Chemical processes comprise a significant portion of a pharmaceutical product’s environmental footprint. Most medicines and vaccines have relatively low material-use efficiency (i.e., they require substantial amounts of raw materials to manufacture a single unit of active ingredients). Responsible use of chemicals is a key environmental stewardship priority at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
We are committed to continuously minimizing the impact of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes on the environment through reduction of process mass intensity (PMI), reducing hazardous waste generation, and using greener solvents. We believe green chemistry is not only good for the environment but also good for business because by increasing resource use efficiency, we generate less waste and achieve production cost savings. We apply the 12 principles of green chemistry adopted by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and continue our work to integrate them into development practices at Janssen.
Janssen’s Green Chemistry & Technology team works with product development teams to evaluate the environmental footprint of our products, including the energy, materials, and water used across the entire lifecycle, from design to manufacturing to disposal. The team uses PMI as a key internal metric to measure and track raw material use efficiency rate and identify improvement opportunities. PMI represents the total mass of raw material input to the total mass of finished active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). We have an internal goal to reduce the PMI of our APIs in development by 20% by 2020, with 17% reduction progress achieved at the end of 2017. We also use EARTHWARDS, Johnson & Johnson’s proprietary approach to product stewardship, to engage product teams and identify innovative environmental footprint reduction opportunities.
Janssen, representing Johnson & Johnson, participates in two major green chemistry forums. It is a founding member of the ACS Green Chemistry Pharmaceutical Industry Roundtable and has been participating in the European CHEM21 program since its inception in 2012. These forums offer an opportunity to share industry best practices and direct academic research to develop more efficient, greener ways of manufacturing pharmaceutical active ingredients.