Dr Reddy’s commitment towards "Green Chemistry & Engineering" is fundamentally based on the very first principle involving pollution prevention or promotion of innovative Science and Technology that reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous substances by design rather than pollution management. Our aspiration is preventing the waste being formed at the outset, so that it does not have to be dealt with any other mechanism of treatment or disposal. Minimizing exposure, handling and containment of hazardous chemicals employing perpetually improving techniques in monitoring and analysis, as commendable as it may be, is not pollution prevention or Green Chemistry in the strictest sense but merely improved approaches to pollution management. Our commitment and philosophy towards environmental sustainability is to primarily focus on “at source reduction” rather than “end of the pipe” treatment and we were the first Indian Pharmaceutical Company to publish a sustainability report.
We, at Dr. Reddy’s are aggressively adopting Green Chemistry and Engineering (GCE) principles to develop products and processes in a sustainable manner. Green paradigm intuits the sustainability due to its features imbedded in the design, execution, operations and commercialization of the products that quite often connects with the business growth.
GCE plays undoubtedly a significant role not only in improving the safety, health and environmental performance of an organization but also business competitiveness through cost advantages by meticulously selecting the Chemistry, Engineering and Safety components.
Immense focus on GCE in Dr. Reddy’s is due to the realization that Green processes will always be economical especially in the long term. Our business development is geared up towards ambitious environmental goals of innovation, efficiency and integrated business flow. We comprehended, early on, that Green Chemistry offers a distinctive business advantage, which is attainable via product optimization, energy conservation, lean manufacturing, operational excellence, best possible science and most importantly sustainability. Because of its proximity to the environmental problem (high E factor), the Generic community must provide leadership and make a difference in this Global Green Movement. Thus to further entrench this concept within Dr. Reddy's and bring an industry-wide impetus in India, we have joined the Pharmaceutical Roundtable, as associate member of American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute® (GCI) along with global pharmaceutical giants.
The roundtable is founded in 2005 to promote innovation while catalysing the integration of Green Chemistry and Green Engineering in the pharmaceutical industry.
- We are the world's first generic pharmaceutical company to become a member of ACS - GCI.
Generic pharmaceutical companies, like Dr. Reddy's in collaboration with the scientific community such as GCI and its allies have great potential to provide critical leadership in engaging and educating the future generation of scientists and engineers for a sustainable planet.
Enviromental issues are common to all of us and it has no barrier across the geographhies. Urbanization and the pace of the development which is at the cost of depletion of natural resources causing imbalance in ecosystem. Maximum E factor comes from pharmaceutical intustry due to high degree of complexity in the synthesis. In order to bring the solution on board we need to addrees the issues at the route cause components which is design and institutionalization of the synthetic route with the appropriate or minimized solvent at the first place. ACSGCI-DRL association is meant to encourage us to practice Green Chemistry which does not belong to a separate branch of chemistry; rather, it reflects a change in the basic philosophy and the way chemistry is approached and executed to achieve environmental and economic prosperity. Effective communication of Green Chemistry and educating the next generation of scientists is an integral means to that end. Considering the process conditions and economics, ever-increasing environmental controls and social pressure to incorporate Green Chemistry principles into the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates, Dr. Reddy’s is geared up to intensify the efforts to make the processes Green. In house incorporation of Green principles into synthetic route design has brought synergy among environment, chemistry and economy.
There are twelve Green Chemistry principles and number of well established metrics that have been developed by eminent scientists across the world. We intend to utilize them to our advantage right from route selection to commercialization. In essence, following four drivers are in place to signify our Green campaign in the product development:
Selection of the Right Route
In our endeavour, we follow a set of Green Chemistry and Engineering metrics including Reaction Mass Intensity (RMI) that allow us to zero in on the potential route(s) considering the desirable atom economy and efficiency by comparing various factors such as yield, amount of solvents, reagents and maximum cost benefits with the use of inherently safer substances.
This step involves selection of the environmentally best solvents, the best catalysts and the best reagents for the process. The screening is primarily based on the physiochemical attributes of the solvents, high turnover number of catalyst involving recoverable metals and benign waste producing reagents or no reagent.
The target of this stage is to achieve best possible yield preferably in the order of 90% by employing the greener and renewable feedstock and reagents, incorporating recovery and recycle loops and optimizing process parameters and operations with energy efficiency in mind.
The greenness of product is measured through a Green Chemistry Metrics and E-factor that dictates the amount of waste generated per kilogram of product, is one of the simplest and effective metrics. Currently the pharmaceutical industry produces about 25-100 kg of waste for one kilogram of product. At Dr. Reddy's, we are in the process of setting an industry benchmark of cutting the wastage down to <25 kg per kilogram of product. The manufacturing plants are designed and set up to maximize the mass, energy, space and time efficiencies. Low E-factor essentially indicates high business potential of the process which is indirectly defined by PMI (Process Mass Intensity). E-factor is interrelated with a factor of one which can be represented as; E-factor = PMI-1. This equation suggests that PMI equal to one stands for zero E-factor of an ideal process.
Last but not the least, in order to truly amalgamate green chemistry and engineering into chemical processes, one has to look at the inputs instead of the outputs leading metrics that would help us to facilitate changes as the processes and routes are being designed and tested. In this context, mass and energy inputs (how much and what types) are the first line leading metrics for chemists and engineers.