Alexandra Hammond, Essentia’s Associate Director of Sustainability recently took part in a live online Q&A on the benefits of the circular economy – reducing waste and closing resource loops. The debate was hosted on the Guardian circular economy section from 1-2pm on 3 February. Here she looks at the main themes that came out of the debate.
“The Q&A produced a vibrant and fast paced conversation on how materials and products in healthcare can be better utilised to save money, time and reduce environmental impact. Several approaches were discussed, including opportunities to re-manufacture office furniture and equipment.
Exciting new ways of thinking about waste in healthcare dominated the discussion, including designing products to last or be easily modified or upgraded, as well as ensuring products at the end of life are re-manufactured. Sharing high value equipment across sites or between healthcare organisations was also looked at as a vital way of saving resources while delivering the highest quality care.
Changing people’s perceptions of re-manufactured goods, for example medical diagnostic equipment and mobility aids such as crutches was a key theme, and it was acknowledged that in order to fully realise the benefits of circular economy principles in healthcare, a number of stakeholders will need to be engaged throughout the journey so all can be assured that patient care is at the heart of decision making.”
Alexandra Hammond, Associate Director, Sustainability