On May 1, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council included a Forum on sustainability. "Addressing the Evolving Sustainability Demands in the Biotech Industry". Sustainability has become a hot topic for many companies including pharmaceutical and other manufacturers of FDA-regulated products because of the need to provide for long-term maintenance of our earth's resources. Sustainability broadly is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has ecological, economic, political, and cultural dimensions.
The Forum featured a mix of industry speakers: Moderator, Wayne Bates, Ph.D., P.E., Vice President and Sustainability Director at Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. and panelists:
James McCabe, Sustainability Manager, Global Operations/Services, Waters Corporation; Tony Meenaghan, Senior Director of Facilities Management, Environmental Health and Safety and Engineering, EMD Serono, Inc.; David Reilly, Global Energy Manager, Novartis; Timothy Stoll, LEED, Director for Development and Leasing, BioMed Realty Trust.
The speakers explained that sustainability programs have arisen due to the concern about how companies impact in environment. The goal is that a sustainability program "meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." Sustainability is not meant to be trendy, it is about environmental stewardship, social well being, and economic prosperity over long term (bearable, viable, equitable). In process, many of these programs have been random acts of sustainability rather than a coordinated plan.