Posted on 15-December-2021   by Kevin Cundy

Sustainability in action with no compromise in safety, quality and price

Sustainability, no compromise

Let’s be up front. It’s no secret that the products we develop for our customers are made from plastic. We operate in a complex and regulated marketplace, where the safety of front-line staff and patients is of utmost importance – this is something we will not jeopardise.

However, let’s also address the fact that while plastic is essential for safe healthcare delivery, in some cases plastic is a problem. Its resource extraction, manufacturing, use, and disposal can negatively affect both the environment and human health at each stage of its life cycle.

Healthcare and the environment

The recent COP26 gathering saw the world committing to reducing its environmental impact and targeting net zero.

5.4% of the UK’s total carbon emissions is produced by the NHS. The paradox that our healthcare system contributes so much isn’t lost on anyone. Hospitals, health authorities and NHS leaders are recognising that climate change is one of the great public health crisis of our time and the healthcare sector has the opportunity to lead from the front.

Considerable advances have already been made in the NHS to reduce the environmental impact of its services. I have worked with many trailblazing departments and individuals actively progressing the Greener NHS’s work to reduce carbon. They are playing a critical role in tackling plastic consumption and waste within their own institutions, and inspiring others to do the same.

Supporting the NHS

So, as well as looking at ways to increase our business’s sustainability internally, Daniels Healthcare is also supporting the health system to work in a more sustainable way. 

As the leading provider of sharps and clinical waste containers to the UK healthcare sector, it is our duty to innovate.

We recognise the importance of our responsibility to the environment beyond the legal and regulatory requirements. That’s why we have doubled our efforts to develop the next generation of products utilising sustainably sourced recycled plastics, without compromising on safety and affordability.

Having launched the World’s first UNapproved clinical waste container made from postconsumer recycled plastic in the UK this year and the first waste container range made from 100% recycled plastic in 2020, these foundational steps are part of a larger, longer-term plan to reduce virgin plastic across all products.

We are proud to have managed to achieve this at no extra cost to customers and without comprising at all on quality and safety. In addition, quicker manufacturing times and a manufacturing temperature reduction of 10% means more containers in less time, saving energy consumption and associated emissions.

Plus, there are what may seem like small innovations happening every day, like designing a convex (instead of concave) lid for SHARPSGUARD® containers which maximises useable capacity and necessitates less containers over time.

Our own sustainability journey

Of course we, as a business, have our part to play too. Daniels Healthcare is ISO 50001 certified, an international standard that provides a framework to constantly assess and improve our energy efficiency.

A lot is happening…

  • We’ve recently introduced new multi-impression tooling which enables the manufacture of more containers per hour, reducing electricity consumption and providing better continuity of supply.
  • We purchased a ‘strap tool’ which will reduce the amount of plastic used in each strap (saving around 2508kg of plastic per year).
  • Daniels have taken the Operation Clean Sweep® company pledge to eliminate plastic raw materials entering local water courses.
  • Our couriers are carbon-neutral.
  • Electric car chargers have been installed at our Head Office in Littleborough.
  • All cardboard we use is recycled and all of our cardboard packaging is made from recycled materials and is 100% recyclable.
  • A packing efficacy project took 15 lorries off the road per year.

We are striving to be the most sustainable business that we can be.

We are all champions of sustainability here, but I am personally responsible and determined to provide the leadership and resources needed to ensure sustainability is integrated throughout Daniels Healthcare, and to make certain all the decisions we make today can contribute to a healthier environment tomorrow.

Protection and sustainability – both are paramount

Daniels Healthcare Product LifecycleSo, let’s be upfront again. We are an unapologetic, dedicated advocate of safety-first and protecting our amazing front-line healthcare teams and patients.

However we also promise to constantly evaluate and evolve our product ranges and processes and continuously look for new ways to reduce the environmental impact of our business to help to create a better future for our planet and everyone in it.

Please take a look at our full Sustainability Promise for more information.

Head of Sales and Marketing for Mauser UK & Ireland. Kevin works with our Trade and National sales teams to bring our containers to the market in these regions. He also works with our marketing team to help develop our customer training and communication materials.