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Environmental sustainability assessments of pharmaceuticals: an emerging need for simplification in life cycle assessments

(2014) ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. 48(20). p.12247-12255
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Abstract
The pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries are eager to strive toward innovative products and technologies. This study first derives hotspots in resource consumption of 2839 Basic Operations in 40 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient synthesis steps through Exergetic Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA). Second, since companies are increasingly obliged to quantify the environmental sustainability of their products, two alternative ways of simplifying (E)LCA are discussed. The usage of averaged product group values (R2 = 3.40 × 10−30) is compared with multiple linear regression models (R2 = 8.66 × 10−01) in order to estimate resource consumption of synthesis steps. An optimal set of predictor variables is postulated to balance model complexity and embedded information with usability and capability of merging models with existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data systems. The amount of organic solvents used, molar efficiency, and duration of a synthesis step were shown to be the most significant predictor variables. Including additional predictor variables did not contribute to the predictive power and eventually weakens the model interpretation. Ideally, an organization should be able to derive its environmental impact from readily available ERP data, linking supply chains back to the cradle of resource extraction, excluding the need for an approximation with product group averages.
Keywords
RESOURCE CONSUMPTION, EXERGY ANALYSIS, TECHNOLOGY, TOOL, SELECTION, INDUSTRY, ENERGY, LCA

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MLA
De Soete, Wouter, Sam Debaveye, Steven De Meester, et al. “Environmental Sustainability Assessments of Pharmaceuticals: An Emerging Need for Simplification in Life Cycle Assessments.” ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 48.20 (2014): 12247–12255. Print.
APA
De Soete, W., Debaveye, S., De Meester, S., Van der Vorst, G., Aelterman, W., Heirman, B., Cappuyns, P., et al. (2014). Environmental sustainability assessments of pharmaceuticals: an emerging need for simplification in life cycle assessments. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 48(20), 12247–12255.
Chicago author-date
De Soete, Wouter, Sam Debaveye, Steven De Meester, Geert Van der Vorst, Wim Aelterman, Bert Heirman, Philippe Cappuyns, and Jo Dewulf. 2014. “Environmental Sustainability Assessments of Pharmaceuticals: An Emerging Need for Simplification in Life Cycle Assessments.” Environmental Science & Technology 48 (20): 12247–12255.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Soete, Wouter, Sam Debaveye, Steven De Meester, Geert Van der Vorst, Wim Aelterman, Bert Heirman, Philippe Cappuyns, and Jo Dewulf. 2014. “Environmental Sustainability Assessments of Pharmaceuticals: An Emerging Need for Simplification in Life Cycle Assessments.” Environmental Science & Technology 48 (20): 12247–12255.
Vancouver
1.
De Soete W, Debaveye S, De Meester S, Van der Vorst G, Aelterman W, Heirman B, et al. Environmental sustainability assessments of pharmaceuticals: an emerging need for simplification in life cycle assessments. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. 2014;48(20):12247–55.
IEEE
[1]
W. De Soete et al., “Environmental sustainability assessments of pharmaceuticals: an emerging need for simplification in life cycle assessments,” ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, vol. 48, no. 20, pp. 12247–12255, 2014.
@article{5750953,
  abstract     = {The pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries are eager to strive toward innovative products and technologies. This study first derives hotspots in resource consumption of 2839 Basic Operations in 40 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient synthesis steps through Exergetic Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA). Second, since companies are increasingly obliged to quantify the environmental sustainability of their products, two alternative ways of simplifying (E)LCA are discussed. The usage of averaged product group values (R2 = 3.40 × 10−30) is compared with multiple linear regression models (R2 = 8.66 × 10−01) in order to estimate resource consumption of synthesis steps. An optimal set of predictor variables is postulated to balance model complexity and embedded information with usability and capability of merging models with existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data systems. The amount of organic solvents used, molar efficiency, and duration of a synthesis step were shown to be the most significant predictor variables. Including additional predictor variables did not contribute to the predictive power and eventually weakens the model interpretation. Ideally, an organization should be able to derive its environmental impact from readily available ERP data, linking supply chains back to the cradle of resource extraction, excluding the need for an approximation with product group averages.},
  author       = {De Soete, Wouter and Debaveye, Sam and De Meester, Steven and Van der Vorst, Geert and Aelterman, Wim and Heirman, Bert and Cappuyns, Philippe and Dewulf, Jo},
  issn         = {0013-936X},
  journal      = {ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY},
  keywords     = {RESOURCE CONSUMPTION,EXERGY ANALYSIS,TECHNOLOGY,TOOL,SELECTION,INDUSTRY,ENERGY,LCA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {20},
  pages        = {12247--12255},
  title        = {Environmental sustainability assessments of pharmaceuticals: an emerging need for simplification in life cycle assessments},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es502562d},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2014},
}

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