By Sam Miller, Head of Statistical Consulting and Greenistics team member
Taking a step back
Exploristics was founded 14 years ago with the aim to be a statistical consultancy with a difference. As an organisation we did not want to just provide a service, but we wish to genuinely partner with our clients to understand their problems and offer high-value strategic solutions. Through this approach, together with our investment in technology and appreciation of the importance of data, we wanted to accelerate drug development for the ultimate benefit of all in society. This is one example of taking a step back to see the bigger picture, and one of the reasons I joined the company.
Another area where Exploristics takes a world view is the environment. Global warming and climate change is arguably the biggest issue we face as a society. While Exploristics carbon footprint may be relatively small, we recognise that only by a collective effort with everyone contributing will we preserve the planet for future generations.
Greenistics: standing up for the environment
I’m proud to be part of a group within Exploristics focused on green issues. We ensure the organisation thinks about the sustainability of the products we buy and minimise the waste we produce. We also share regular hints and tips with staff on small changes they can make to their lifestyle with environmental benefits – from wearing an extra jumper and turning the heating down to thinking about the air miles and packaging associated with online shopping.
As we enter a new year, this seems a good time to make a statement as a company about what we’re doing, with the hope to be a positive influence on others. That’s why we’ve made a public commitment via the SME Climate Hub.
Reducing our footprint
Recognising that climate change poses a threat to the economy, nature, and society at large, Exploristics commits to take action immediately in order to:
- Halve our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030
- Achieve net zero emissions before 2050
- Disclose our progress on a yearly basis
In doing so, we are proud to be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, and join governments, businesses, cities, regions, and universities around the world that share the same mission.
Following the trail
A critical component of this pledge is to know where we stand today in terms of carbon emissions and other environmental impact. The Greenistics team have begun the task of collecting data and working with Climate Essentials to estimate our carbon footprint generated through Energy use, Transport, Products & Services and Waste. This includes contributions from our Belfast office, staff who work from home as I do, our suppliers and our customers. As a statistician, the potential for incorrect assumptions to propagate through these calculations and result in misleading conclusions is obvious. However, the skill set of the Exploristics team puts us in a strong position to interpret the data we collect in a meaningful way and understand which areas hold the most potential for us making a difference.
Another aspect I suspect few in the pharmaceutical industry consider is the carbon footprint of their trials. The Sustainable Trials Study Group has published work showing that clinical trials are carbon intensive and suggested ways to make them more efficient. This shows how Exploristics core business of optimising trial design directly relates to environmental impact.
A step forward together
The challenge ahead of us is significant. We’re relishing the chance to apply our analytical skills and creativity to get this right, gather accurate data and to identify the places where we can make genuine, sustainable improvements within our business and an impact for society in the future. Every journey starts with a single step.