Hospitals prioritize sustainable purchasing in supply chain decisions

More than half of hospitals (54 percent) currently factor sustainability into purchasing decisions, and 80 percent expect to do the same within two years, according to a Harris Poll commissioned by Johnson & Johnson.

Specifically, hospitals prioritize sustainability most for the following products, both globally and in the U.S.: multi-use surgical devices, single-use surgical devices, decontaminators/washers/sterilizers/autoclaves and wound care products.

Eight in 10 respondents said sustainable products benefit and protect hospital staff, and nearly six in 10 respondents said such initiatives help improve health outcomes.

Respondents in the U.S. noted the following as the most important sustainability considerations: energy efficient devices (83 percent), recyclable packaging (81 percent), latex-free devices (80 percent), products designed for multi-use (79 percent) and a tie between devices free of heavy metals, reduced packaging size and products using recycling content in packaging (78 percent).

However, only 38 percent of hospitals report tracking ROI from purchasing sustainable products, and 80 percent said the cost of implementation and lack of affordable sustainable products are the greatest barriers to going green. Sixty-seven percent of respondents indicated the lack of available products with sustainable features was a barrier.

"We're at a tipping point with sustainability issues impacting the health care industry," said Keith Sutter, director of medical device and diagnostics sustainability at Johnson & Johnson. "Professionals today understand that investments in more sustainable operations are critical to the success of hospitals, but as suppliers, we need to help them prove greater return on investment so they can deliver improved options to patients while decreasing the impact on the environment."

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