How a top 5 biopharma company saved $187,000 through resource exchange

March 22, 2023


In the early fall of 2019, a specialty biopharma company based in Illinois, was looking to drive increased value from their existing research resources/materials, consumables (such as pipettes and glassware), and equipment. This biopharma company partnered with Rheaply for a pilot period to boost intramural sharing, build transparency into research operations, and align more closely with corporate environmental procurement guidelines and a recently updated Zero Waste to Landfill global initiative.

Rheaply helped this organization increase engagement by setting goals and rewarding user actions, resulting in savings and waste diversion in a few short months.

This initial success led to a full partnership between this biopharmaceutical organization and Rheaply with a goal of creating an expanded standardized and centralized approach to procurement and reuse within the company. 

The biopharma company hit pause on these efforts when COVID-19 hit, and much of the staff worked from home for an extended period. In early 2022, the company re-engaged its sustainability efforts with Rheaply with renewed energy, commitment, and a new strategy for success. The timing was critical as companies worldwide were still experiencing supply chain challenges.

scientist conducting experiments at a biopharma company

A targeted approach in year two

Results from the organizational admins and stakeholders during this pilot period revealed vital opportunities for success, including: 

  • Surveying teams to learn who are the right people to be working with the Rheaply platform
  • Assembling a special group of program ambassadors ranging from Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) to Investment Recovery (IR) and many other teams.
  • Educating ambassadors on how to maximize their use of the Rheaply platform for stronger results

When Rheaply’s Customer Success Manager, Sam Schurr, and the organization’s program admins reestablished the program, they determined that targeting the right users among their teams would yield the greatest results. After some initial research, they sent personalized emails to hundreds of other staff, inviting them to become Rheaply ambassadors and take a survey. Around 30 staff members – from EHS and investment recovery specialists to senior scientists – committed to being Reuse Ambassadors for their departments and teams.

This targeted approach paved the way for team members passionate about the environment and their company’s sustainability practices to make a significant impact. 

The ambassadors at this biopharma company served as their team’s “Rheaply Rep” making postings and monitoring reuse. The group meets monthly to discuss cost avoidance, landfill diversion, and ways to utilize the Rheaply platform better. 

One of the most valuable changes to user engagement was that the ambassadors better understood how to leverage the Rheaply platform, including filling out the marketplace listings completely. More accurate data was now being captured, including market value and weight diverted, which led to huge cost avoidance and weight diversion metrics at the end of 2022.

As one ambassador said, “time is money, and space is money.” And by gaining visibility into their resources and sharing across labs and departments, they saved the business $187,044 in 2022, as outlined in the below table:

2022 impact metrics

Internal reuse

Exchanges completed

Procurement savings

Total recaptured value 
from surplus resources

Waste diversion

Total waste diverted
 from landfill

Up next

Now that the ambassadors are acing their roles in reuse and procurement, Rheaply will help the biopharma company expand their efforts into new territory, including exploring external exchanges to help their resources attain their highest and best use.

“Rheaply’s ability to answer the question ‘who has what?’ makes it easy, fast, and as seamless as possible for users.”

Anonymous Research Scientist

Lessons learned

Creating ambassador program

Communicate between teams

Scheduled check-ins

Power of passionate people

Passion pays off

At the end of 2022, this biopharma company diverted more than 3,276 lbs of waste from landfill thanks to the enthusiastic participation of its ambassadors. The true key to success here was the power of passionate people. Engaging the right Rheaply users at your organization ensures that you are leveraging the platform for the very best outcomes while empowering staff members to make a difference.

Start your reuse journey

As a lab manager, you can manage the flow of surplus supplies and equipment within your network and lower your spend on new resources.

As a scientist, you can get the equipment and supplies you need faster by utilizing what’s already available on campus.

As an investment recovery professional, you can ensure each item finds its highest and best use by routing reusable items back into your organization, freeing you up to focus on what’s important.

As an EHS team member, you can get greater visibility and insight on the resources that your organization is sharing with each other.

Lab and research facilities have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of dollars through Rheaply.

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