MedTech Europe members are working to improve the lifecycle impacts of their products, through industry collaborations that address environmental and social impacts of healthcare, and by sharing best practice to collectively address risks in the supply chain.
MedTech Europe members have their individual codes of conducts and sustainability strategies, but it is also clear that there is a role for the industry as a whole to address sustainability challenges in the healthcare sector. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide a global framework for fostering a more sustainable future, helping our industry to identifying priority areas for action. Good health and well-being, responsible consumption and production, climate action and partnerships are the goals which we see as particularly relevant for our trade association.
The link between human and environmental health is well established: the WHO states that one in four premature deaths is related to environmental issues caused by humans and the World Bank acknowledges that sustainable management of the environment and natural resources is vital for economic growth and human well-being. The growing global population is putting increased stress on the environment, and it is likely we will see even more environmental impacts on human health in the future. Social determinants of health are also vital to human development. Industry can make a positive contribution by upholding labour standards and fighting human trafficking. At MedTech Europe, we see an active role for our industry as a vocal advocate for the inclusion of environmental and social considerations in the design and provision of healthcare.
MedTech Europe’s sustainability work is led by the Environmental and Sustainability (ENVI) Committee. Technical Working Groups reporting to the ENVI Committee address specific issues such as chemicals, issues related to electronic devices, among others. Environmental and social sustainability cuts across several workstreams and specific issues require horizontal collaboration with other MedTech Europe groups – Procurement, Regulatory Affairs, or Public Affairs.
MedTech Europe also has a critical role in helping SMEs, which represent a significant segment of our membership base, to access best practice, tools and guidance for addressing sustainability in their products and operations.