Getinge: Innovation and sustainability must walk hand in hand

Making sustainability an integrated part of every Getinge innovation project is key to reaching our ambitious environmental goals. This may sound obvious – but getting the right mindset and tools in place is a tough challenge that requires a lot of attention across the organization.

“Getinge is evolving fast in this area. The visions and strategies for enabling sustainable development are in place. Now, it is a matter of sharpening processes and systems to optimize our solutions,” says Claudio Simão, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the Surgical Workflows business area.

Claudio, who joined Getinge recently, has a solid background in driving growth and technology development in global operations.

“The opportunity of using technology to solve problems that sometimes seem overwhelming should never be underestimated. This includes the environmental challenges the global community is facing at the moment,” he says.

Claudio continues: “The development focus in industries has shifted over the years, from design to cost, via design to value, to design for sustainability. In our case, the scope goes beyond obvious areas as reducing emissions and using resources wisely. Making entire systems more productive, for instance by doing the same with less, is equally important.”

Synchronizing devices, such as tables, lights, imaging and analytics tools in the operating room (OR), may cut the time a surgical team needs for an operation with 10 percent or more. This increased efficiency is of course also more sustainable. Energy and water consumption, as well as the use of anesthetic agent, per surgery can be reduced.

Another example of doing the same with less originates in our Life Science team, who has designed stackable sterilizer shelves that are turned 180° to achieve two different distances. This enables the same shelf sets to be used for vials, bottles and bags with different heights. Using one rack instead of two saves resources.

A third project focuses on reducing the use of stainless steel, which is recyclable but energy consuming to produce.

“We are offering suitable customers to upgrade their current sterilizers with the latest technology instead of building new. Since the main structure can be kept, we reduce the need for new stainless steel considerably,” explains Jens Knobe, Vice President Product and Business Development within the Life Science business area.

These examples highlight that innovations potential can be found in all parts of the development process. Lars Lindquist, Senior Director, Life Science R&D, explains:

“Following EcoDesign principles, looking at the solutions from a lifecycle perspective, will provide us with a holistic picture. A current Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) pilot for washer disinfectors and sterilizers provides insights about factors such as inbound material, packaging, deliveries, etc.”

He continues: “This will point us towards significant contributors. Is there a significant opportunity for minimizing the packaging material without compromising the protection of content? Or should we look at other things first to maximize the invested engineering time?”

Reinforcing the EcoDesign process is a major success factor once our efforts to become carbon neutral are extended from our own operations (Scope 1 and 2) to include emissions from other activities upstream and downstream in the value chain (Scope 3) as well.

Jens concludes: “We have taken the first steps on our EcoDesign journey. To keep up with the demands from society and conscious customers, we must ramp up the pace and make sustainability a natural part of everything we design and develop.”

About Getinge

With a firm belief that every person and community should have access to the best possible care, Getinge provides hospitals and life science institutions with products and solutions that aim to improve clinical results and optimize workflows. The offering includes products and solutions for intensive care, cardiovascular procedures, operating rooms, sterile reprocessing and life science. Getinge employs over 10,000 people worldwide and the products are sold in more than 135 countries.

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