While energy efficiency, waste management and transportation are important, a UK report, has shown that 57% of the carbon emissions from healthcare derive from manufacturing and procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
Similarly, an Australian study estimated that procurement accounted for 61.6% of the carbon footprint of a satellite dialysis unit, in contrast to 18.6% for electricity usage, 8.8% for patient and staff travel and 7.6% for water usage.
Because of this, meaningful efforts to reduce the renal sector carbon footprint must address procurement.
What can you do? … some suggestions include…
- Work with the person/department responsible for procurement in your facility to incorporate environmental sustainability weightings in procurement decisions
- Voice your opinions about issues relating to procurement … Can recycled paper be used? Do suppliers retrieve packaging and pallets after delivery?
- Pressure industry groups to present transparent environmental impact data regarding product manufacture, end-of-life disposal, and organisational environmental performance. If appropriately weighted, these criteria would help stimulate competition, and send a clear message that environmental sustainability is a renal community priority.
- Encourage Industry to drive product development away from hazardous materials (eg: PVC).