Healthcare services are necessary for sustaining and improving human health, yet their environmental footprint is often far greater than many other sectors.
The global healthcare system is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, representing 4.4% of the total worldwide footprint¹ which is the equivalent of 514 coal-fired power plants. Some of this is generated directly from healthcare facilities, but more than 70% of healthcare emissions are generated in the supply chain, including the manufacture and disposal of medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
The need to control contamination can make recycling and reuse of medical devices complex and costly, in some cases even impossible. There is room for improvement in this area but in the meantime, it is possible to reduce the environmental impact of products by revisiting the whole design and manufacturing process to consider where changes can be made.
Sustainable Manufacturing Processes
At Europlaz we have a made a conscious decision to work towards a sustainable future and have implemented several ideas and processes to help reduce our carbon footprint.
1. More sustainable manufacturing processes and medical devices
The most obvious way to address sustainability is within the production lines, distribution channels, and the products themselves whilst still adhering to the stringent regulations which are in place for medical devices.
An example in practice is Europlaz’s own TIVA (Total Intravenous Anaesthesia) sets, Tivatek. To help mitigate the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes and to reduce unnecessary waste, we have:
- Revised the product design thus removing the need for an outer carton by strengthening the inner carton.
- Increased the pallet volume of the product by 33% therefore sharing product miles across more units.
- Reduced the pouch size by 40% and therefore reduced the amount of packaging going to landfill.
- Removed the need for an additional warning label due to the addition of non-vented caps.
2. Support and invest in the introduction of clean technology and workflows
Another action taken was to introduce environmentally friendly measures to reduce energy consumption and our carbon footprint.
Now more than ever, we believe it is vital that every business, especially those in the manufacturing industry, commits to becoming greener. At Europlaz, we will be striving to continue our efforts to reduce our environmental impact in 2022 and follow the road to a sustainable future.
For more information please contact us.
1. The Lancet Planetary Health, M.Lanzen, A.Malik, M.Li, J.Fry, H.Weisz, P.Pichler, L.S.M. Chaves, A.Capon, D. Pencheon, The environmental footprint of health care: a global assessment, 01 July 2020, Vol. 4, No. 7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30121-2