Carestream Strengthens Commitment to Sustainability Progress with Green Packaging
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New corrugated packaging for DRYVIEW Laser Imaging Films reduces solid waste and promotes recycling.
According to the World Bank’s 2018 What a Waste 2.0 report (1), annual waste generation in the world’s cities is expected to surge from 2.01 billion tons in 2016 to 3.40 billion tons in 2050. That’s an increase of 70 percent. The upsurge is largely due to rapid urbanization, population growth and economic development, according to the report. However, because Carestream is environmentally sensitive in how we design our products and packaging, this waste can be significantly reduced and used as resources for producing other products.
As a global company that provides medical equipment and IT solutions to organizations around the world, Carestream cares about the health and wellbeing of people. That’s why in 2014, we launched our sustainability program. Since then, we have made significant strides in improving our environmental and societal impact.
Over the last five years, we’ve implemented a variety of new sustainability initiatives to reduce waste, decrease the use of toxic substances and engage employees in community activities. As the World Bank’s report emphasizes, reducing waste—and when waste is unavoidable, producing more useful and less impactful waste—is high on the list of priorities for sustainability-minded companies like Carestream.
Corrugated packaging for laser imaging films
In February 2019, we started introducing a more eco-friendly alternative to the white expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam trays that we have long used to secure our CARESTREAM DRYVIEW Laser Imaging Films during shipment to radiology facilities across the globe. While our first priority is ensuring that our customers’ films arrive intact and ready to use, we looked for an alternative that would minimize waste.
Our films are now shipped in corrugated cardboard trays that will help decrease solid waste disposal and provide fiber that can be reused. Since corrugated packaging is more easily recycled and prevalently accepted in recycling streams throughout the world, we see this as a significant step forward in doing our part for the health of the planet. This new packaging also provides the same excellent level of protection during shipment and handling as our previous configuration.
The new greener packaging also comes in response to customers’ feedback asking for more eco-friendly practices. The new packaging has been rolled out in select countries for our 11 x 14-inch (28 x 35 cm) and 8 x 10-inch (20 x 25 cm) DRYVIEW Films. Other sizes will follow soon.
Continued focus on sustainability
This is by no means the beginning or end of Carestream’s sustainability efforts. Since 2014, we’ve made significant strides by reducing hazardous air pollutants, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions in our manufacturing processes. Also, sustainability is incorporated into our product design thinking. We look to optimize manufacturing efficiencies, decrease electrical consumption of our products, reduce the toxicity of materials used, minimize the weight of our products to reduce transportation emissions and implement other environmentally sensitive features.
When determining which sustainability issues to focus on, we consider a multitude of factors, such as customer needs, global trends, competitive initiatives and more. To gather feedback from our customers, we have an external mailbox. In addition, we have an internal mailbox that captures feedback from employees. This feedback is then provided to our Sustainability Governance Council to determine any changes in the company’s Materiality Assessment. Global trends are analyzed using reports from organizations like the World Bank Group. Also, competitive initiatives are assessed annually through a benchmarking process to see how Carestream is measuring up.
The figure below shows the process Carestream uses to determine our priority issues for the sustainability program. Our Sustainability Report will include our updated priority issues and how we have continued to advance our sustainability efforts. Our reports can be found on Carestream’s Sustainability Website.
How Carestream manages sustainability
To further guide our sustainability efforts, Carestream has a Sustainability Governance Council that meets annually. This council is led by the Corporate EHS and Sustainability Director. It includes Carestream’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations. Individuals on the council were selected for their expertise in different areas including customer support, environmental issues, financial reporting, and employee and social concerns.
The decisions made by our Sustainability Governance Council set the course for our sustainability program each year. These decisions are then implemented via our Environmental, Health and Safety & Sustainability Management System, which is a system Carestream developed to help guide our efforts and drive continuous improvement.
We have achieved multi-site ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Certification for Manufacturing of Medical Solutions, Dental Solutions, Non-Destructive Testing Products, and Custom Coating Manufacturing. Furthermore, our Xiamen, China facility has achieved the OSHAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management System certification.
Customers asked. We answered.
Customer feedback was a strong impetus for introducing our new corrugated packaging for DRYVIEW Laser Imaging Films. Be a part of Carestream’s continued sustainability progress and send us your feedback on how we can continue to make a difference in the health of the planet.
#sustainability #xrayfilm #medicalprint
Angeles Sanchez is the Worldwide Product Line Manager for Medical Print and X-ray Film at Carestream Health.