Sustainable packaging: Medline will sponsor national effort to green operating rooms

David Bellm

January 30, 2014

2 Min Read
Sustainable packaging: Medline will sponsor national effort to green operating rooms

Medline Industries, Inc. has joined the group of corporate sponsors of Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the Operating Room (GOR) initiative. This sweeping and prescriptive path to green the nation’s operating rooms was launched earlier this year to reduce the environmental footprint of the operating suites in hospitals across the country, which can produce between 20 and 30 percent of a hospital’s total waste.

Medline, already a business member of Practice Greenhealth, has substantially increased its corporate commitment to sustainability in healthcare with this sponsorship. By doing so, Medline will support and participate in the collaborative efforts of forward-thinking hospitals, manufacturers and related stakeholders, under the auspices of Practice Greenhealth, to develop guidance documents to help reduce the environmental impact of the nation’s operating rooms. Greening the OR will also help hospitals reduce costs, increase quality and improve worker and patient safety.

“A key component of Medline’s corporate strategy is to be environmentally responsible in every aspect of our business,” said Llora Wonder, Vice President Marketing–Acute Care for Medline. “Greening the nation’s operating rooms is another step in our efforts to conserve resources, reduce emissions and support environmental initiatives.”

Operating rooms are some of the most resource-intensive and waste-generating areas of a hospital. A recent study estimated supply costs of operating rooms could eat up as much as 56 percent of total operating room budgets, dwarfing salary costs which run about 35 percent of total operating room budgets. In addition to producing between 20 to 30 percent of a hospital’s total waste volume, much of the waste disposed from operating rooms is thrown out as regulated medical waste, which costs between 10 and 15 times more in disposal fees than regular waste. Much of this waste could be disposed outside of the regulated medical waste stream.

“As the healthcare sector continues to explore the benefits of environmental sustainability in a healthcare environment, it makes sense to focus on those departments with the highest costs, greatest inefficiencies and largest volumes of waste,” said Bob Jarboe, Executive Vice President of Business Development for Practice Greenhealth.

SOURCE: Medline Industries, Inc.

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