The goal of the medtech industry is ultimately to save lives and improve the health of millions of people worldwide. This requires sustainable development. Despite the challenges Covid-19 brought us in the past year, we stayed fully committed to achieving our sustainability goals. In this blog post, I share how we contributed as a CDMO to a more sustainable medtech industry in 2020.

Taking financial, social, and environmental responsibility

We take long-term financial, social, and environmental responsibility for how our business affects our stakeholders and the world we live in. Each year, we define several sustainability goals to improve these areas continuously. As 2020 has passed, it is now time to look back at how we did. Did we achieve our sustainability goals?

1. Improve evaluation regarding sustainability of our critical suppliers 

One of our goals in 2020 was to improve our evaluation regarding sustainability of our critical suppliers. Over the past years, sustainability and evaluating the efforts made in our organization have been a top priority. In 2020, we took an even greater responsibility throughout our entire supply chain by also including our critical suppliers.

2. Make investments that are beneficial for the environment

Reducing our environmental footprint is an important part of our business. In 2020, we wanted to secure that sustainable investments corresponded to at least 5% of the agreed investment spending. Last year, we invested in new machines for the expansion of our production plants in Memphis and Skara. We replaced old equipment with new and more sustainable technology such as heat exchangers, air compression, and lighting.

3. Increase response rate to 80% in our Employee Engagement Survey

Our employees are our greatest asset. Each year, we ask our employees to participate in an Employee Engagement Survey. This allows us to make good decisions based on their needs and wishes. In China, we got a very high response rate in 2020. However, because of layoffs due to the pandemic, we were not able to collect answers across our entire organization.

4. Increase employers’ awareness on how to live more sustainably

At Elos Medtech, we believe change starts with your mindset. Our ambition is to become a more sustainable company but also to increase sustainability awareness among our employees. In 2020, we launched a campaign to provide tips and advice for our employees on how to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives. We also invested in an electric bus for our employees in China to promote green transportation to and from work.

5. Compensate our CO2 footprint through renewable energy certificate

The majority of our greenhouse gas emissions come from energy consumption, transportation of raw materials and finished products, and employee travel. Our goal for 2020 was to compensate for our CO2 footprint through a renewable energy certificate and reach Scandinavian levels at all production sites. We achieved our goal, and the result of 2020 will serve as the target for future certificates.

6. Reduce our scrap rate at the end of 2020

Another goal for 2020 was to reduce our scrap rate, which we significantly did. The expansion of our production plant in Memphis in the previous year generated a lot of waste. The fact that the expansion is now completed, combined with the pandemic’s negative impact on production demand, is the biggest reason for the reduced scrap rate.

7. Report water consumption regularly in water-stressed areas

All our production sites are connected to municipal wastewater treatment plants. A small part of the process water is polluted by metal residues and oil. This is treated as contaminated waste and disposed of by certified waste service providers. One of our goals for 2020 was to better review our water consumption, especially in the areas where there is a shortage of water. We have carefully monitored our water consumption across our organization and will continue working to achieve the lowest possible water consumption for all sites.

Elos Medtech’s sustainability goals for 2021

For 2021, we continue to set the bar high for sustainability. We have formulated our goals based on focus areas where our business has the greatest impact and where we have the greatest possibilities to improve the lives of patients.

Care for our people

  • Our employees will always be a top priority, and we want them to be part of our sustainable development. Our goal for 2021 is, therefore, to increase the response rate further to 85% in our Employee Engagement Survey.
  • Every year, we review personal development plans and link the results to individual goals to ensure career development. In 2021, we want to track the number of education hours per employee to encourage personal growth and development.

Care for our business

  • We want to continue raising awareness about the environmental impact of our decisions and investments. In 2021, our goal is to secure that sustainable investments correspond to at least 5% of the agreed investment spending.
  • As a CDMO, taking responsibility for sustainability goes beyond our organization; it also includes suppliers and other business partners that are part of our supply chain. Our goal for 2021 is to include sustainability in our supplier audits and encourage them to improve their sustainability performance.

Care for our responsibilities

  • We measure greenhouse gas intensity every year. We collect data on business travel and how our employees commute to identify more efficient and sustainable transport modes. Our goal for 2021 is to further reduce our overall CO2 footprint.
  • Reducing our scrap rate has been one of our sustainability goals for many years. Nevertheless, it is an important goal also for 2021. We are very proud of what we have achieved so far. However, we believe there is always room for improvement.
  • Another goal for 2021 is to carry out energy mapping in all our production sites. We want to collect data about how much energy we consume and how much energy comes from renewable energy sources such as wind power.
  • More of our customers focus on sustainability and place emphasis on the EcoVadis score. The score reflects the quality of a company’s sustainability management system. In 2021, we want to become even better and improve our EcoVadis score.
  • To further anchor sustainability in our organization, our goal for 2021 is to appoint persons, both locally and globally, responsible for sustainability and leading the team.

How important is it that your CDMO contributes to more sustainable development in the medtech industry? Please, share your thoughts in the comments! For more info about Elos Medtech and our commitment to sustainability, visit our website.