Responsible Healthcare: How Health-Tech Industry Can Lead The Way

The impact of the healthcare ecosystem on the environment is often not given adequate attention. Though the healthcare industry has shown significant responsibility towards environmental safety in the past few years, it has a long way to go.

Runam Mehta
New Update
Image Credit: everything possible/

Image Credit: everything possible/

The impact of the healthcare ecosystem on the environment is often not given adequate attention. At a global level, the healthcare sector accounts for over 4.4% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that emissions generated during the cooling of hospitals alone equal those coming from over 110 coal-fired power plants. The alarming fact is that India is among the top 7 emitters of greenhouse gases in the healthcare sector, as per research.


These are significant numbers and the health-tech industry must take note of these emissions as it is responsible for developing and deploying technologies that will ensure effective healthcare delivery in the times ahead. Though the healthcare industry has shown significant responsibility towards environmental safety in the past few years, it has a long way to go. ESG policy implementation and fostering innovations towards waste management, renewable energy generation, and collaborations across the ecosystem can help health-tech companies contribute to a greener future. 

Eco-friendly innovations 

There is incredible potential that the health-tech sector can unlock by developing sustainable solutions that are in sync with environmental goals. Whether it is the development of energy-efficient, battery-operated medical devices or sustainable packaging and usage of digital health platforms; innovations in medical technology are going to be crucial in cutting down wastage and carbon emissions from the industry.

Eliminating the waste

Each year billions of dollars are wasted in the form of unused medicines. These are often single-use medicines stored in larger vial sizes than the dose required to be administered. As a result, the remaining dose gets wasted and creates a waste pile of discarded vials, bottles, and packaging, most of which contain plastic partly or wholly. Similarly, a lot of food is wasted in medical facilities and transit. The need of the hour is to adopt circular economy principles and implement recycling programs. The consumption of single-use plastics should be minimised in medical devices, packaging, and diagnostic materials as well. These are seemingly small steps, but when taken cohesively at a global scale, these can make a significant difference to environmental protection efforts. 

Renewable energy for healthcare


Renewable energy such as solar and wind power are playing a crucial role in sustainable health-tech operations. By successfully switching to clean power sources, health-tech companies can underscore their commitment to sustainable growth and encourage other players in the industry to make such transitions.

The consumption of solar and wind energy can lead to significant long-term cost reduction while ensuring superior quality and efficient services. Further, brands that achieve excellence in developing sustainable technologies and consumption of renewable energy are also able to cultivate a market image of being socially and environmentally responsible and ethical. This goodwill contributes to the brand’s growth as a market leader and also inspires other competitors to follow. 

Going beyond green 

There is a strong interconnection between environmental sustainability and public healthcare outcomes. And health tech companies can play an instrumental role in enhancing this synergy. To enable disease prevention through environment-friendly technologies, health-tech companies must innovate solutions that support a healthier and greener future for all.

Employee empowerment

Companies can achieve optimal sustainable technology development when the employees are made aware of the need and inspired to contribute to the cause passionately. They must be equipped with the mindset, skills, and tools that are needed for this endeavour. Training sessions, eco-friendly workplaces, and employee-led sustainability projects inspire and empower individuals to take charge which can make a difference. 


Power of collaborations 

Partnerships are a key enabler in this battle against climate change, and by collaborating with environmental organizations, health-tech companies can drive sustainable outcomes faster. Successful collaborations in areas such as research and support on the environmental impact of healthcare, and seamless knowledge sharing can help in building a highly sustainable and scalable ecosystem. 

Taking action

On World Environment Day, the health-tech sector needs to understand the need to mitigate the adverse impact and boost sustainability throughout the ecosystem. Proper implementation of meaningful ESG policies, fostering innovations, cutting down waste, and harnessing clean energy are the key areas that can collectively make the health-tech sector a sustainability changemaker for India and the world!

Authored By Runam Mehta, CEO, HealthCube

This article is in collaboration with Women Shine Magazine.

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