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Raja discusses how the pharma industry can improve its ecological impact.
Pharmaceutical Executive: Can you explain your goals within your role at the Almac Group?
Raja: I'm leading the net-zero program. We have made a commitment of being net-zero by 2045 and that's a long-term commitment. We do have a short-term commitment to reach a 50 percent reduction in scope one and two emissions by 2030. We have developed our net zero map and all the programs are underway and it's going according to the plan and schedule.
PE: Can you explain the different scopes of emission levels measurement?
Raja: There are three scopes in greenhouse gas emissions. Scope one is pretty straightforward and is directly related to the gas, energy, fuel, and the natural gas you use in your facility. This includes anything you burn to produce any kind of heat in your particular facility which is directly under your operations. Any kind of carbon emission from that particular fuel source is termed as scope one. Scope two is directly related to the electricity which we purchase from the grid or the private players which is not under direct control. Scope three is carbon emission related to the supply chain activities. It has two wings, which are upstream and downstream. Upstream is directly connected to your suppliers and downstream is your customers.
PE: What are the challenges companies face when measuring emissions?
Raja: Scope three is the most difficult emission to be measured. If you look at the industry, all companies (especially the big companies) are measuring their scope one and two emissions. But when it comes to scope three, the data is scattered across multiple divisions and players. For example, if you need some of the employee communication data, you can grab that internally. However, some of the data, such as the total process emission of the suppliers, needs to come from the suppliers.
PE: What strategic decisions are companies in the Pharma industry making to measure their emissions?
Raja: The pharma industry is, in my opinion, one of the industries that is leading in the sustainability journey. I worked in other industries, such as food and commercial real estate, and compared to those industries, pharma so far ahead in the game. In measuring emissions, especially scope three, it's more like a cascaded program. Our scope three emission is directly connected to the customer scope three. Our customers will ask us questions and they will send us sustainability questionnaires. We will send them back, and the same practice we will you know apply to our vendors as well. It's like a chain reaction, it starts with the customers, they will ask the right questions, they will ask our emission details and we will cascade that program to our suppliers. It's more like a data exchange or knowledge sharing program.
PE: How can the pharma industry in general get to net zero in the coming years?
Raja: If you ask me, one company cannot reach net zero by itself. It's more like a collaborative journey. In the pharma industry, I can see there being a lot of knowledge sharing, especially at the seminars and the programs. Being part of that program, being proactive in the sustainability journey, following the SBTi standards, and the CDP program which plays crucial role is all important. I strongly believe that the reporting and target verification programs play crucial role. CDP and SBTi are major transparency programs — SBTi being the Science Based Target initiative, and CDP being the Carbon Disclosure Program.