Green healthcare isn’t an option, it’s a necessity
Estimated reading time: 2-4 minutes
Philips is strongly committed to sustainability in healthcare through its ‘Healthy people, sustainable planet’ program – a five-year initiative, started in 2016, based on three pillars: creating value for Philips’ customers through sustainable solutions, leading by example in sustainable operations, and multiplying impact by driving sustainability through the supply chain. It’s no surprise then that Philips was also a contributor and signatory to the Dutch government’s latest Green Deal ‘Sustainable Healthcare for a Healthy Future’ initiative, which was signed by the company’s Head of Sustainability, Robert Metzke, on October 10, 2018, to coincide with the Dutch ‘Day of Sustainability’.
The goal of the Dutch government’s Green Deals is to bring together all stakeholders in a particular sector with the aim of breaking down barriers to the introduction of innovations that will help make the Netherlands even more sustainable and environmentally friendly. In the ‘Sustainable Healthcare for a Healthy Future’ Green Deal, it includes innovations aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, working ‘circularly’ to deal with raw materials more efficiently and less wastefully, reducing the impact of used or discarded medicines on water supplies, and creating a healthy environment for patients and their caregivers. These are all important issues, because despite the fact that healthcare systems exist for the specific purpose of curing patients and preventing disease, their carbon footprint and levels of waste and pollution are disproportionately high.
We can only minimize the impact of healthcare on the environment if we all work together to put sustainability at the core of every component in the system, because green healthcare isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.
Head of Sustainability Philips
“Healthcare is responsible for around 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions” said Robert Metzke. “We can only minimize the impact of healthcare on the environment if we all work together to put sustainability at the core of every component in the system, because green healthcare isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.”
Philips is already rising to the challenge. For example, the BlueSeal magnet technology in its newly-introduced Ingenia Ambition X 1.5T scanner allows hospitals to reduce operating costs and scanner down-time by eliminating the need to routinely purchase helium, a gas harvested from natural gas fossil-fuel extraction. Philips is no less innovative in its own operations. In the Netherlands, it is committed to buying all its electricity from renewable sources, already receiving substantial supplies from the new Bouwdokken Wind Farm on the country’s Oosterscheldekering sea defenses. In the US, all the company’s operations are already powered by wind energy.
That commitment to sustainability is ongoing. At the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Philips CEO Frans van Houten cemented the company’s commitment to the Circular Economy, pledging that by 2020 it will take back and repurpose all the large medical systems that its customers are prepared to return to it. Other Philips ‘Healthy people, sustainable planet’ objectives for 2020 include 70% of turnover derived from ‘green’ solutions, 15% of turnover from circular economy solutions, 95% of revenue linked to UN Sustainable Development Goals, 90% of operational waste recycled, and 100% renewable electricity – ambitions it is determined to achieve.
For more information on Philips’ sustainability programs, click here.