“Insights” #2 | Topa Thermal, Brussels Airport and Hive Zox, special guests of our latest Pharma.Aero podcast

Our second podcast in the series about Environmental Sustainability brings together three esteemed Pharma.Aero members: Brussels Airport, represented by Samuel Speltdoorn, Senior Business & Network Development Manager Cargo, Topa Thermal, represented by Jacques Le Comte, Business Development Manager, and Hive Zox, represented by its COO and Co-founder Miroslav Skorepa.

Samuel Speltdoorn, Brussels Airport: “As an airport, we are emitting obviously a lot of CO2 towards the region. But CO2 is not only our main focus for sustainability. We are looking at reducing noise levels. We are working together with the airlines on pushing them on using newer and greener aircraft, and we really push this by adopting the Airport charges: a very loud aircraft or polluting aircraft will pay 20 times more than a green aircraft, so this way we push away the older aircraft from our airports.
We’re also looking at modal shifts. For cargo, this means diversifying your offering beyond points and that’s why for the first time ever we are here together with the Port of Antwerp, and we’re looking at ways to work together as a seaport and an airport.”

Jacques Le Comte, Topa Thermal: “When we talk to customers, they all approach it from a different angle and when you look at the packaging, one of the topics we have is that we want to use less packaging material and that’s where we try to design it in a sustainable way.”

“Still a lot of customers use “sustainable” as a fancy word. In the end, they talk about cost. The challenge for us is to not just focus on packaging but focus on the complete lane they have to go through. With us, price is always an issue. That’s the challenge, to get everything aligned. When you look at the package itself it could be more expensive, but when you look at the complete lane when you ship it, at the end, it’s beneficial and that’s the challenge to have everyone at the table. We can design a smaller, lighter package which is more expensive, but in the end, you save because it is less on CO2 and less on weight.”

Miroslav Skorepa, Hive Zox: “We, as a startup, have adopted the principle of what we call “embedded sustainability”, so we don’t look only about the CO2, we look at the whole concept of the business we do. We have designed the product and the processes around the circular economy. First of all, the design of the product is 18% smaller than the average nearest competition. As a smaller product, it consumes less resources (plastic, transport etc.). As a product lifecycle, we designed it in the circular economy: it’s a “return, recharge, reuse” approach. And it has to be recycled material. It might be more expensive as the input cost, but it’s, in the longer term, more sustainable and profitable.”

Samuel Speltdoorn, Brussels Airport: “Yes, becoming sustainable is expensive for an airport, but I think you don’t really need to look at the cost of sustainability, but you really need to look at what you gain. As you look around us, multiple airports are facing issues with becoming green. It’s not easy and the European Union is quite strict on making transport green. With strict deadlines, you invest a lot of money in things that have not been tried before.
As an airport, you try something first time ever globally that can fail. And you invest a lot of money and it’s lost. And that’s why we really look at partnerships, like our partnership with Changi Airport Group where we can look together: “Have you tested this in Singapore?” “Yeah, we did and it didn’t work.” In this way, we can already think about something else. I think this is our way forward. That’s why the organizations like Pharma.Aero are so important, that we can all learn from each other and apply the things that work and steer away from the things that didn’t work.”

Pharma.Aero launched the podcast “Insights” as a powerful platform for its members and partners, to further showcase their valuable expertise and insights on topics relevant to our industry.

The inaugural series of the podcast focuses on a topic of utmost importance – environmental sustainability within the healthcare supply chain. Bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders, the series aims to uncover the significance of sustainability for different players within the pharmaceutical logistics ecosystem.

The debut episode of the Pharma.Aero podcast boasted an impressive lineup of guests, all esteemed members of Pharma.Aero community: Darrel Chong, Global Head of Lifesciences & Healthcare at PSA BDP, Andreas Behnke, CEO and Station Manager Basel at Swissport, and Florence Lehec, Head of Marketing at Emball’iso.

Pharma.Aero podcast is now available on popular podcast platforms, and on youtube, for those who prefer a visual experience.

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