2023 Year in Review: New Services, New Collaborators, Renewed ESG Urgency
2023 was a productive year of growth, innovation, and new frontiers for the Pharma industry and at AeroSafe Global. We reflect on our notable achievements and the exciting transformations the pharmaceutical industry is undergoing. Pharmaceutical and biotech customer demand for our reusable thermal containers prompted us to nearly double the size of our fleet. AeroSafe shippers equipped with temperature monitoring technology, traversed the world, safeguarding cold chain clinical products in 85 countries. As the industry evolves, so does AeroSafe, expanding in digital technologies, Artificial Intelligence, and machine learning, yet remaining integrated to bring a single source of truth.
Supporting Patients and the Planet
While AeroSafe is probably best known for our role in helping facilitate the safe delivery of lifesaving vaccines, there are many other therapies our advanced containers help keep safe while en route to awaiting patients. In 2023, temperature-sensitive treatments for Clostridium difficile, multiple sclerosis, bladder cancer and various autoimmune conditions were kept safe and effective for use thanks to our robust packaging material.
And with 2023 closing out as the warmest year in recorded history, hallmarked by heat domes and billowing wildfire smoke, thermal protection of lifechanging and lifesaving therapies became of paramount importance. Accordingly, climate scientists continued to urge widespread action to slow the effects of global warming: methane reduction, energy conservation, and a commitment to transitioning away from fossil fuels to name but a few key strategies. Last year AeroSafe’s proven reuse model, the AeroLoop, yielded significant environmental benefit along these lines on behalf of its customers. In 2023, the environmental impact of our mature reuse program was 65% fewer carbon emissions (linked to fossil fuels) and a 90% reduction in landfill waste (linked to methane production). The AeroLoop also helps with the conservation of water and electricity since containers are manufactured once and through refurbishment processes, maintained for upwards of 100 uses each.
Reliability During Unprecedented Times
The year 2023 also brought the launch of AeroSafe’s Temperature Verification service to confirm the safe delivery of therapeutics. Given the negative consequences of late delivery – customer complaints, regulatory challenges, lost product and, most troubling, patient safety issues – on-time delivery of these vital products is critical to their effective use. The Temperature Verification capability enables pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, including those in the specialty pharma space, to validate the safe delivery of their cold chain therapies and capture over 98% of temperature data for quality control.
Through AeroSafe's Temperature Verification service, customers have an added layer of assurance around product integrity since any actual exposure is captured and transmitted at delivery or in real-time. This is achieved through the use of small temperature sensors embedded in packaging material effectively turning each shipping container into a “smart box.” In 2023, AeroSafe processed 840 million temperature readings recorded during transit. On top of assuring product safety, this data is analyzed to mitigate future performance risk based on specific parcel lane performance.
AeroSafe was honored for its ongoing growth in 2023 with a number of industry accolades including placement on the Deloitte Fast 500 and Inc. 5000 lists. In addition, several large pharmaceutical customers highlighted their adoption of the AeroLoop in their annual ESG reports. With most large drug manufacturers focused on achieving net- zero carbon goals in the coming years, the switch from single-use packaging to AeroSafe’s reusable model has markedly helped eliminate carbon from customer supply chain activities.
Ready for the Future
Already 2024 looking to potentially rival 2023 in terms of climate change impacts, alarm bells around consumption behaviors, “take-make-waste,” are ringing louder than ever. With pushes on to require less and repair more, reuse is continuing to gain acceptance in many arenas. Only years ago, Starbucks made headlines when it offered a reusable coffee cup in an effort to reduce landfill waste. The company kicked off 2024 with an announcement that customers were welcome to bring their own cups in for handcrafted beverages – and with a small discount to reward the behavior. Clothing retailers including Neiman Marcus, Gap and Levis are also launching reuse models, helping drive the secondhand apparel market towards an anticipated $350 billion by 2027. These B2C moves only help socialize, normalize and reinforce consumer models with B2B spillover likely to increasingly influence markets over time.
As different businesses and entities look to join the circular economy with reuse lines and offerings, AeroSafe is embarking on its eleventh-year manufacturing reusable containers. The process maturity gained over the years is reflected in an ongoing average container return rate of over 98%. This performance extends the lifespan of each container, making the program cost competitive compared to current single use options for manufacturers and distributors. And as regulations continue to tighten around usage of single use items – expanding Styrofoam and plastic shopping bag bans as two examples – pressure will swell to produce and invest in greener products that offer longevity.
If you are looking to move away from single use shipping containers for cold chain therapies in 2024, our team would love to talk about how we can make this process streamlined, cost-effective and measurable. Connect with our team.
2023 Fun Fact
AeroSafe Global continues to produce a small fleet of custom engineered thermal containers to ride shotgun with astronauts heading to the International Space Station. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with NASA.