B. Braun is already developing sustainable solutions. An example of this is our reusable sterile container system. This is a traditional product that we have continuously developed. According to studies*, surgeries in a hospital are responsible for 20 to 30 percent of all waste generated. About 11.5 to 19 percent of this is sterile, single-use packaging, which must be purchased for each sterilization cycle. It is not reusable. It is also time-consuming and expensive to recycle. This is where B. Braun comes in with a sustainable solution. Instead of disposable packaging material, we offer a reusable sterile container system in which sterilized surgical instruments are transported to the operating room and contaminated instruments are safely transported back to the central sterile services department (CSSD) for medical products after surgery. This packaging system supports standardized automatic cleaning, disinfection and sterilization processes. It provides safe and sustainable processes in the OR and the CSSD. Hospitals see great potential in the fact that our container system can help reduce waste streams from sterile single-use packaging material by more than 70 percent. This can save more than 2,300 kilograms of waste per year in a medium-sized hospital.
The green dialysis project shows that sustainable products can also be created in a partnership. In this case, B. Braun collaborated with INTERMEDT Medizin & Technik GmbH in order to improve the treatment of dialysis patients with innovative solutions. The fully automatic “ECOMix Revolution” enables dialysis centers to produce the acid concentrates required for hemodialysis fluid in a simple, flexible and environmentally-friendly manner. The ECOMix revolution only transports dry concentrates, so that CO2 emissions are reduced by about 70 percent as compared to ready-to-use liquid concentrates in canisters and containers. The ECOCart cartridges can be reused an average of 25 times, avoiding large amounts of plastic waste. A center for 60 patients, for example, can save around two tons of plastic waste each year by not using canisters.
B. Braun operates an extensive and networked quality management system certified by accredited notified bodies. With our global quality management system, we ensure that all locations in the production network operate according to the same processes, requirements and principles. The result is products and services that not only meet national quality requirements, but often go far beyond them.
We identify the potential risks of medical devices or even medical services early on during the product life cycle—from the initial idea to product application by patients at home, or in the hospital setting. Our goal is to ensure the greatest possible safety through comprehensive risk management.
To increase safety in health care for every therapeutic area, we conduct training for medical specialists at the Aesculap Academy. The academy is a leading medical training forum for the B. Braun Group, which is aimed at everyone professionally committed to human health care. The extensive and quality-controlled medical training offered there now extends across 40 countries.
Our supply chain is characterized by a very high level of our own added value. We generate over 90 percent of our sales from goods and services from B. Braun’s own production and distribution centers. When selecting our suppliers, we ensure that they meet general standards for sustainability and the required quality standards, are open to innovation, and can guarantee safe delivery. To this end, we are continuously expanding our existing supplier management approaches.
*Friedericy, H. (Dez 2020): A comparative LCA of disposable and reusable sterilization packaging systems. Leiden University Medical Centre, Clean Med Europe Online; Williamson J. E. (Apr2008): Healthcare purchasing news.