2023 Category Winners for Social Impact

Takeda SA

Location: Lessines, Belgium
Project: Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Manufacturing Building

2023 Category Winner for Social Impact logo

Takeda is a global values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader committed to creating better health for people and a brighter future for the world. For more than 240 years, Takeda has focused on delivering transformative treatment and significantly increasing the value that we bring to society. The work we do transforms lives, helping patients with limited or no treatment options in our therapeutic and business areas of oncology, rare genetics and hematology, neuroscience, gastroenterology, plasma-derived therapies and vaccines.

The plasma-derived therapy produced in Lessines is a sterile, ready-to-use, liquid preparation of purified human Alpha-1 Antitrypsin protein.

Takeda’s manufacturing site in Lessines, Belgium, approaches sustainability from the supply of raw materials to the site, to the production of its therapies, to the shipment of its vials of finished products to over 80 countries in the world. The entire value chain is constantly being analyzed to reduce its footprint wherever possible. That state-of-the art facility operates with the latest digital and sustainable technologies.

The conception of the manufacturing building has been defined to optimize its production processes and increase energy efficiency. The following areas were the focus of the main improvements:

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY AND CONSUMPTION: The site is sourcing 100% renewable electricity, installed 8,000 solar panels and plans to install more in the coming years. Over the past five years the entire Lessines production site has reduced its operational carbon footprint by 45% or the equivalent of 5,500 tons of CO2. By 2026, the site aims to produce 80% of the needed electricity through e.g., the installation of geothermal wells and two wind turbines. The goal of the site is to become carbon net zero in its own operations by 2030

PAPERLESS: As a factory of the future, digitalization is key for the site to improve processes, support its employees and reduce its environmental impact. The facility is therefore operating fully paperless. The use of tablets for remote control of the manufacturing process allows for a reduction of around 300 pages of paper (A4) to produce one lot, which represents more than 100,000 pages of paper/year at full capacity (500 kg of paper - DIN A4 sheet 5 g - 80g/m2).

MAJOR REDUCTION OF FRESHWATER CONSUMPTION: Takeda Lessines is the first pharmaceutical manufacturing site in the world to recycle its wastewater to drinking water standard and reuse in the production process using the Ekopak system in a large-scale installation. By re-using its rainwater and treating its wastewater, the manufacturing site in Lessines is currently reducing its freshwater consumption by 60%, aiming for a 90% reduction by 2025 – the equivalent of 600 million liters of freshwater.

WASTE MANAGEMENT & TREATMENT: The waste is transported through specially designed air-controlled pass-boxes. This avoids that waste circulates through the classified areas. All the waste is then either recycled whenever possible or incinerated with energy recovery from the burning process. This generates a renewable energy source and reduces carbon emissions by offsetting the need of energy from fossil sources.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: The site works closely with its community. Takeda is a large employer in the region, and the city of Lessines in particular. This close contact allowed to set-up initiatives such as collection and delivery of medical devices to the Ukraine, road clean-up activities around the site to safeguard the environment and volunteering days organized to help local associations. Takeda has many best practice exchanges with other companies to promote its sustainability efforts and leading by example (e.g., following its water recycling project, companies such as UCB, GSK and Sanofi decided to launch their feasibility study at their site)

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Takeda achieved through the application of novel approaches, standards and practices a sustainable facility design to ensure effective use of energy, minimize waste, reduce carbon footprint and reduce environmental impact. The Takeda Sustainable Manufacturing of Plasma-derived Therapies project is recognized with the FOYA 2023 in the category “Social Impact - Sustainability” as it exemplifies how application of innovative technologies and the focus on delivering a NET ZERO ambition results in effective use of energy and resources and reduces environmental impact in a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.

Supply Partners and Key Participants:

Manufacturer/Owner Name: Takeda Lessines

Commissioning Qualifications & Validation Services: Group-IPS

Piping Subcontractor: ETECH Sprl

HVAC Subcontractor: AXIMA Belgium (Exans)

Automation and Control Suppliers: Siemens

Major Equipment Suppliers/Contractors:

  • Chaudronnerie Pierre Guérin
  • Pall Life Science
  • EATON - Bergerow E. GmbH