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MEDICAL APPAREL AND TEXTILES

9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Consider suppliers with reusable medical textile options over single-use perioperative textiles

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SDG Alignment

Target Description

Level of Effort

UN SDG Target

9.4

By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

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Category Assessment

Assessment

Q

Heading 4

(1) Assess your current inventory and cross-reference with waste disposal data. you should have visibility in your waste disposal spend in relation to your carbon emission and textiles usage. Perform cost analysis of switching from your current disposal textiles to reusable options.
(2) If step (1) is too resource-intensive, start with a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of your currently in-use stock. measure the impact of the product from usage to disposal, track carbon footprint.
(3) Approach your current suppliers and see if they provide alternative supplies that are reusable. If not, make a case internally for the economics and environmental benefits of switching to reusables.

Opportunity

Heading 4

Business:
Buyers will have visibility in supplier practices; identifying sustainable guidelines when the company seeks out new suppliers. A push for better buying practice and inventory control will be a long-term cost saver.

Sustainability:
Better involvement in supplier operations and alignment, this will drive for more sustainable practices, hence reducing carbon emission throughout the Lifecycle for the textiles' lifetime.

Strategy Build & Execution

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(1) Submit a change order to contract, to include a sustainability clause and incentives for switching from disposal textiles to reusables.
(2) Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a new inventory system, the need to clean products and garments, etc.
(3) Leverage with suppliers on cost savings, storage, and building a sustainability model for cost reductions.
(4) Establish sustainability benchmarks; would be beneficial to include regular sustainable reporting if the budget allows.
(5) Agree on the quality and maintenance accountability and responsibility, quality management, the turnaround time for orders, and the opportunity to sell/receive credits for contributing excess pallets to the system.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

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(1) Negotiate with existing/potential suppliers on the value-adding elements such as shipping and handling and disposal of end-of-life supplies.
(2) Consider the implementation of a warranty program with suppliers in case the quality of the sustainable alternative is not up to standard or as discussed.
(3) Leverage a long-term contract/guaranteed business and anticipated volumes for a lower rate with suppliers.
(4) Offer incentives to suppliers who prove continuous improvements in standards and upkeep with healthcare policies and regulations; choose suppliers that can leverage long-term sustainable solutions.

Supplier Performance & Management

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There should be regularly scheduled meetings to align with stakeholders, board members, and suppliers on the proceedings of the new contracts.
Integrate the reporting of CO2 emission reductions into the annual supplier performance management.
Schedule annual meetings to discuss new technologies or products released in the market concerning sustainable medical textiles and the scope for the procurement of such products.

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