May 12-14th, the health care industry came together in Portland, Oregon for CleanMed 2015 – the nation’s premiere conference for sustainability in health care. The message at this year’s conference was clear: Within the health care industry, there are opportunities abound to lead the way for positive impact. At Johnson & Johnson, we continue to work across our organization to drive more sustainable practices that respond to our customers’ needs and fulfill our Citizenship & Sustainability priorities to advance human health and well-being, help to safeguard the planet, and lead a dynamic and growing business responsibly.
As part of our efforts to advance sustainability in health care, we partnered with Practice Greenhealth to field a survey at CleanMed and glean insights from attendees on their facilities’ sustainability initiatives and challenges. Most notably for the future of our Medical Devices and Janssen businesses, the 277 survey respondents voiced there is room for improvement when it comes to the health care sector leveraging its purchasing power to buy more sustainable products and services – nearly 41 percent of respondents said the sector is doing “poorly” in this area, while 50 percent said the sector is doing a “good” job. Only five percent of respondents said the sector was doing “very well” in leveraging purchasing power to advance sustainability.
The survey also found overwhelming support among respondents for waste reduction strategies at their facilities. Respondents cited financial savings, healthier environments for patients and staff, and reputational benefits as advantages of waste reduction initiatives, with financial savings emerging as the top cited benefit. The opportunity to better engage medical staff in waste reduction efforts was also uncovered by survey respondents – nearly 40 percent wish medical staff was more engaged in these efforts.
At Johnson & Johnson, we’re committed to applying insights like these to help our customers reduce waste, and costs. Earthwards® is our approach to sustainable product innovation, and engages our development teams to design more sustainable solutions across a product’s lifecycle. Sterilmed® Trocar is one example of an Earthwards® recognized product, achieving significant sustainability improvements in three or more impact areas. The Trocar, used in operating rooms for minimally invasive procedures, achieves more than a 50 percent reduction in waste at end-of-life through re-use and energy-from-waste, compared to a new original equipment manufacturer trocar. Sterilmed® works closely with hospital customers to implement effective reprocessing programs that maximize reuse and achieve cost savings.
Thanks to innovative approaches like Earthwards®, and more sustainable product offerings like Sterilmed® Trocar, for the sixth consecutive year, Johnson & Johnson was recognized at CleanMed as a Champion for Change by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community focused on environmental stewardship and improved patient safety and care. The award honors organizations that are succeeding both in improving their own sustainability practices, and assisting health care systems in reducing their environmental impacts. Sterilmed was also honored with a fourth Champion for Change award for its individual efforts in the space. Following this year’s CleanMed conference and Practice Greenhealth awards, our teams are energized for another year of leading the way to advance sustainability in the health care industry.