Medical device sector needs collective action to reach green goals: study
Proper regulations are needed to keep the industry on track with its sustainable goals.
The medical device industry has seen improvements in their sustainable practices but researchers called for better regulations and greater cooperation among stakeholders as a long-term solution, according to data analytics and consulting firm GlobalData.
In an industry report, GlobalData has tracked the regulatory and policy changes promoting environmental commitment within the medical device industry, as well as the actions taken by companies to better manage resources and trim their carbon footprint.
It said many companies have started shifting to sustainable packaging, opted for efficient energy consumption and adopted telemedicine applications to reduce their emissions. Regulators, however, need to step up to ensure quality is intact when manufacturing products through their eco-friendly methods, according to Ashley Clarke, medical analyst at the consulting firm.
“Device quality needs to remain a priority, and swift eco-friendly changes will not be made at the expense of patient health,” Clarke said. “Larger, long-term changes to medical devices and manufacturing will rely on proper regulation and risk mitigation.”
The report also urged the sector to improve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) transparency and promote open communication within the industry after greenwashing allegations and excessive scrutiny forced some companies to shy away from disclosing their sustainable goals.
“Change cannot be realized if there is not proper communication between companies, consumers, workers, and investors about environmental initiatives, progress, and challenges,” Clarke added.
A separate survey showed ESG awareness in the industry has increased recently but there is still plenty of room to grow.
It revealed that 45% of respondents have zero ESG plans or are not aware of their companies’ initiatives recently, down from 68% in the previous quarter.
A large portion of respondents also believes legislature and pressure from the government should be the main driver for ESG-related decisions of companies, not just the desire to improve financial standing.
This, as some companies used ESG as a marketing ploy to attract loyal customers despite them not being fully committed to change, it said.