At the recent Healthcare Procurement Summit in Brussels, multinational conglomerate Philips set out the risks posed to supply chains by climate change – and the steps it felt procurers should take.
The risks posed to the supply chain include an increase in infectious diseases, an increase in migration, weather changes like those seen over the summer, rising sea levels, and the reputational risk which comes with not treating climate change seriously enough.
A host of consequences could follow, such as pricing on greenhouse gas emissions, requirements for renewable energy, technology which offers low carbon solutions, and a changing landscape of expectations from investors, consumers and partners – all of which will impact healthcare providers.
Healthcare is in a unique situation to deal with this issue. The industry is responsible for 4.4% of global emissions – higher than aviation and shipping – and consumes 10% of materials. Procurement is an especially important combatant as 71% of the emissions in healthcare come from the supply chain. It’s no wonder 58% of healthcare executives say sustainability will be a top priority within three years.
When asked about the costs linked with a transition to sustainability, a spokesman for Philips told HBI: “If you look at the materials, they might be more expensive, but you want to imagine suppliers understand the risks of climate change for our business. We are actually looking at their long-term survival in some ways.”We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Joe Quiruga or call 0207 183 3779.