Five priorities for sustainable health technology procurement in Europe

Jun 01, 2023 - Reading time 1-3 minutes

It has long been recognized that human health and environmental health are intrinsically linked [1]. The irony is that, for an industry dedicated to healing and built upon the idea of ‘first do no harm’, the healthcare sector is itself a major contributor to the global carbon emissions that are having such a negative impact on public health, our communities and society at large. As an industry, we – health technology companies, healthcare systems and other stakeholders – have a responsibility to act now.

Five priorities for sustainable procurement in healthcare

At Philips, we believe that, by working together with our customers, peers and partners, we can help drive sustainable ways of working across the healthcare value chain – and in every aspect of business (operations, innovation, service delivery, etc.). Let’s start with procurement …

Helping buyers to ask the right questions

We believe that buyers of health technology have a major role to play in driving green purchasing reforms and raising minimum standards, thereby increasing recognition of the value of supplier sustainability commitments.

To reinforce Green Public Procurement (GPP) as a strategic function for policymakers, purchasers and the public they serve, Philips has identified five priority themes and recommended assessment criteria for public-sector purchasers in Europe to adopt when procuring medical equipment and health technology solutions. These recommendations draw on existing standards and procurement best practices that Philips has observed as a provider to hospitals and governments around the world and build on our experience and leadership in climate action, circular economy and EcoDesign

We recognize that there is no common Green Public Procurement standard. Yet, by providing industry partners and suppliers with clear guidance to improve the sustainability of their products and operations, we believe public procurement guidelines can help drive systemic change and enable tangible economic and social benefits.   

Time to act

To enable the healthcare industry to make a meaningful contribution to the 2015 Paris Agreement and 2050 net-zero targets, we call on governments, purchasing agencies and procurement organizations in Europe to improve supplier evaluation criteria for Green Public Procurement across five key themes:

  1. Ensure that suppliers report their environmental impact (including emissions) and that they have a greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction plan in place
  2. Focus on circularity for health technology products and solutions
  3. Require supplier transparency on product performance and EcoDesign for products and equipment
  4. Require suppliers to demonstrate how digital offerings support decarbonization and dematerialization by optimizing resources and workflow efficiency

  5. Require suppliers to publicly report their social impact 

Find out more about these five key themes, and action you can take, by downloading our full guidance paper for European procurers.

MR Magnet Renderings

Powerful lever for decarbonization

We believe that sustainable procurement is one of the key strategies that health systems and governments can adopt right now to reduce their environmental footprint – and so help to decarbonize healthcare.

By sharing Philips’ perspective, we wish to support learning and dialogue between all stakeholders, and we welcome deeper engagement on sustainable procurement and broader green hospital initiatives.

[1] The Lancet, October 2017,

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