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10 Ways to Know You Are Buying “Sustainable” Medical Equipment

By CME Corp Staff | August 29, 2023

Quick, what comes to mind when you hear words like “environmentally friendly” and “responsible” or “sustainable”?

Recycling. Carbon Footprint. Medical Equipment.

Medical Equipment??? Yes!

Today, more and more facilities in the healthcare sector are pledging to adopt and implement comprehensive sustainability initiatives.

Purchasing “sustainable” medical equipment is one of many ways healthcare facilities are doing their part to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) and carbon footprints.

Sounds easy but short of painting all sustainably manufactured medical equipment green how does one know what is environmentally friendly and what is not?

Connect with your inner sleuth and hit the internet.

Most manufacturers who have invested in sustainable manufacturing practices are eager to share that news. A little bit of research on manufacturer websites will reveal their sustainability certifications, policies, and practices.

10 Clues to “Sustainable” Medical Equipment

Certifications The sustainable manufacture of medical equipment often requires adherence to certification standards. Manufacturers who have been awarded certifications like ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System). ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are happy to share that information.

Manufacturer’s Sustainability Policies Companies committed to sustainable manufacturing have sustainability policies or initiatives in place. A growing number of manufacturers are sharing this information on their website.

Materials Used Often sustainable medical equipment is manufactured using environmentally friendly materials. Look for products made with recycled materials as well as those with low levels of hazardous substances. You may have to reach out to your account manager and ask for this information.

Energy-Efficient Manufacturing Processes Sustainable manufacturing emphasizes energy efficiency. Ask your account manager about the manufacturer’s energy management practices or policies.

Recyclable or Biodegradable packaging Sustainable manufacturers work to minimize waste and use eco-friendly packaging. Ask to have your medical equipment order shipped in recyclable or biodegradable packing and inquire about the organization’s own waste reduction strategies.

Supply chain transparency Manufacturers committed to sustainability often prioritize transparency in their supply chains. Ask for information about their suppliers and the suppliers’ efforts to ensure social and environmental responsibility

Third-party Audits and Certifications Some manufacturers undergo third-party audits or earn additional certifications to validate their sustainable manufacturing practices. Independent verifications and certifications from reputable organizations such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are valuable and may be featured on the website.

Environmental Impact Assessment Ask if the manufacturer has conducted an environmental impact assessment for their manufacturing processes. This assessment evaluates the environmental impacts of a product’s life cycle, from raw material extraction to disposal. 

Collaboration with Sustainability Initiatives Manufacturers who actively implement sustainability initiatives or collaborate with similarly minded organizations demonstrate their commitment to sustainable manufacturing. Look for news about their work with environmental organizations or involvement in industry-wide sustainability initiatives.

Customer Reviews and Feedback Check online reviews and comments for feedback related to the sustainability and environmental practices of the manufacturer.

These ten clues, or any combination of them, can be indicators of sustainable manufacturing, but it is always best to reach out to your account manager or representative and ask questions.

Who knows, they may tell you to look for medical equipment painted green.

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For many years CME has worked directly with manufacturers to decrease the amount of packing materials used as well as promoting the use of recyclable packing materials.

Today approximately 95% of the packing materials we manage are recyclable.

CME is also dedicated to achieving cardboard-free delivery of medical equipment, so we also encourage manufacturers to ship their products blanket-wrapped vs. boxed and palletized. While not necessarily the most cost-effective way to ship, it is certainly the most responsible.

Many of our manufacturing partners offer lines of “sustainable” medical equipment.

Click the CHAT button to talk with us about how you can purchase sustainably manufactured equipment for your facility.

Additional Resources

About CME: CME Corp is the nation’s premier source for healthcare equipmentturnkey logistics, and biomedical services, representing 2 million+ products from more than 2,000 manufacturers. With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.

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