Sustainability, also environmental, as a key axis of BD's commitment

Aligned with the objectives of the European Commission to move towards a circular economy, Spain has recently updated regulations on packaging and waste and others in the environmental field that affect and impact the health technology sector, an area with an important role in the waste management, both in its optimization and in the reduction of its impact on the environment.

Promote the world of health

The purpose of BD, one of the largest medical technology companies globally, is to advance the world of health. A determination that they intend to make a reality through their commitment to the sustainability of the health system; a word understood, both from the viability of the system itself, and from the environmental and responsible conditions and criteria that they reflect in their products and way of working.

Thus, this positioning represents, therefore, the way in which the Company addresses its environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities, which shape the connection that is generated between the company, the planet, the places and the people to whom it belongs. those that serve, with the goal of achieving a positive impact that makes a healthy and resilient world a reality for all.

By working on one of their four fundamental pillars – company health, planetary health, community health and human health – they often respond to challenges in another of them, which ultimately generates collective results. positive in all four..

BD's commitment to the sustainability of the system is not new: some of its initiatives in this area began to take shape almost two decades agoB.D.

Five key areas

BD understands and addresses sustainability by setting targets in five key areas to achieve by 2030 (and beyond), where they see the greatest opportunity to make significant, measurable change over the next decade. Independent but interconnected with each other, these objectives are climate change, the impact of their products, a responsible supply chain, the health of workers and the communities in which they operate and transparency because, they say, ultimately talking about sustainability in their sector “is not possible without transparency in health data.”

All of them are living objectives – continually working to understand the impact of their activities and products on the planet – integrated into the core of their business strategy.

In recent years, health technology has positioned itself as a key player in reducing environmental emissions and leading the way towards sustainability, both within hospitals – where professionals themselves are increasingly aware and management measures more the environmental footprint generated by healthcare – as well as in the industry itself – where new projects, tools and innovative solutions are continually implemented that progressively minimize the impact in this area -, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the sustainability of the planet itself .

Within the hospital and just to mention a few examples, surgical complications or the laboratory itself are spaces in which greater waste generation occurs. If waste of medical materials or medicines is reduced, it directly impacts the management of waste generated. Likewise, working to reduce emissions and energy consumption can contribute significantly to reducing the environmental footprint.

Innovation and sustainability

The Health Technology sector has been working for some time on the design, preparation and execution of good practices that satisfy this need that the planet, sector and citizens crave so much: promote rational and appropriate use of resources, reuse and recycle whenever possible, train and raising awareness, establishing measures to control dangerous substances or the future towards public tenders and purchasing processes with a focus on sustainability are just some of them.

Aware of its role within the value chain of those involved in the provision of healthcare, BD's commitment to the sustainability of the system is not new: some of its most relevant initiatives in this matter began to take shape almost two years ago. decades. BD's sustainable strategy is ambitious: back in 2008 they already launched some projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint, reducing water and electricity consumption or reducing waste production, among others that, today, are more than evident the achievement of the group's environmental objectives.

Concrete measures

In Spain alone, BD has three production plants distributed throughout the national territory and a fourth currently under construction. In all of them the Company implements sustainable measures, but we will talk below in more detail about those carried out in the Plant that the Company has at its headquarters, in San Agustín del Guadalix, Madrid.

There, the use of insulating blankets – which allows the equipment to have no heat loss and, therefore, the electrical consumption to reach the desired temperature is lower -, the updating of lighting – starting to use LED lighting – or the replacement of machines with more efficient ones – for example, replacing hydraulic injectors with electric ones, reducing energy consumption and eliminating the use of oil – are some of the measures carried out.

By translating these measures into figures that demonstrate the results provided by the implementation of the listed initiatives: in four years, the Plant reduced CO2 emissions by 45%, going from 86 tons at the end of 2019, to 47 at the end of 2023, thanks, among other actions, to the change in the contracting of the plant's electricity supply to 100% green energy.

But, beyond all the sustainable initiatives that respond to environmental problems that affect us all, Earth Day is commemorated this year under the motto planet vs plastics and these represent, in addition to an environmental problem, a great threat to human health. The microplastics that are generated as a result of progressive decomposition release toxic chemicals in food and water and circulate through the air. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that they can transform cells and further alter the processes of the human body. With an annual production of more than 380 million tons of plastic worldwide, data show that in the last decade more plastic has been produced than in the entire last century, a figure that is also estimated to continue growing in the future. .

BD takes a committed position: it starts within the Organization itself to end up having an impact on the entire planet
BD takes a committed position: it starts within the Organization itself to end up having an impact on the entire planetB.D.


Some of BD's sustainable projects are also aligned with the objectives established for this year's Earth Day, since they aim to recycle, reuse or reduce plastic in the plant and avoid incurring greater consumption.

In addition to ensuring that the least polluting plastic is used in its processes or reducing the use of plastic used wherever possible, always guaranteeing safety and without compromising quality – for example, reducing the thickness of the film used to package the products or the thickness of syringes-, the Company carries out validation processes, demonstration of biocompatibility of materials and compliance with regulations.

At its Madrid plant, some of the initiatives related to the use of plastics are:

-The separation and classification of plastic waste generated at the plant by type of polymer, to favor the selective collection of waste and its subsequent recycling.

– Implementation of continuous improvement projects to reduce waste generated in the lines, both at startup and in the manufacturing process.

– Years ago, certain packaged and defective products had a clear destination: the landfill. But since 2018, BD has maintained a collaboration with the AFANÍAS association – a non-profit organization of families of people with intellectual disabilities that works in different aspects, one of them, employment -, through which the Company sends defective products to the Association , where they are disassembled into their different components and sent back to the Plant for crushing and subsequent recycling of the material by a non-hazardous waste manager (recycler) for use in other non-medical uses. Here, therefore, sustainability converges with another important pillar for BD, such as Inclusion and Diversity, generating connection ties with entities that promote the employment of people with some type of disability. The benefit of carrying out responsible and sustainable action with the environment is, therefore, both double and a source of pride for those who are part of the Company.

Quality as value

After what has been listed so far, it can be deduced that quality is a differential value for BD. An unavoidable maxim that guides their work. The various certifications they have in environmental management systems, health and safety management or energy efficiency corroborate this. In addition, the Company promotes sustainability audits also at the corporate level, with the aim of standardizing processes, absorbing good practices and always keeping the spirit and ambition of continuous improvement active.

With a presence throughout the globe (with more than 70,000 workers worldwide, of which approximately 1,800 are in Spain), an important part of the products manufactured in Spanish plants are exported to other parts of the world. Likewise, Spain receives products from factories located in other locations on the planet. By operating in different markets with different demands, the Company applies the most restrictive criteria both in terms of quality and safety, to ensure that the products arrive meeting the maximum demands and conditions in these aspects to any part of the world.

Environmental awareness

We were talking before that professionals of the 21st century and the management of the hospitals themselves are more aware, today, about environmental aspects. Internally, it also happens in Organizations: to the training and awareness efforts among employees and once the resistance to change – something common in humans – has been overcome – when it occurs – which ends up providing greater comfort, it is added that the new These measures not only bring with them an increase in sustainability as a final objective but, along the way, a lot is gained in safety and efficiency: processes are carried out in a faster, more automated and efficient way, which, in turn, , results in less waste of materials and emissions.

It seems like a good way to close the circle of sustainability to which BD is committed: it starts within the Organization itself to end up having an impact on the entire planet.