Healing the Earth


The Vital Role of Healthcare on Earth Day

As we celebrate Earth Day, the focus often turns to actions we can take as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the environment. While initiatives like recycling, reducing energy consumption, and saving green spaces are vital, there's another sector that plays a significant role in Earth's well-being: healthcare.

Healthcare is not only about treating illnesses and injuries; it's also about promoting wellness. And in that mission, healthcare intersects with environmental stewardship in numerous positive ways:

Promoting Sustainable Practices
While medical packaging is essential for protecting patient health, there are many other ways healthcare facilities can lead by example by adopting sustainable practices in their operations. This includes reducing energy consumption, implementing water-saving measures, and sourcing eco-friendly materials where possible. By investing in renewable energy sources and prioritizing energy-efficient equipment, healthcare providers can make a significant difference. Sometimes, the simple things can have a great impact over time.

Reducing Medical Waste
Hospitals and healthcare facilities generate a substantial amount of waste daily. From single-use plastics to hazardous materials, the healthcare sector has a responsibility to manage its waste in an environmentally-friendly manner. Implementing recycling programs, choosing more efficient solutions when applicable, and properly disposing of hazardous materials are crucial steps in minimizing the environmental impact of medical waste.

As one example, CONMED offers a recycling program for their disposable CleanGuide™ Dilators. Reusable dilators involve complex reprocessing that requires significant water, chemical, and single-use cleaning supply usage each time. Therefore, proper recycling of some disposable products can potentially lessen the carbon footprint and lower facility costs.

Advocating for Public Health Policies
Healthcare professionals are trusted sources of information and can play a crucial role in educating patients and communities about the connections between environmental health and human health. Climate change has the potential to pose significant risks to public health, including increased rates of infectious diseases and resource insecurity. Healthcare professionals can use their unique platform to advocate for policies that address these environmental challenges and prioritize public health. By supporting initiatives like clean air regulations, sustainable agriculture practices, and renewable energy incentives, healthcare providers can contribute to a healthier planet and population.

Notably, this is seen in the recent push for surgical smoke evacuation to aid health care professional and patient health. Legislation in some of the United States and other regions has already been enacted, creating a safer operating room. CONMED supports this initiative by offering the largest surgical smoke evacuation portfolio - because Every Breath Matters.

Partner with Vendors that Care
It is important to make the right partnerships, as these have an impact on your environmental stewardship and operational efficiency. CONMED is committed to sustainability. With their Utica, NY manufacturing site becoming a Certified RecycleOne Business, and their Chihuahua, Mexico facility holding Clean Industry Certification since 2015, you can be sure that both the environment and the customer matter to CONMED.

On this Earth Day, let us recognize the integral role that healthcare plays in preserving the health of our planet. The healthcare sector can be a powerful force for positive change, and together we can work toward a healthier future for both humanity and planet Earth.

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