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Health Care Industry Wants Green Products

Environmental sustainability and green attributes rank high in the purchasing decisions of Institutional Delivery Networks (IDNs) and hospitals in the United States, Brazil, Germany, and Italy, new research reveals.

In fact, a majority of respondents (54%) rated the impact of “green” on purchasing decisions for health care products and supplies—specifically, pharmaceuticals and medical devices and diagnostics—an 8 or higher on a 10-point scale.

“Such a high rating means they are emotionally attached, that they feel strongly about it,” explains Dave Bauer, Senior Market Research Consultant, of SK&A, an independent research firm that conducted the research on behalf of Medical Devices & Diagnostics Global Services LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company.

In January through March 2012, SK&A surveyed key decision makers within IDNs and hospitals on the importance of green/sustainability on their purchasing decisions. Respondents included health care professionals, procurement/materials management, and hospital executives in all four countries. The completed surveys (145 in the United States., 50 in Germany, 50 in Italy, and 62 in Brazil) were then compiled and averaged on a non-weighted basis to calculate the global results.

The survey found that nearly one-third of current requests for proposals for medical products include green attributes, while key decision makers expect nearly 40% of future requests for proposals to include green attributes (see infographic below).



The report also found that among customer perceptions of top manufacturers about their level of green sustainability, Johnson & Johnson is the highest rated company globally with 45% of respondents rating them an 8 or higher.

“Our customers expect us to provide them with environmentally-preferable product offerings that align with their values,” said Keith Sutter, Senior Product Director, Worldwide Environment, Health & Safety. “Our Earthwards process is the way we at Johnson & Johnson address these customer demands for more sustainable and innovative healthcare products.”

The proprietary Earthwards process enables Johnson & Johnson company brands to develop and market greener products through lifecycle analysis. Every Earthwards recognized product must achieve a greater than 10 percent improvement in at least three of the seven goal areas: materials used, packaging reduction, energy reduction, waste reduction, water reduction, positive social impact or benefit, and product innovation.

Bart King is a PR consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.


Health Care Without Harm

On the forefront of sustainable health care is Health Care Without Harm. They are "an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups" who work "to implement ecologically sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease."

Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also Associate Editor of Sponsored Content for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_king [Read more about Bart King]

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