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Thematic file: energy efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry

Thematic file: energy efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry



Energy efficiency has become a major issue for companies in all sectors, and particularly for the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed, the latter is facing numerous challenges such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing energy costs, and complying with current standards and regulations.


In this context, the use of energy monitoring technologies is essential for pharmaceutical companies that wish to remain competitive in the market while reducing their ecological footprint. This is where the Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP) comes in, which involves collecting, processing, and interpreting data to draw useful insights for governance and decision-making.


In this guide, we will explore the energy issues of the pharmaceutical industry, the possible solutions for reducing energy consumption, and how to help pharmaceutical companies achieve their goals. We will also see how Busit AEP intervenes in the optimization, collection, and analysis of energy consumption data to facilitate risk management and control.





The pharmaceutical industry plays a crucial role in public health and the quality of life of populations. It is responsible for the research, development, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of drugs, vaccines, and other therapeutic products.


The challenges of the pharmaceutical industry are numerous and varied.

Here are some examples:


  1. Regulation: the pharmaceutical industry is regulated to ensure the safety and efficacy of the products it manufactures and markets. Pharmaceutical companies must comply with quality standards, clinical trial requirements, and local and international regulations.


  1. High production costs: drug production is a costly process, due to research and development costs, manufacturing costs, regulation, and the implementation of quality control measures.


  1. Competition: the pharmaceutical industry is highly competitive, with many companies seeking to develop and market similar drugs. Companies must differentiate themselves by offering innovative products and investing in research and development.


  1. Public health: the pharmaceutical industry’s mission is to meet the health needs of the population by offering safe, effective, and quality medicines. Therefore, it must face challenges such as the search for new molecules to treat diseases and ensuring the quality and safety of drugs.


Energy efficiency contributes to solving several important challenges for the pharmaceutical industry by reducing operating costs, improving regulatory compliance, stimulating innovation, and enhancing brand image.


What are the main objectives of the pharmaceutical industry?


1. Ensuring the quality and safety of products by ensuring that drugs are safe, effective, and of high quality while complying with regulatory standards and health authority requirements.


2. Reducing development and production costs to maximize profitability and make products more accessible to consumers.


3. Fostering innovation by developing new products, technologies, and therapies to address unmet medical needs.


4. Upholding ethical and social standards in terms of transparency, integrity, social and environmental responsibility, and respect for human rights.


5. Accelerating the product development process to address unmet needs and maximize return on investment.


Implementing an energy efficiency system contributes to achieving these objectives.

This system is part of a winning strategy for the pharmaceutical industry, meeting the growing demands of consumers and regulations, while improving its economic and environmental performance.


Standards and regulations


Standards establish technical requirements to ensure the reliability of production processes in the pharmaceutical industry, while regulations impose specific obligations on sector actors to harmonize practices and ensure the quality of pharmaceutical products.


In France, energy efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry is regulated by several legislative and regulatory texts.


Here is an overview of the main regulations in force in France :



1. The Energy Transition for Green Growth Law (LTECV): adopted in 2015, it sets a target of reducing energy consumption by 50% by 2050 compared to 2012. It also requires large companies to carry out an energy audit every 4 years.


2. The decree on the energy performance of tertiary buildings (2012) stipulates that owners of tertiary buildings (including those in the pharmaceutical industry) must carry out an energy performance diagnosis (DPE) every 10 years.


3. ISO 50001 provides a framework for the implementation of an energy management system in companies. It helps improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption costs.


4. The NF EN 16247 standard sets requirements for conducting energy audits in companies.


The pharmaceutical industry is also subject to specific regulations regarding waste management, air quality, environmental protection, etc.


European directives also have an impact on energy efficiency within the pharmaceutical industry.


Here are some examples:

1. The European directive on energy efficiency (2012/27/EU) sets a target of a 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2020 and requires large companies to carry out an energy audit every 4 years. It also encourages the use of energy management systems, within the framework of the implementation of the ISO 50001 standard.


2. The European directive on industrial emissions (2010/75/EU) establishes minimum standards for the prevention and reduction of greenhouse gas and other pollutant emissions from the pharmaceutical industry.


3. The European standard EN 16001 on energy management systems also provides a framework for the implementation of an energy management system in pharmaceutical industry companies.


4. The European “Horizon 2020” program for research and innovation encourages companies in the pharmaceutical industry to develop more energy-efficient technologies and processes.


What types of energy consumption can be measured within the pharmaceutical industry?


Pharmaceutical industries consume energy in several processes, including manufacturing, processing, packaging, storing, and distributing drugs.


Here are some examples of types of energy consumption that are measurable within the pharmaceutical industry:


1. Electrical energy: used to power manufacturing equipment and control systems, lighting, computers, pumps, and fans.


2. Thermal energy: for heating and cooling buildings, drying pharmaceutical products, sterilizing and disinfecting equipment, as well as producing steam and hot water.


3. Mechanical energy: allows for the operation of production machinery, pumps, compressors, conveyors, and elevators.


4. Propulsion energy: for trucks, planes, and ships used in the transportation of raw materials and finished products.


It is essential to measure these energy consumption types to identify potential sources of savings, implement measures to reduce energy consumption, lower costs, and minimize environmental impact.


And the European market?


The European pharmaceutical industry market is one of the largest in the world.


Several factors contribute to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry market in Europe, including:


1. The importance of energy management: pharmaceutical companies in Europe are increasingly concerned about the energy efficiency of their operations, due to high energy costs and environmental concerns. Investments in eco-energy technologies and optimization of energy management contribute to cost reduction and improve environmental sustainability.


