As a global CDMO, our responsibility goes beyond just delivering high-quality medical devices. Our goal is to improve the lives of millions of patients worldwide and promote sustainable development of medtech. Each year, we produce a Sustainability Report to share what we do and what actions we have taken in the past year. Here is a summary of 2022.
Sustainability is part of our strategy and mission
We take long-term financial, social, and environmental responsibility for our business and how it affects our stakeholders. Like all companies seeking growth and earnings, our challenge is to optimize our social and environmental commitment in parallel. Our sustainability strategy is part of our overall strategy and mission. We believe that customer-focused business development and an ethical approach to our business relationships help us build a sustainable organization.
10 actions taken in 2022 to promote sustainable development of medtech
In 2022, we did a lot of things to promote sustainable development of medical technology. Here are 10 of all of the actions that were taken during the year.
1. Installing new ventilation in our Danish production site
To create a cleaner and safer environment for our employees at our Gorlose production site, we installed a process ventilation system, including air exchangers, oil mist extractors, and heat exchangers, in 2022. This significantly improved air exchange in the production halls, reduced oil mist in the air, and increased energy efficiency. With the new system, our Gorlose production site has achieved a much better indoor climate with more stable and comfortable temperature levels, cleaner air, and higher air quality.
2. Initiating an energy optimization project in Denmark
In 2022, our Gorlose production site also initiated an energy optimization project. Connecting the heat pump to the central cooling water system, it now delivers heating far more efficiently than before. The energy optimization, together with the new process ventilation system, allows the site to recycle as much energy as possible.
3. Installing new mist collectors in our US production site
Our Memphis production site has 34 grinders, 33 CNC lathes, and 12-point grinders, all with mist collectors. In 2021, we began replacing the original mist collectors with newer and more efficient ones. In 2022, we replaced the mist collectors in 34 more machines, and we plan to replace another 20 in 2023. We now have a much better indoor climate with cleaner air and higher air quality in our production facility, and we are looking forward to an even better climate after replacing the remaining mist collectors in 2023.
4. Refining our energy data collection
During 2022, we continued to refine our energy data collection and method of analysis. More information and a better understanding of where in the process energy is consumed have given us more data with increased reliability. To some extent, this has made comparing the years more difficult. For example, the energy and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from transportation have increased between 2021 and 2022. The main reason behind this increase is not due to an increase in transportation but rather a better way of understanding and collecting data.
5. Using renewable energy and decreasing CO2
Purchased electricity is our main source of energy consumption. In 2022, 55% of the electricity came from renewable energy sources, and 100% of the electricity purchased at our sites in Sweden and Denmark was renewable. By using renewable energy, we have now decreased our CO2 emissions from 7.100 tons to 6.800 tons.
6. Using wastewater equipment to reduce water usage
All our production sites are connected to municipal treatment plants via the sewage system. A small part of the process water is contaminated by metal residues and oil. This is treated as contaminated waste and disposed of by certified waste service providers. In China, we are using a wastewater treatment plant to recycle water from our production processes. The wastewater equipment has reduced the consumption of water used to rinse the tanks of the ST line, as the water can be reused several times.
7. Engaging certified providers for recycling services
At Elos Medtech, we sort all core raw materials, metals, and plastics for recycling. Examples of other recycled, non-hazardous waste include cardboard, paper, wood, and plastic. We work continuously to improve our internal solutions for recycling and have engaged certified service providers for suitable disposal and recycling services.
8. Reporting and reducing GHG emissions
Most of our GHG emissions originate from the energy used to run our production sites and transport material. We measure our GHG intensity yearly and collect data on electricity used, district heating, transportation, employee travel, and more to identify more efficient and sustainable solutions. In 2022, we worked to offset our carbon footprint from 2021 through CO2 removal certificates. During 2022, the purchased certificates offset around 75% of our CO2 footprint from our activities in 2021.
9. Preparing for installing solar panels in all production sites
In 2022, we performed a pre-study to evaluate the possibility of installing solar panels in all our production sites. Specifically at our Chinese site, this would make a positive contribution as it is harder to source renewable energy there today. The result of the pre-study was positive, indicating that we can supply 10-15% of our electricity from our own roof. We also discovered a state-initiated plan for the industrial park where we are located in China to place solar panels on all buildings in the area during 2023 and 2024.
10. Performing energy mapping in our Swedish production sites
At the beginning of 2022, we performed Energy Mapping in our Swedish sites. The work was performed together with a certified professional. The report gave a good description of the status of our Swedish facilities and possible improvement areas to reduce energy use. We shared the result amongst our other production sites and took action to continue the journey towards more energy-effective production.
Let’s make the medtech industry more sustainable together
We live in a time when sustainability is crucial for shaping a better future. By working together, we can reach our goal of improving the lives of millions of patients worldwide while promoting sustainable development of medtech. Let’s take mutual responsibility for making the medtech industry more sustainable. Together, we can change the game and shape a future where both people and the planet thrive.
If you want to know more about everything else we do to promote sustainable development of medtech, check out our full Sustainability Report for 2022.