Decarbonising pharmaceutical processing in Ireland

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Dermot McArdle, Business Markets Manager at Electric Ireland, recently spoke at the Future in Pharmaceuticals Ireland conference on a panel alongside Michael Hegglin and Liam Burke Masterson of SkyCell, Derek Mullins, Global Utilities Lead at Amge, and Gavin Kane, Managing Director at Quadra Consulting. While the panellists came from a variety of different industries, each offered insights on how we can decarbonise pharmaceutical processing in Ireland. 

The pharmaceutical industry has long been a key contributor to the Irish economy, though for many of us, it took the pandemic to realise the scale of its impact.

The past two years presented a once-in-a-generation challenge to all industries, and yet the pharmaceutical industry demonstrated exceptional resilience, innovation, and adaptability, in addressing the global challenge of Covid-19. 

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Now, as society adapts to the longer-term impacts of Covid, like all industries, pharma is being confronted with another critical challenge – climate change. Confronted with the impacts of this climate challenge, people and businesses everywhere are recognising that we all have a role to play. For businesses, pursuing more sustainable ways in which they operate is essential.  

Electric Ireland have set the ambitious target of achieving net-zero by 2040. However, our commitment to sustainability goes beyond this. We also want to put in place the infrastructure and services that enables customers to do the same.  

Speaking at the Future in Pharmaceuticals Ireland conference, Dermot noted, “Boosting sustainability credentials for a business is not just an exercise in compliance, or an opportunity to enhance reputation, it is a real chance for organisations to play their part in helping us all on our journey to a low carbon transition.” 

One of the ways that Electric Ireland is helping businesses to boost their sustainability credentials is by providing customers with the technology that allows them to better understand their energy use and manage and reduce consumption. 

“By accessing and understanding their energy use and consumption data, pharmaceutical companies can make smarter choices and reduce their overall usage and costs”, Dermot said, adding “at Electric Ireland, we are constantly working to develop new and innovative products to allow our customers to optimise their energy management.

For example, our online platform, Business Online, provides a range of online services to help business customers manage their energy information. The platform allows customers to track their energy usage and generate daily digital reports, which keep customers up to date with the very latest trends in the energy sector.” 

Noting that the pharmaceutical sector faced its own unique energy demands and challenges, Dermot stressed that Electric Ireland views itself not just as an energy supplier, but as an energy partner who is committed to continually developing new and effective ways for its partners in the pharmaceutical industry to better their sustainability practices: 

“Electric Ireland, as part of the ESB Group, have been a leading force for renewables since the construction of Ireland’s first renewable power station at Ardnacrusha over 90 years ago. Completed in 1929 and as part of the Shannon hydro-electric scheme, Ardnacrusha became a symbol of forward thinking in relation to harnessing our natural resources.

“Today, we continue this legacy, and drive towards a cleaner energy future, by working in partnership with the pharma sector and other industries, helping them to access renewable energy sources and green certification to support their sustainability goals.”  

A standout from the conference was the commitment by all the organisations in attendance, regardless of their sector, to support and facilitate decarbonisation and greater sustainability in the pharmaceutical industry. By working in partnership with our customers, Electric Ireland looks forward to being a key partner on this journey.  

For more information on how Electric Ireland can help your business, visit  

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