Improving Sustainability Within the Life Sciences

Apr 23, 2021

A Q&A with Craig Carew, Director of Strategic Suppliers, MassBio

In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we sat down with Craig Carew, MassBio’s Director of Strategic Suppliers to learn more about how life sciences companies can improve sustainability within their organizations and reduce their ecological footprint. Here’s what he had to say:

How does MassBio and its Preferred Partners help support the life sciences industry in promoting sustainability while achieving their goals?

At their core, our Preferred Partner Thermo Fisher Scientific has made it their mission to allow their customers and MassBio members to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. They have developed products, technologies, and services that benefit the environment and society and operate at a global scale so life sciences companies can feel confident that they are doing their part.

We have a robust network of startups in the Massachusetts ecosystem. When these companies launch, they’re primarily focused on the science – not their business operations. Our Preferred Partner Veolia works with these companies at the outset to ensure they have the right, sustainable infrastructure in place and helps provide education to make sure these companies grow in an environmentally friendly way.

How can the life sciences industry best promote and implement eco-friendly and sustainable practices?

There are numerous ways life sciences companies can take action. For example, most companies set out with the goal of reducing emissions by a certain percentage and by a certain year, but don’t always know how to best execute on this. To start, they can strive to reduce emissions through process optimization within their lab or office space. They can also build facility efficiencies and procure low-carbon energy sources. It’s one thing to talk about how you can improve sustainability, but you need to learn how to do it and you need to act on it, otherwise you’ll never see change.

For smaller biotechs who may be resource-strapped, what can they do to ensure sustainable, clean operations?

Small and emerging biotechs make up the backbone of the life sciences industry in Massachusetts and are taking big risks on complicated science each day. While they are often working in smaller spaces, these transformative technologies do generate waste. One key step these companies can take is to leverage our Preferred Partner, Veolia, as a resource for both disposing and treating waste. Veolia’s biggest goal is to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills and, to ensure they can address this, they take a consultative approach in ensuring that their MassBio members are properly handling waste.

However, it is also really important to note that you don’t need a big budget to practice sustainability: education is a critical component in driving change. Take time to train staff on waste reduction and best practices and plan ahead so you can develop a plan to prevent waste from getting to the environment. Our Preferred Partners also have the ability to help audit waste streams and provide inside on how to reuse waste, recycle it, and classify it as the right type of waste stream.

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, what commitments have MassBio’s Preferred Partners made to improve global sustainability?

Right now, Thermo Fisher Scientific has 13 certified zero-waste facilities and three others are in the certification process. Additionally, Fisher Scientific’s North American warehouse is on track to achieve 90% waste diversion from landfill in 2021. Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of many partners who have committed themselves to improving global sustainability and we are proud to partner with them to help our members achieve similar goals and milestones.


  • Crown established a rainwater collection system that allows water to be collected, cleaned, heated, and used for laundry processes, enabling 1 inch of rain to provide about 52,000 gallons of water that can be used to wash. Among other initiatives, Crown also installed solar panels on the roof of their building, which provides 1/3 of the electrical capacity in the plant.
  • AIS’s products all contain at least 40% recycled materials and are manufactured in a facility where more than 50% of the power used returns to the grid through rooftop solar panels.
  • W.B Mason unveiled a new fleet of “E-GEN” all-electric trucks that have an average range of 120 miles on a single charge and can reduce vehicle emissions by 75%.

To learn more about the MassBio Edge and how our Preferred Partners can help you achieve your sustainability goals, you can reach out to Craig Carew directly

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