Let's take a step back from all of the uproar around health care reform for a second and talk about something you don't hear too often in connection with medtech: corporate sustainability. I'm actually a bit surprised, now that I think of it, that this topic seems to so rarely come up in the industry given how much of a buzzword it's becoming for businesses globally.
An interesting report though by Green Research discussed how medtech is lagging in this area, and how only a handful of major medtech manufacturers have actually announced public sustainability goals. The report also criticises how even those medtech manufacturers that do have sustainability goals tend to focus them internally, ignoring the potential waste reduction and environmental improvements that could be made in the company supply chain.
Something that really stood out to me though was the fact that the reprocessing of medical devices can have a very real and positive environmental impact by helping hospitals to significantly reduce their waste burden and this is something we've touched on before. For example, the report applauds how Stryker, having recently entered the reprocessing business, is reducing its environmental impact while at the same time generating a new revenue stream. So here's another reason for major medtech manufacturers not to fight the trend toward reprocessing it's plain good publicity to have it as part of a sustainability strategy.
So I guess it's no surprise that the report found that far more sustainability goals were related to waste reduction than reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is a key concern in many other industries. But hey, it's a step in the right direction!