Pioneering Sustainability Solutions for Pfizer

"We are delighted with the project. These sustainability solutions are delivering results for us far beyond our initial expectations. Seeing the payback period halved from 14 to 7 months simply reinforced our confidence in Veolia's Recovery Capabilities."
Dave O'Shea
Pfizer Biotechnology, Shanbally, Co. Cork.


Founded in 1849 Pfizer have a leading portfolio of products and medicines that support wellness and prevention, as well as treatment and cures for diseases across a broad range of therapeutic areas. With an industry-leading array of international brands, Pfizer is at the forefront of modern pharmaceutical advances globally.

Located at Shanbally, Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, Pfizer's Biotechnology Plant became operational in 2009 and the facility is a phase 2B / 3 clinical trial scale facility to manufacture, purify, formulate and bulk fill mammalian cell culture derived proteins. The complex also serves to establish a strategic biotech manufacturing centre of excellence and is planned to support the rapid development of new biotechnology products.

The facility includes 5,500 litres of bioreactor capacity, over 12,000 square meters of production floor space, and is designed with significant utilisation of disposable technology such as bags, filters, tubing and mixing technology, as well as modularization of unit operations. The inherent flexibility that is provided by this design supports the multi-product and variable nature of the potential product portfolio.

With a keen focus on 'Green' solutions and a dedicated programme to address the Carbon Footprint of its facilities worldwide, Pfizer required an innovative solution that would address the increasing cost of their supply and waste water at the Biotechnology Plant.


A committed team of Pfizer engineers and System Design Specialists from Veolia Water Technologies proposed a design that actually took advantage of the plant's 'waste' water and turned it into a valuable resource. As Pfizer already had a cutting-edge Veolia Orion 6,000 onsite our Green Solutions Team easily devised a solution to meet the specific needs of Pfizer's Biotechnology Plant. Through the addition of a sustainability-focused Veolia Recovery RO system this plant is now recovering 75% of the wastewater generated and this water, now a valuable resource, is sent back to once again to begin the purification cycle as raw water.


The amount of water sent to drain has been reduced by 75% and subsequently their requirement for source water is proportionally reduced, delivering huge financial savings annually. Further sizable energy and cost savings were achieved through low energy membranes. This innovative project was designed, implemented and commissioned in less than 8 weeks, moreover, a payback period of just 7 months made our proposal stand out ahead of all others.