Why a smart approach to AI-driven drug discovery prioritizes sustainability

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The fact that the biopharmaceutical industry has a large carbon footprint is well established. A 2022 study from My Green Lab confirmed that biotech and pharma are still among the globe’s top polluters. The research highlights that a mere 4% of the largest publicly-traded biotech and pharmaceutical firms have climate commitments in line with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cap warming at 1.5°C by 2030.

Yet climate change remains the most pressing threat to human health, potentially causing 250,000 additional deaths per year, as the World Economic Forum has noted.

AI as a doubled-edged sword in sustainability

For biopharma, AI-driven drug discovery could serve as a double-edged sword when it comes to sustainability. On the one hand, these technologies promise to enable new discoveries and optimized processes that could slash emissions.

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CRB installs new senior director of sustainability

The life sciences and food and beverage consulting firm CRB has named Mike Dieterich as its senior director of sustainability. Dieterich has more than 17 years of experience working in energy and sustainability. He’s led sustainability initiatives at companies such as AstraZeneca where he served as director, U.S. sustainability from January 2018 to April 2023.

With his appointment as the sustainability lead at CRB, Dieterich’s primary responsibility is to build the company’s energy and sustainability consulting services group, focusing on front-end energy and sustainability needs for biopharma and food and beverage manufacturing clients.

Pharma getting serious about sustainability

Pharma’s environmental impact is under the microscope, and companies ranging from AbbVie to Amgen have set ambitious goals to slash carbon emissions, waste and water consumption in the coming years.

A recent Cornell University study suggests the industry…

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