As our planet experiences unprecedented shifts in climate patterns, the healthcare sector faces unique challenges in adapting to and mitigating the consequences of these changes. For hospitals, working with sustainability is a twofold challenge, as the industry is a major contributor to issues of waste and consumption.
As resource efficiency becomes a critical focus of the healthcare industry, Silentia remains committed to supporting hospitals with future-proof patient privacy.
The challenge of sustainability in healthcare
According to recent studies, US hospitals generate over 29 pounds of waste per bed per day (Practice Greenhealth, 2023), reaching a total of 7000 tons of solid waste per day nationally (STATnews, 2018). Globally, in many countries around the world, health systems account for 5%-10% of carbon emissions.
«There has been a perception in the sector that green initiatives are costly, but you’re choosing to eliminate waste, and waste is usually associated with cost,» says Matthew Meyer, University of Virginia (Bloomberg, 2022).
Considering the environmental impact of waste from the healthcare sector, hospitals must adopt a proactive approach to mitigate the effects. There are two key factors toward a more sustainable future: energy conservation and conscientious use of materials. By reducing energy and material resources and ongoing costs to use and upkeep them, hospitals will see key environmental and financial advantages.
This calls for innovative and proven products designed to advance the transition from short-termism to long-term solutions. This is at the core of ensuring a more resilient healthcare system.
Supporting sustainable healthcare through resource-efficiency
At Silentia, we welcome the increased attentiveness towards climate-friendly products and initiatives. For more than 30 years, Silentia has been committed to supplying hospitals with future-proof patient privacy.
For many of our customers, the emphasis has been, and still is, to replace privacy curtains to improve hygiene and prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). However, our customers are also seeing the environmental benefits of replacing curtains, which require significant resources and yield significant waste during their use phase.
Silentia screens have a proven lifetime of more than 10 years, eliminating the ongoing logistics, labor, and recurrent waste associated with exchanging and laundering curtains over that time. Thus, as we reaffirm our commitment to resource-efficient solutions and continue to improve the quality and lifetime of our screen system, our customers’ total cost of ownership will continue to decrease, and environmental benefits will continue to increase.
To achieve this, we have established five eco-design principles, which solidify our commitment to and accountability for products that will support resource efficiency and our customers’ sustainability efforts.
Hygiene: Design that optimizes infection prevention and control.
Safety: Stable, reliable, and user-friendly products.
Durability: Products built to last with a proven lifetime of 10+ years.
Reusability: Products with modular, compatible design, able to be reinstalled.
Repairability: Minimal design and materials that allow for easy maintenance locally.
Going forward, we will share more cases where our screen system has helped hospitals and clinics around the world improve their resource efficiency and provide better care. Moreover, as a company, we will move forward with an increased focus on ESG reporting and collaboration with our suppliers. Stay tuned for more!
Want to know more about our commitment to a more sustainable future of healthcare? Check out these resources:
Sustainability page: Read about our approach to resource-efficient patient privacy solutions.
Case story: Explore the sustainable and economic benefits of a screen recycling project at Gødstrup Hospital.
Total cost of ownership: Get insights on calculating TCO by comparing privacy screens and cubicle curtains.
Connect with our team or directly with our sustainability specialist, Jonas Fribo, at email@example.com.