Green Chemistry at Teva api – Our R&D team’s initiative to making an environmental impact

Last year, Teva api’s R&D leadership team got together to brainstorm about what could be done on a departmental level to make a substantial environmental impact. As a result of this meeting, a new “community” was formed called the R&D Green Community, and over the last year it has established many initiatives.  

The mission of the community is to identify and propose actions, technologies, and initiatives – within both the global and local sphere – aimed at reducing the environmental impact of activities performed in the Teva api R&D department. It also aims to promote a green culture within the department and create value out of green initiatives.  

Four distinct groups were created as part of the community, to tackle four different areas: 


The energy group aims to improve energy efficiency in the labs and pilot plants. It maps how the energy is being used and finds opportunities where the team can decrease energy consumption and where older technologies can be changed with newer, more modern technologies.  

For example, optimization of HVAC systems, conversion of Diesel based generators into dual mode with 70 % Piped Natural Gas and 30 % High Speed Diesel (HSD), reviewing the possibility of changing florescent lights to LED ones, replacing old refrigerators and freezers & replacement of R22 refrigerant, changing fume hoods that aren’t well-regulated, and working out how to utilize excess energy elsewhere.  


The technology group evaluates existing technologies, and suggests new technologies, solvents and catalysts. Examples of this in action are the use of continuous manufacturing in chemical processes and the successful implementation at GMP scale.  

The group also looks at water usage in the department and evaluates how to minimize or replace water. Their work has led to the installation of a centrally cooled glycol circuit (-15 to -8°C) for cooling small laboratory equipment such as evaporator coolers and EasyMax’s reactors to replace use of water-cooled thermostats.  

The below image illustrates the benefit of applying a technology where the products are manufactured in a continuous manner without isolation, thus reducing the effluent load on environment. The upper image shows traditional round flasks producing high effluent load which causes environmental issues. The lower image shows a continuous tube where, without isolation and without creating an effluent burden on the environment, production can occur.   

Source: Cambié, Dario, et al. “Applications of Continuous-Flow Photochemistry in Organic Synthesis, Material Science, and Water Treatment.” Chemical Reviews, vol. 116, no. 17

        3. Metrics  

This group has developed a computational tool for sustainability evaluation. The tool quantitively assesses the greenness and sustainability of a chemical process and gives a sustainability score between 1 and 100. 

Below shows what the scores reflect. 

The score considers multiple elements, including PMI, solvent selection, energy consumption, toxicity of materials, safety, atom economy, and process risks. 

Its aim is to enable chemists to make greener choices and to design chemical processes with improved efficiency and a lower environmental impact.   

Here is an example of a sustainability score evaluation for the amide formation reaction: 

        4.Value and Proposition  

This group works on networking, sustainability initiatives, and finding collaborations in and out of the organization.  

One such initiative is the Greeny award, a new annual award that encourages sustainability in the research and development facilities of Teva api R&D. The award is given to those who minimize or eliminate the environmental impact of processes in the R&D department, while also promoting a culture of greenness. It’s a celebration of innovation and creativity. 

Well done Teva api R&D team on this meaningful initiative! We hope you continue to make a significant environmental impact going forward into 2024.