Sustainability—A Personal Protective Equipment Perspective

Sustainability—A Personal Protective Equipment Perspective

Sustainable Practice Adoption Across the Value Chain will Help Gain Consumer Confidence

RELEASE DATE
17-May-2023
REGION
Global
Research Code: PE2D-01-00-00-00
SKU: PP00232-GL-MT_27681
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Description

The personal protective equipment (PPE) industry is at a nascent stage regarding sustainable practice adoption. However, sustainability will gain traction in the PPE industry as the manufacturers and consumers’ awareness of environmental issues grows and global government initiatives proposed to reduce carbon footprint advance.

Manufacturers focus on sourcing sustainable and recycled raw materials, improving the recyclability and biodegradability of the product, and adopting energy-efficient and less water-consuming production processes. Indeed, many manufacturers are shifting to renewable energy sources to run their business operations and reduce their carbon footprints.

End-use companies demand sustainable products and processes to meet their carbon emission targets under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 3, which will push PPE manufacturers to follow sustainable practices, such as hiring sustainability officers to manage the process.

Europe leads the world’s efforts toward a sustainable future by introducing various strategic initiatives such as the Green Deal, Single-Use Plastic Legislation, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and the Digital Product Passport (DPP), among others. These initiatives—if applied to the PPE industry—will ensure faster implementation of sustainability practices.

Some PPE manufacturers have already integrated sustainability in their products and processes, and the driving forces behind sustainable practices implementation include an enhanced brand image, a higher conversion rate, and the chances of winning government contracts where sustainability is a prerequisite.

However, sustainable waste management remains challenging for healthcare PPE manufacturers, as healthcare waste cannot be recycled due to contamination. This waste is either incinerated to produce energy or disinfected using autoclaves and then disposed of in landfills.
Increasing durability and introducing more wash-friendly and reusable PPE products will be more beneficial in reducing carbon emissions than recycling, as not all PPE products can be recycled. Companies can also design industrial PPE compatible with the landfill gas recovery (waste-to-energy) process, another option to reduce the impact of PPE waste.

This study analyzes the major hurdles for the PPE industry’s development of sustainable practices: the high cost and low returns on investment of incorporating sustainability in businesses, the lack of uniform standards and regulations, the lack of universal measuring and reporting tools and methods for quantifying the impact of sustainability efforts, and poor visibility of adoption of sustainable practices in case of contract manufacturing.

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The personal protective equipment (PPE) industry is at a nascent stage regarding sustainable practice adoption. However, sustainability will gain traction in the PPE industry as the manufacturers and consumers’ awareness of environmental issues grows and global government initiatives proposed to reduce carbon footprint advance. Manufacturers focus on sourcing sustainable and recycled raw materials, improving the recyclability and biodegradability of the product, and adopting energy-efficient and less water-consuming production processes. Indeed, many manufacturers are shifting to renewable energy sources to run their business operations and reduce their carbon footprints. End-use companies demand sustainable products and processes to meet their carbon emission targets under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 3, which will push PPE manufacturers to follow sustainable practices, such as hiring sustainability officers to manage the process. Europe leads the world’s efforts toward a sustainable future by introducing various strategic initiatives such as the Green Deal, Single-Use Plastic Legislation, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and the Digital Product Passport (DPP), among others. These initiatives—if applied to the PPE industry—will ensure faster implementation of sustainability practices. Some PPE manufacturers have already integrated sustainability in their products and processes, and the driving forces behind sustainable practices implementation include an enhanced brand image, a higher conversion rate, and the chances of winning government contracts where sustainability is a prerequisite. However, sustainable waste management remains challenging for healthcare PPE manufacturers, as healthcare waste cannot be recycled due to contamination. This waste is either incinerated to produce energy or disinfected using autoclaves and then disposed of in landfills. Increasing durability and introducing more wash-friendly and reusable PPE products will be more beneficial in reducing carbon emissions than recycling, as not all PPE products can be recycled. Companies can also design industrial PPE compatible with the landfill gas recovery (waste-to-energy) process, another option to reduce the impact of PPE waste. This study analyzes the major hurdles for the PPE industry’s development of sustainable practices: the high cost and low returns on investment of incorporating sustainability in businesses, the lack of uniform standards and regulations, the lack of universal measuring and reporting tools and methods for quantifying the impact of sustainability efforts, and poor visibility of adoption of sustainable practices in case of contract manufacturing.
More Information
Author Ruchira Sunil Yadav
Industries Personal Protective Equipment
No Index No
Is Prebook No
Keyword 1 Sustainable PPE
Keyword 2 personal protective equipment market
Keyword 3 ppe market
Podcast No
WIP Number PE2D-01-00-00-00