Environmental sustainability in healthcare

The climate crisis is one of the greatest environmental challenges and one of the greatest health threats – of the 21st century. In the COP21 Paris Agreement, national governments pledged to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius and continue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We support this global challenge, pursuing measures of our own and following a long-term strategy as a responsible company. Heeding the urgent call of science for a decarbonized global economy, we aim to be carbon neutral of our own emissions by 2030.

Striving toward a circular economy
In view of the sharply rising demand for raw materials around the world, exacerbated by a scarcity of natural resources, we believe that the take-make-dispose model is no longer appropriate. We strive toward a circular economy as a way of proactively preparing for the imminent challenges, such as material shortages, and harness cost benefits by increasing the proportion of reused, repaired and refurbished components. Our Product Eco Excellence program optimizes the environmental performance of our products over all life cycle phases with a focus on energy efficiency, keeping the use of hazardous substances to an absolute minimum, and extending the useful life of products and components. In the past decade, Siemens Healthineers has actively supported the voluntary self-regulatory initiative (SRI) on EcoDesign led by the European industry association COCIR with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of medical imaging devices. With some MRI products we were able to achieve a reduced daily energy consumption of up to 30%.

Mitigate our environmental impact
Our "Serve the Environment" program aims to mitigate the environmental impact of our business activities at our various sites. We continuously pursue energy efficiency efforts with a view to reducing our carbon footprint and non-recyclable waste as well as minimizing the use of ozone-depleting substances. We are convinced that our efforts toward decarbonization and resource conservation in the context of our climate action and the transition toward a circular economy programs are a sustainable response to societal expectations, a promise to future generations, a lever to increase our customers’ competitiveness, and a crucial component in our own resilience and future viability.

Combat climat change by reducing our carbon footprint in healthcare

We apply a holistic approach to decarbonization: Running our global operations, sourcing materials and services, operating vehicle fleets, and transporting and operating our products all have an environmental and climate-related impact. We must therefore significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions within our control, while also substantially influencing the emissions caused by our suppliers and customers, as well as those arising from business travel.

Reduce our carbon footprint
To highlight this priority, we have implemented measures to significantly reduce our carbon footprint: Our environmental portfolio currently comprises 36 energy-efficient products designed to help customers reduce their environmental footprint and lifecycle costs and improve their environmental performance. Meanwhile, we have prioritized the procurement of renewable energy, introduced a new fleet policy to encourage the transition to eMobility and lower-emission cars, avoided business travel in favor of digital collaboration formats, and launched a "Supplier Carbon Assessment and Reduction" program in our supply chain.

We aim to achieve carbon neutrality in our own operations by 2030, and are in the process of setting ourselves long-term targets in line with the Paris Agreement to bring about substantial reductions in the carbon emissions associated with upstream activities in our supply chain, our direct operations, and the use of our products by customers. In this way, we are contributing to UN SDG 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, and UN SDG 13 “Climate Action”.

Transition toward a ciruclar economy in healthcare

Supporting the transition to a circular economy is a crucial aspect of our sustainability approach, and an essential step toward creating a regenerative and healthy environment. To think and act in a way that benefits the circular economy is to proactively prepare for the impending global challenges such as resource and material shortages. Our understanding of a circular economy is based on the following principles: reusing resources, material and products, maintaining and upgrading our installed products with a view to safety and reliability, eliminating waste, and recycling responsibly. These principles are implemented in our products, services, and processes.

Refurbishing medical imaging
A key element of our commitment to the circular economy is refurbishing medical imaging to create the ecoline product portfolio, which maximizes the use of our products and components while conserving resources and raw materials within their functional and economic lifecycle. By continuously leveraging circular practices and business models at Siemens Healthineers, we are contributing to UN SDG 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production” and UN SDG 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”.