Recent reports, including that from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , have concluded that the global climate crisis is worsening, with scientists warning that we will not be able to limit global warming to even 2°C unless immediate changes are made. This means governments, industry leaders and organisations must all continue to work towards an effective and long-term sustainability plan to reduce their environmental impact and mitigate the climate crisis.
The urgent demand for change is echoed by Australian healthcare leaders. Both the Australian Medical Association and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) are advocating for the industry to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2040 . With the Australian healthcare sector contributing approximately 7% to Australia’s national carbon emission footprint , we must collectively work together to drive efforts that reduce the sector’s environmental impact.
The Climate and Health Alliance’s Framework for National Strategy on Climate, Health and Wellbeing outlines developing a sustainable and climate-resilient health sector as one of the most pressing areas of policy action . Recent insights from the Philips Future Health Index 2021 found that 38% of Australian healthcare leaders say that implementing sustainable practices at their hospital or healthcare facility is a top priority in the next three years. So how can health technology partners like Philips support this transition to more sustainable practices within the healthcare sector?
We’re proud to say that since 2020, Philips has become a carbon-neutral global organisation, with our Australian operations responsible for just six tonnes of carbon emissions annually, all of which are actively offset. First launched in 2016, the Healthy People Sustainable Planet strategy targets were reinforced in 2020 after achieving our ambitious goals, including successfully generating 70% of our global sales from green products and services, with 15% of sales coming from circular products and services.
As part of our ongoing commitment to more sustainable industry models, we’re working with partners to drive holistic change within Australia’s healthcare ecosystem. This includes working with local healthcare providers and suppliers to extend the life of healthcare equipment and actively building pathways for equipment lifespans to be extended. This is part of the Philips global initiative, Closing the Loop, that sees us trade-in used medical equipment from customers to ensure that it is recycled, reused or ethically disposed of, promoting a circular economy.
In healthcare, we’re always looking to promote win-wins, where we can improve clinical quality and progress towards value-based care, and simultaneously reduce negative impacts on the environment.