, report, steer

“You are what you measure, and what gets measured gets managed,” explains Vicki when elaborating on Controlant’s three-step approach to having an impact on sustainability: measure, report, and steer.

Systematically measuring our sustainability performance gives us the data and insight to report in a transparent and credible way on the progress made. In fact, Controlant measures over 180 environmental data points in its own operations and uses internationally recognized platforms to report its progres, including the Climate Disclosure Project, the EcoVadis supplier rating and the UN Global Compact Communication on Progress. This enables all of our stakeholders to make more informed decisions.

In turn, knowing what we are doing and how we are doing, and sharing it with key stakeholders, we can steer the pharma industry onto a more sustainable path. Ultimately, that is how we have a positive impact on pharma supply chains, making them more sustainable, resilient, and integrated.

“Fun is what keeps us coming back”

A company culture founded on strong values has proven to be an essential element in achieving results, including sustainability.

The team at Controlant embraces creativity, transparency, excellence, and fun as its four values; and fun is often one of the most important. “Our vision is what gets us excited in the morning as we head in for work. Fun is what keeps us coming back every day”