How and where we conduct our research and develop and manufacture our medicines makes a difference for the environment. We are committed to environmentally sound product stewardship. Amgen is improving sustainability in many aspects along the product life-cycle including research, manufacturing, packaging, and disposal.
Sustainable Research and Manufacturing
Amgen helped invent the processes and tools that created the global biotech industry. As we continue to grow and innovate, we are pioneering advanced technologies for research and development and manufacturing that improve efficiency and conserve resources. As one prominent example, our new manufacturing facility in Singapore employs Next-Generation Biomanufacturing technologies that are expected to reduce carbon emissions and the use of energy and water compared with conventional biomanufacturing facilities.
In the areas of medicinal chemistry research and synthetic drug development and manufacturing, Amgen has a well-established and distinguished track record for using green chemistry. As an example of the benefit of these practices, a team at Amgen achieved inherently greener chemistry for our medicine Parsabiv™ (etelcalcetide).
We seek to reduce waste associated with manufacturing when possible. We have expanded capability for recycling waste associated with research and manufacturing, in several areas including plastics, foam rubber and glass.
Sustainable Product Design
We have guidelines that include environmental sustainability criteria for the design and development of drug delivery systems that are part of our combination products.
Amgen recycles various waste streams associated with drug delivery systems our engineers test in the development of our combination products. We also shred and recycle associated packaging materials, such as inserts and secondary packaging.
Fill and Finish, Packaging, and Distribution
Amgen has made many improvements for sustainability in the work we do to prepare our medicines for delivery to patients. This includes the process of filling vials and other primary containers with drug substance, packaging medicines and shipping.
We use isolator technology for drug product manufacturing, which creates an airtight barrier around a process, eliminating the need for conventional clean rooms. This technology provides substantial energy savings, as much as 60 percent over a conventional clean room.
We follow a green packaging design rating system for product packaging and create more environmentally sustainable primary packaging designs on a case by case basis. Nearly 100 percent of the paper used in all elements of Amgen's secondary packaging for clinical and commercial products is sourced from certified-sustainable forests. Year by year we are expanding the use of reusable shippers for shipping our products.
A fill and finish facility In Ireland and our distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky are both zero-waste-to-landfill facilities as of 2016.
Product End of Life
Amgen considers ways to mitigate the environmental impact of our products at the end of use. Amgen provides an environmentally responsible mailback program for the appropriate disposal of medical waste associated with our home-administered combination products Enbrel® (etanercept), the Neulasta® Onpro™ kit, and Repatha® (evolocumab). In 2016, patients who use these products returned approximately 57 metric tons of medical waste through this service. Material recovered via mailback (including sharps, autoinjectors, and containers) is autoclaved, shredded, and sent to a waste-to-energy facility for incineration with energy recovery.
Our suppliers are important to Amgen's mission to serve patients and they contribute to the sustainable life cycle of our products. For more information, see the Supplier Sustainability section of Amgen.com.