July 25, 2024

Health Minds

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Over Half Of Indian Healthcare Firms Have Adopted Zero Liquid Discharge: Report

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Over half of Indian healthcare firms have embraced zero liquid discharge and implemented sustainable sourcing practices as part of their environmental, social and governance commitments, a report by EY and the Confederation of Indian Industry showed.

According to the report, 18% of the energy utilised by healthcare providers is derived from renewable sources, signalling a shift towards renewable energy adoption. Additionally, 61% of the inputs employed by these companies are sustainably sourced, indicating responsible procurement practices. Of the companies, 53% have also implemented zero liquid discharge.

The report highlighted an increase in renewable energy adoption and sustainable sourcing practices, indicative of a heightened awareness of environmental impact.

“To achieve sustainable progress in the sector, transitioning to renewables, embracing circularity and establishing net-zero transition plans are imperative,” said Nitesh Mehrotra, partner, ESG and sustainability, EY India. “This will help reduce carbon waste and deliver truly sustainable care. Healthcare providers and systems must now focus on reducing consumption and waste in their supply chains.”

The report indicated that the healthcare sector demonstrates diversity and inclusion, with 41% female employees and 22% female representation on company boards. Around 67% of companies have established ESG committees, highlighting a focus on governance and sustainability initiatives within the sector.

“With healthcare being a high-consumption industry, it is crucial to streamline consumption needs through leaner staffing strategies, precise HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) control systems and maximising the utilisation of green energy sources for a sustainable future,” said Kaivaan Movdawalla, partner and healthcare leader, EY Parthenon India.

“Moreover, rethinking packaging designs with a focus on green packaging to align with optimal environmental outcomes is essential. Effective and efficient disposal methods are essential for long-term sustainability and mitigating environmental impact,” added Movdawalla.

The report also highlighted increasing allocations towards environmental and social initiatives within healthcare research and development and capital expenditure. Twenty-one percent of spending is directed to environmental and social activities in R&D. Also, 13% of spending is allocated towards environmental and social initiatives within capex, signalling a focus on infrastructure and operational enhancements for improving sustainability performance.

“The intersection of healthcare, sustainability and ESG principles is more critical than ever. Healthcare generates around 5% of hazardous waste. The healthcare sector must focus on following a transition plan that encompasses decarbonisation, responds to climate risk, and also contributes to the economy-wide transition as short- and medium-term goals,” said Dharminder Nagar, chairman, CII Northern Region Committee on Healthcare.


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