As an industry, the targets set particularly with regard to Net Zero, the Green Deal, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and waste regulations across the EU further demonstrate that Sustainability is something that must be addressed globally, and regardless of the mechanism the administrative body is using, the challenges, processes and solutions are the same. Whilst in the UK the majority, although not all of the obligations are to be delivered for members through the NHS England Evergreen framework and the accompanying frameworks developed in the devolved nations, the EU is facing these same issues with the introduction of specific Directives, each with their own implementation timelines.
Members who are operating in the EU will need to understand how to align the reporting mechanisms with one set of practical solutions, this is something that the BIVDA Sustainability programme will cover in depth as the legislation and timelines progress.
Discussions across the week from a number of industry speakers, not just IVD, but Medtech, Plastics, and healthcare professionals and policy makers included how to improve the performance and either reduce or at least maintain the cost profile of these improvements whilst examining the limitations and obstacles they have faced and addressed throughout the value chain.
There were several in depth discussions about the growing societal expectations across the EU and how the medical sector can capitalise on using more safe and sustainable chemicals and materials by design to improve their record and gain competitive advantage by going green.
Business sustainability is not new, it is widely apparent from the 1990’s following the Bruntland report and its presence for such a period of time has caused some critics to query whether it is really coming – it was clear from this conference that the pace has increased, and this is largely due to the pressure across the multiple stakeholders from policy to consumers and patients. However it was shown that the Medtech industry including IVD has a lower ESG (environmental/ Social Governance) rating that almost all other industries.
The move towards a circular economy appears now to be inevitable, and a navigation across multiple regulatory requirements and the application of circular business models in public tendering was a major discussion area. Procurers and payers are driving this across the procurement landscape and causing a shift in acceptability of suppliers (not just products) when making purchasing decisions.
Unlocking the creation of value, new economically profitable business models and a significant improvement in sustainability performance requires a fundamental overhaul of metrics that matter within organisations.
Members can understand these synergies with the EU and other markets through the Sustainability programme resources on the Sustainability Hub that will shortly be available, and via our Procurement and Environmental working parties.