Royal HaskoningDHV developed the Take Back Chemicals Leasing project, increasing reuse rate, reducing costs and environmental impact solvents at Janssen Pharmaceutica
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The Challenge

At Janssen Pharmaceutica, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, pharmaceutical ingredients are produced in batches. Between batches, the production tanks are cleaned with solvents, which are mostly regenerated on-site, allowing a reuse rate of 40%. Applying the Take Back Chemicals business model was identified as a next step in increasing the reuse rate of Janssen’s solvents – further reducing production costs and environmental impact – while retaining its strong focus on QA and continuous process improvement.  

The Solution

In a partnership with MIP, Essencia and A-Worx, Royal HaskoningDHV has moderated the application of the Take Back Chemicals business model to a specific organic solvent, which is both diluted and contaminated after usage. Previously, Janssen Pharmaceutica regenerated this solvent on-site by distillation. By engaging with a recycler, a new collaborative framework was set up enabling Janssen to retain ownership of the solvent (i.e. avoiding waste-status) during distillation at the recycler. Using the Take Back Chemicals model allows a financial stimulus for both parties involved to focus on QA and continuously optimize both the cleaning process and distillation (differentiating the agreement from ordinary outsourcing). As a consequence, the distillation columns at Janssen are then available for distillation of other solvents, and total reuse can be increased. 

A full Take Back Chemicals model where payment is based on the function that the chemical fulfils – the cleaning of tanks – was not feasible due to the highly specialized procedures at Janssen. Instead, a continuous driver for improvement was introduced by a payment based on input and output specifications of the solvent. 

The Outcome

The advantages for Janssen are noteworthy: 
  • Economic and environmental wins due to the increased processing efficiency of used solvent; 
  • Increased and more flexible reuse of solvents.
The recycler benefits from the following:
  • Increased revenues from a new client relationship. 

The new collaboration additionally allows for an improved environmental footprint of the overall process of usage of solvents, firstly due to the possibility of increased reuse of solvents at Janssen, and secondly, the more efficient distillation of the specific solvent, resulting in reduced consumption of energy, even when including energy for transport.