2. The need to ensure high-quality products: the quality of pharmaceutical products is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of treatments. Pharmaceutical companies in Europe must comply with strict standards of quality and safety, which require significant investments in research and development, production equipment, and personnel training.


3. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT): IoT sensors can be used to monitor energy consumption, limit its impact on the environment, optimize production processes, etc.


4. Advancements in data analytics technologies: the analysis of data platforms such as Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP) helps detect trends and anomalies, enabling decision-makers and industry professionals to make corrective, preventive and monitoring decisions on production processes.


5. Regulation is an important factor in the European pharmaceutical industry, with strict safety and quality standards that limit the entry of new competitors and protect existing companies. Changes in regulation, such as requirements for energy efficiency and emission reduction, also have an impact on pharmaceutical companies in Europe.







The pharmaceutical industry uses a wide variety of equipment for the manufacturing of drugs and healthcare products. Some of these equipment consume more energy than others due to their size and complexity.


Platforms such as Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP) enable the analysis of data from these types of equipment, allowing decision-makers and operators to make corrective, preventive, and production monitoring decisions.


Here are some examples of equipment used in the pharmaceutical industry that require a significant amount of energy:


1. Cold rooms and freezers: these equipment are used to store drugs and healthcare products at specific temperatures. They consume a lot of energy to maintain optimal storage conditions.


2. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems: pharmaceutical production facilities require strict temperature and humidity control to maintain sterile conditions and protect products in the manufacturing process. HVAC systems are often used to meet these requirements, but they require significant energy expenditure.


3. Reactors and mixing equipment: these equipment are used to mix ingredients, perform chemical reactions, and produce drugs. Heating and cooling reactors, as well as operating agitators and pumps, are very energy-intensive processes.


4. Dryers: they are used to remove moisture from drugs and healthcare products. Heating or circulating hot air consumes significant energy.


5. Water purification devices: these are essential in pharmaceutical production, where water is a key element in many manufacturing processes. These devices are responsible for filtering, purging impurities, and sterilizing water to ensure impeccable quality. These operations also require a high energy consumption.


6. Lighting systems: pharmaceutical industry buildings require appropriate lighting to ensure the safety and comfort of employees.


7. Sterilization equipment such as autoclaves are used to eliminate microorganisms in pharmaceutical products. Water is heated and steam is used for sterilization.


8. Compressors: they are used to supply compressed air to equipment that requires specific air pressure in the pharmaceutical industry, such as packaging machines or manufacturing equipment. Compressors are known for their high energy consumption and their impact on the environment, making them one of the most energy-intensive equipment in the industry in general.


Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP)


For data collection, analysis and monitoring


Energy consumption data is collected at every stage of production. These actions are continuous or periodic, depending on the needs of the industry.


Data collection involves measuring and recording energy and environmental consumption information through:


  1. Sensors that measure intensity, voltage, water and gas flow, temperature, and humidity.


  1. Machinery, equipment, and instruments such as production automation systems, reactors, dryers, and compressors.


  1. Third-party applications such as ERP, CMMS, business applications, and so on.


Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP) is a real-time monitoring platform used to collect, store, analyze, and visualize energy consumption data from various sources in the pharmaceutical industry: equipment, systems, and operators. These data are then archived in data warehouses for further analysis and to comply with regulations for historical storage.


Advanced analyses performed by Busit AEP, such as calculation, correction, or prediction algorithms, enable professionals in the pharmaceutical industry to detect anomalies or excessive energy consumption. Analysis and calculation methods are selected based on specific objectives for each need and adapted to collected data to ensure accuracy and reliability of results.


These processes help detect changes or fluctuations in energy consumption caused by equipment malfunctions, temperature, humidity, or pressure variations, or energy management issues.



The data is also:


1. Used by Busit AEP to correlate energy consumption with production states.


2. Displayed in real-time as dashboards in web and smartphone applications to facilitate remote or on-site decision-making.


Busit AEP applications and reports provide detailed information on collected data and analysis results. They provide information on the context of the production unit, relevant data collected, analysis methods, results, conclusions, and actions to take in case of anomaly or deformation detection.



All of these processes provided by the Busit AEP platform enable decision-makers and operational staff to make informed decisions on consumption, safety, reliability of the structure or equipment, and necessary measures to optimize production.



The energy efficiency plan


Here are the key steps for implementing an energy efficiency plan:



1. Initial energy audit to identify areas where improvements can be made and establish a baseline of current consumption.


2. Define clear and measurable energy efficiency objectives, taking into account the results of the initial audit and the company’s priorities.


3. Develop an action plan to achieve energy efficiency objectives, identifying improvement measures to be implemented and establishing schedules and budgets.


4. Implement the improvement measures identified in the action plan, following procedures and standards of the pharmaceutical industry.


5. Monitor and measure the results of implementing energy efficiency measures to assess their effectiveness and identify areas where further improvements can be made. It is important to continue monitoring energy consumption over the long term to ensure that savings are maintained. 


6. Analyze the data to assess the condition of structures and detect changes. This step requires the use of advanced data analysis platforms such as the Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP).


7. Take corrective action based on the results of the Busit AEP data analysis, for planning the corrective measures to be implemented.


8. Communicate the consumption results (reports, dashboards, statistics, indicators, interventions, etc.) of Busit AEP and the corrective measures taken to stakeholders.