Tag Archives: CleanMed conference

Jun 30, 2015

Healthcare facilities are becoming sustainability champions!

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It was clear to me at the CleanMed conference that many hospitals and healthcare facilities are greatly interested in ways to reduce water, waste and energy while maintaining or improving safety. At the conference, I had the opportunity to meet with building and facility managers, environmental services personnel, sustainability professionals, and clinicians who are all interested in ways to become healthcare sustainability champions. This year, 3M Health Care won the Practice Greenhealth “Champion for Change” award for successfully helping our customers become more sustainable and for improving our own environmental footprint.

Practice Greenhealth Champion for Change Award

Here we are accepting the award

Is your hospital just beginning its sustainability journey? If so, you may want to consider joining Practice Greenhealth, a non-profit aimed at helping hospitals reduce their environmental footprint. They have many tools that can help your facility get started.

Setting sustainability goals and measuring success

I am excited to share with you the new 3M Sustainability Report – and I am happy to say that this year we continue to increase the transparency of our reporting. This report gives in-depth information about the progress we have made towards our 2015 goals. Here are a few quick bullets to whet your appetite:

  • In 2014 alone, 15 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions were avoided for our customers through use of 3M product platforms.
  • From 2010-2015, we increased on-site reuse and recycling by nearly 40% and in 2014, we recycled 25% of our total water used.
  • Between 2002 and 2014, we voluntarily achieved a 64% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

We have been setting global environmental goals since 1990, and this year we are announcing our new targets for 2025. These new goals are defining the ways we will work towards our Every Life ambition for the next 10 years. Here are some of the new goals:

  • Increase renewable energy to 25% of total electricity use.
  • Provide training to 5 million people globally on worker and patient safety. The new 3M℠ Health Care Academy is one way we are educating healthcare professionals.
  • Help our customers reduce their GHGs by 250 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions through use of 3M solutions.
  • Achieve “zero landfill” status at more than 30% of manufacturing sites

I am confident that all 90,000 sustainability team members (that’s every employee) will help in some way to make these goals our next reality. Team members are already starting projects. Here are two examples of completed projects that allowed us be more eco-efficient:

3M™ Comply™ Bowie-Dick Test Packs

3M™ Comply™ Bowie-Dick Test Packs are designed to test air removal efficiency of 132-134°C (270-273°F) dynamic-air-removal steam sterilizers. We were able to reduce about 500,000 lbs. per year of paper waste by switching to a different weight of the paperboard sheets. This change helps 3M waste, but it also means our customers have less to dispose of too. In fact, if paper recycling is available to your hospital, the paper sheets in the test pack can be recycled when you are done with the test.

3M™ Ioban™ 2 Anti-microbial Incise Drape

3M™ Ioban™ 2 Anti-microbial Incise Drape contains an iodophor impregnated adhesive. The product is used to provide a sterile operative surface at the onset of surgery, immobilizing bacteria on skin and providing continuous broad spectrum antimicrobial activity to help reduce the risk of surgical site contamination.

The Ioban packaging was redesigned by changing the primary box from a corrugated material to a lightweight paperboard material. The lighter weight paperboard saves approximately 220,000 lbs. of packaging waste for our customers. (Don’t worry—every packaging change is carefully tested in our sophisticated package engineering lab to ensure we are protecting the product while we are preserving the planet!)

I can’t wait to see the new ways 3M can apply science to improve lives around the world.

Take the Sustainability in Hospitals CE Course.


May 7, 2015

Sustainable Science for Healthcare Facilities. What to see at CleanMed2015

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Sustainable Products for Healthcare Facilities

Updated May 15, 2015: We are happy to announce that 3M Health Care has been awarded the Practice Greenhealth “Champion for Change” award for expanding sustainable practices. Read more.

The CleanMed 2015 conference will be held in Portland, Oregon on May 12 – 14, 2015. This national event presented by Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm showcases many of the practices  healthcare facilities can implement to be more sustainable. To get ready, I want to share some interesting ways 3M brings effective products and sustainable science to healthcare facilities.

Sustainable Healthcare Product Solutions

Reduced waste

Medical tape rolls should be dedicated to one patient to avoid the spread of infection. Unfortunately, when this guideline is followed, a hospital might waste 70-90 percent of a traditional 10 yard roll of tape. To overcome this challenge, 3M Medical Tapes designed 1.5 yard rolls for Single Patient Use. These smaller rolls help reduce costs and combat cross-contamination while minimizing waste.

Another way we have reduced waste is with 3M™ Bair Hugger™ Forced-air Patient Warming Blankets. These patient warming blankets help reduce infection risk by sustaining normal body temperature during surgery and use a light weight material to help minimize waste after use. This unique material is between 17-117 percent lighter than competitors.

Water savings

3M™ Avagard™ (Chlorhexidine Gluconate 1% Solution and Ethyl Alcohol 61% w/w) Surgical and Healthcare Personnel Hand Antiseptic with Moisturizers is a waterless and brushless surgical scrub. This surgical hand antiseptic was launched in 2001. It uses two active ingredients to kill bacteria and a lotion to condition the skin, without using any water.

Healthcare facility floors are constantly being cleaned. When using a traditional mop, the amount of water, chemical cleaner, and cotton mops needed are costly.  3M™ Easy Scrub Flat Mops are a more efficient solution. These mops use up to 80 percent less water and chemical cleaner while increasing the life of mopping equipment.

Safer chemicals

Healthcare facilities have a variety of surfaces that need regular cleaning. From floors to tables and windows, 3M Sustainable Solutions can improve air quality and reduce water, chemical and energy waste. This better chemistry can also extend the life of floor surfaces and furniture finishes, helping to make things look better and last longer.

Lead waste is a hazardous material, but lead is still used by some companies in chemical indicators used in the Central Sterile Supply Department of the hospital. 3M™ Comply™ Bowie Dick Plus Test Packs and 3M™ Comply™ Steam Indicator tapes are both lead free. Healthcare facilities now have an option that gives accurate easy-to-read results and reduced hazardous waste.

Energy efficiency

HVAC air filters reduce air particles to improve indoor air quality. 3M™ Commercial High Performance HVAC Filters electrostatic technology to enable “depth loading” of trapped media. This technology reduces the pressure drop of the filter and extends the filter life. These long life, low airflow resistant filters offer excellent filtration performance that can save energy and money.

The U.S. Department of Energy and a recent study published by CONSOL Energy show 3M™ Window Films can reduce energy usage up to 19 kwh per sq ft of windows. That adds up to a lot of savings on a building’s energy bill. With typical ROI’s of less than three years, building owners and managers all over North America have discovered the cost savings associated with 3M™ Window Films. 1, 2 In fact, with utility rebates certified 3M™ Window Film dealers have completed projects with payback as short as one year.

Science is advancing new technologies faster than the world has ever seen – and this is very exciting. New solutions that overcome inefficient designs are launched every day. It’s an exciting time at 3M to be working on products that help keep people safe and reduce our impact on the environment, while we continue to invest in the communities we operate in. I invite you to Visit Booth #300 at the CleanMed conference to see 3M Sustainable Solutions for hospitals in action.


1 www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/technologies/new_technologies.html

2 www.consol.ws/index.php