Sustainability commitments accelerating in pharma supply chain

80% of pharma execs state ‘sustainability metrics’ and ‘sustainability goals’ will be expected in contracts within just two-years


Barcelona, 19th October 2023: Sustainability goals and metrics are now being implemented across the pharma supply chain, with the rate of adoption accelerating quickly. A majority of CDMOs are expected to use them within the next 2-years, a significant shift from last year’s survey when the expectation was that changes would take up to 5-years.

The new findings are announced at CPHI Barcelona – the world’s largest pharma event held at Fira Barcelona (October 24-26th, 2023) – with 93% of executives stating that ‘visibility on supply chain partner’s sustainability record’ is either ‘extremely important’ or ‘important’.

The rate of change is also increasing and 60% of executives forecast that innovators will require CDMOs to implement sustainability metrics (e.g. full waste recycling, green power use, low PMI targets, and/or green chemistries) as a part of contracts with the next two years. A further 20% anticipate that CDMOs will be expected to show ESG goals as part of any supplier deals, with just 20% believing that only ‘cost and capabilities’ will remain an innovator’s single factor in assigning new contract decisions.

Be part of the future of pharma

The 2023 CPHI event in Barcelona is our greenest to date, but we are also increasingly using the event as a platform to centralise debate, propagate best sustainability practices, and help our partners accelerate towards greener manufacturing methods,” commented Silvia Forroova, Director - Partnerships & Sustainability at Informa.


Earlier this year, CPHI also launched its first sustainability report – which evaluates the sustainability developments across supply chain partners and details global initiatives currently underway – with the Barcelona event hosting a dedicated sustainability track on October 25th. 

Looking deeper at the findings released from CPHI Barcelona, only 9% of the pharma companies stated they had ‘no current green manufacturing activities’. The most popular initiatives currently in use across the industry are: ‘waste and water reduction programmes’ (40%); ‘process improvement working groups’ – including green chemistries, metal catalysis, continuous processing (33%); ‘manufacturing equipment optimisation’ – e.g. intelligent energy programmes and machine learning for process efficiency (32%), and ‘decarbonising company supply chains’ (29%).

Forroova, added: “The trend in the industry is very clear, and we are seeing all supply chain partners exploring more efficient manufacturing processes. You only need a look around the show floor to see a proliferation of this type of approach – which also often brings cost benefits, as a more efficient process is typically cheaper. I would therefore encourage any company starting from material manufacturers to finished dose to read our report and attend this year’s best practice sessions. The rate of change is increasing rapidly and we expect this to be one of the biggest themes for manufacturing in 2024, as well as the fastest evolving. Getting ahead now will undoubtedly help in achieving competitive differentiation.”

Events that inspire innovation and drive change

Unrivalled networks and access to the global supply chain

Digital and in-person solutions to develop relationships all year round

The 2023 CPHI Annual Report’s survey of over 250 industry executives from over 35 countries provides an annual insight into the growth and development of the pharma industry globally.  The survey evaluates likely trends for 2024 and assesses the reputations of major pharma markets across more than 10 separate metrics. The findings of the survey will be released in press releases marked “CPHI Annual Survey”.  The second component of the CPHI Annual Report features the analysis of ten global experts, each exploring different aspects of the industry today and looks ahead to predict the major trends of tomorrow. The key insights from this will be shared in press releases marked “CPHI Annual Report

About CPHI Annual Report