Minimizing our impact
By making smart choices and small changes, we're making a big difference:
- Fewer Materials- Smaller products give our end users the discretion they want and lower our environmental impact
- Recycling Plastic- Waste from our SpeediCath® production is recycled into plastic tiles and soles of shoes in China
- Smarter Packaging- New packaging in our SpeediCath® Upgrade has 50% less aluminum which saves 150 soda cans per user every year
- Recycling Silver-We’re recycling the leftover silver from the production waste of our Biatain® Ag wound care dressings
Our growth as a company doesn't mean a larger global footprint
From the moment we start developing a new product, we consider the environment. We continuously evaluate our product development process to ensure it has the lowest environmental impact possible. Our choices in raw materials and methods of production and disposal help reduce the impact on the environment:
Being mindful of our choices of raw materials is where we see our biggest environmental impact. Commonly used materials include oil to make plastic and aluminum for packaging. We reduce our use of raw materials as much as possible.
When it comes to product production, energy efficiency is key. This year, we achieved an absolute CO2 reduction of 3% from our production facilities and warehouses. We've set an ambitious target to reduce our CO2 output by 10% by 2013/14 (with a baseline from 2010). Among our other ambitions is to reduce the amount of product we transport by air. This change by itself is expected to reduce our CO2 emissions by 4,000 tons.
Due to infection risks, we do not recommend recycling products. However, this doesn't mean that we don't do our part. We focus on reducing the amount of production waste, and when when it's possible, we recycle. This year we've reduced the amount of waste per product by 10%
Environmental Awareness from the start
During product development, we assess the environmental impact of the materials and processes we are using. We often succeed in finding new ways of doing things that reduce environmental impact.
We carry out a so-called lifecycle screening, assessing the environmental impact of our products from production to use and disposal, including related issues such as transport and packaging.
Our environmental specialists work alongside engineers and pharmacists during product development, they advise the development team and make suggestions for materials, chemicals and designs based on environmental considerations.
Plastic isn't just plastic
We develop, manufacture and market medical devices for people with intimate healthcare needs. Plastic is a suitable material for many of these products because it is flexible, lightweight and impervious. Plastic is also useful for packaging our products as it keeps out dirt and bacteria.
We take into consideration a wide range of environmental factors:
Most plastics are made from natural resources that can only be renewed slowly, such as crude oil and natural gas, so we try to make the most of the raw materials we use and avoid waste.
The materials our suppliers use to manufacture certain types of plastic can be hazardous if handled incorrectly. We assess our supply chain to make sure that workplaces are safe.
Additives help make our products flexible, noise and odor-free, and enable us to provide a wide range of tailored product choices. The use of some additives is controversial, such as DEHP, a plasticizer used in PVC. We no longer permit the use of DEHP in new product development. DEHP-free Coloplast products include the popular SpeediCath catheter and Security+ urine bags.
Coloplast recognizes the concern that the use of phthalates in medical devices is giving rise to. In particular, this is a concern for products designed for children and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Phthalate-free materials are now used in all our new products. Expansion of an existing product range, such as new sizes of existing products, is not considered a new product.
Read our Phthalates policy