Displaying items by tag: sustainability

Thursday, 05 December 2013 08:20

GSK Irvine leads the way on sustainability

GSK's manufacturing site in Irvine, Scotland is widely regarded as a leading example of what can be achieved in the areas of low-carbon manufacturing and overall sustainability.

The largest energy and water consumer of the pharmaceuticals group’s 80 manufacturing sites worldwide, GSK Irvine is well on the way to reaching its ambitious goals of coming off the national electricity grid, and zero carbon from energy by 2020.

To achieve these targets, the Scottish operation has, since 2009, developed a sustainability programme involving the engagement of all staff and the appointment of 'energy 'Kaizens' to research and instigate energy-saving initiatives.

"The site produces two main pharmaceutical products, 6APA and 'clav' blends," explains Mark Dunn, sustainable manufacturing manager at GSK Irvine. "These operations are both targeted within our sustainability programme, via focus teams within each production area and for the services supplied from the utilities and wastewater treatment areas."

Around 50 projects have so far been implemented under the sustainability programme, which has delivered a 24% reduction in carbon from energy over the last five years.

Many of these involved rigorous measuring and monitoring to identify improvements that have already led to the implementation of steam traps, IE3 motors, heat recovery, HVAC, LEDs and combined heat and power (CHP).

Currently £20 million is being invested in two major projects: wind turbines to supply a projected 12% of electricity needs; and anaerobic digestion of fermentation waste that will produce methane to power a CHP plant and take wastewater treatment off-grid.

According to Dunn, the AD project is currently under construction and will be commissioned from January 2014.

"Commissioning to full output takes several months so full environmental and energy benefits will be delivered from the second quarter of 2014," he said.

Looking further ahead, Dunn said new targets for GSK Irvine range from "improvements in efficiency of well-established technologies to identifying local sustainable fuel sources that can be applied to energy generation on site.

"This extends to assessing the carbon footprint of alternative techniques for conversion of our raw material into the final product."

Though he declined to identify specific process technologies under review, the sustainable manufacturing leader concluded: "GSK Irvine is continuing to review all potential opportunities towards meeting its energy and carbon goals by 2020."

Published in Uncategorised