Sustainability, innovative solutions for more sustainable healthcare at Ecomondo

Presented by Assosistema Confindustria

Making the NHS more sustainable from an environmental point of view through innovative solutions and products that also allow the cost of disposal to be reduced for the community. This is the objective of the conference ‘The operating room and the green hospital. An experience of environmental sustainability that Assosistema Confindustria, an association representing, among others, the healthcare service and supply industries, organized today at Ecomondo, at the Rimini Fair.

Important representatives from the world of institutions, public buyers and economic operators attended the conference as speakers to discuss how to make public purchases in healthcare less impactful from an environmental point of view. Precisely on these aspects, the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security has presented a project that analyzes the environmental efficiency gains resulting from the issuing of the CAM, which demonstrates how the minimum criteria are a dynamic tool for environmental efficiency. The industrial laundries for public health were also included among the sectors of analysis, which are addressed by two specific Cams, the textile one and the rental and washing of hospital textiles.

On the occasion of the conference, the first analysis data of the Lca and Lcc project on reusable fabric in healthcare compared to disposable fabric were also presented. The difference found is in the reduction in resource consumption and the consequent lower disposal cost. In addition to the presence of the Ministry of the Environment among the speakers, it is also worth highlighting that of the Higher Institute of Health which confirmed how reusable fabric can be a driver of development of the healthcare sector towards environmental sustainability while also maintaining high attention on safety hygienic. Among public buyers, the interventions aimed at illustrating how it is appropriate to change the purchasing model in healthcare were significant. Furthermore, where possible, the operating room also becomes an important theater for environmental efficiency; the technology of new reusable fabrics allows, in fact, to technically respond to the highest performances.

On the same day, an important analysis was presented on how the different composition of the cotton/polyester garment worn by healthcare personnel can lead to greater durability of the textile product, thus extending the life cycle and reducing textile waste. Finally, a circular economy project designed specifically for the industrial laundry sector was launched, which demonstrated how by using textiles at the end of their lifespan from companies, a new reusable product can be created.

“Like every year we participate in Ecomondo to take stock of the environmental innovations that impact our sector and this year we have brought healthcare, one of our main drivers of work for our companies, into the public and private debate – says the president of Assosistema Confindustria Egidio Paoletti – Talking about environmental sustainability in public purchasing is not a given, it is true that there is Cam but it is not enough on its own, we need a collective conscience that orients the choices of public buyers on the topic of how much their choice costs the community of disposable waste and the related cost of incineration”.

For Matteo Nevi, general director of Assosistema Confindustria, “it is therefore necessary to continue to ask public buyers for an environmental commitment because the cost of their choices falls on all citizens twice, both as users of the NHS and as disposal costs In Italy we have a package of rules and experiences on environmental matters which allows us today to be able to guide the ecological transition also at a European level, we no longer have any alibis other than making the most of what we have available right away. What we ask for finally, public buyers need to economically valorise the environmental component in tender notices, it is unthinkable that environmental sustainability is at zero cost, if we want purchases to be green we need tenders that are not built on the maximum discount or on the valorisation of discounts”.