How Sustainable is the Healthcare Industry?
In the UK, our health services produce up to 600,000 tonnes of waste per annum – more than 1% of all domestic UK waste. Regardless of disposal method, medical waste has the potential to pollute our planet.
The need for sustainability within the health sector is becoming more apparent than ever. Sustainable product and business practice will be the key to overcoming the impacts that our industry has on the environment in the future. Our focus on reducing our environmental impact is a daily practice here at Optimum Medical, and we always keep the environment in mind with every decision.
We regularly listen and act on feedback from people who use our products about sustainability, lots have concerns about the amount of plastic wastage and excessive packaging that is associated with many healthcare products on the UK market today. In a lot of cases, sustainable materials make products more comfortable for users because less harmful substances are used to produce them. Nevertheless, it is not always possible to use sustainable materials in urology devices so, we make it our priority to find other ways of reducing our environmental impact.
What is Optimum Medical doing to help?
- Using renewable energy tariffs at all our sites
- Had LED lighting on movement sensors installed throughout our head office
- Using completely battery operated plant at our warehouse
- Purchased a baler that will help compress recyclable materials such as plastic, paper and cardboard into small, manageable sizes, now collected in a single trip!
- Electric Car Scheme for everyone at Optimum Medical.
- Installing a brand-new heating system that uses air source heat pumps (ASHP) to keep our office at the right temperature!
- Our Sheath and Ugo 4 Weeks products now come with 100% recyclable packaging. (Sheaths aren’t required to be individually wrapped as they’re not a sterile product. So, we developed fully recyclable packaging!).
- Purchased our first Electric vehicle for local deliveries in and around West Yorkshire!
- We have also started reporting on our carbon emissions and have plans in place to reduce these year on year.
‘At Optimum Medical we recognise there are environmental impacts associated with everything we do, from powering the office and warehouse to delivering products to the commuting our staff undertake to carry out their work. By identifying where in the business these emissions are being created, we can take proactive steps to reduce and eventually eliminate them. ‘– Ian Wheeler, CSR & Sustainability and officer
Fortunately, steps are being taken by many in the industry which is causing others to reshape their best practices and look more closely at how they can lessen their impact on the environment. However, there is still a long way to go….