PolarSeal, a contract medical manufacturer, have undergone new measures to ensure they are able to provide more sustainable manufacturing practices for their healthcare focused clients.
The growing demand for green practices within the medical industry are a result of many nations recognising the need for improved processes. The United Nations have created a collaboration that aim to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in time for 2030. This shared movement focuses on the sustainable improvements that can be made to improve peace and prosperity for all people, and in turn practices that can improve the planet too.
PolarSeal have chosen to focus on 3 main areas of this movement in order to move closer to sustainable manufacturing, with actions being committed to work towards the SDGs that ensure healthy lives, that build and promote sustainable industrialisation and also ensure they contribute towards responsible consumption & production methodologies.
Whilst sustainability within contract medical manufacturing isn’t unheard of, it is difficult to achieve. The nature of the industry and the requirement for sterile equipment doesn’t lend itself to naturally promoting a circular economy where re-use is encouraged, so the business have worked on innovating the full manufacturing supply chain to implement the change from start to end.
To begin with, PolarSeal have reviewed their supply chain and reduced their carbon footprint by bringing additional manufacturing capabilities in-house to reduce unnecessary product travel miles. This decision has also led to the company being able to offer turnkey solutions for clients, reduced lead times and given the business ownership to implement more bespoke and sustainable packing solutions. The company are now able to optimise shipping for each client by using bespoke box sizes for the products ordered, reducing ‘empty space’ in product transit as well as pallet size/weight.
This has been further supported by the reduction in waste generated as a business. PolarSeal are now working towards a zero waste to landfill objective and most excitingly, have partnered with an external third-party organisation who organise regular collections of the release liners used within medical manufacturing processes. This partner redistributes liners in industries external to healthcare for reuse where possible, or recycle the liners in a responsible manner – helping to ensure a closed loop for this article of waste and avoiding unnecessary landfill as a result. They have also implemented recycling procedures for both manufacturing sites, and use equipment such as box crushers to maximise efficiency when transporting recycling to larger facilities.
To help reduce PolarSeal’s impact on climate change, the business now also power over 45,000SQFT of manufacturing space including multiple cleanrooms by using only renewable sources of power. This helps the business reduce the need for carbon intensive, finite resources such as fossil fuels and actually gives the business a much more secure energy supply for the future. This energy choice also gives the business the ability to stabilise costs – a win, win solution for any business.
Internally, the business are also working towards providing a paperless environment for it’s employees. There has been a particular focus on this within manufacturing, with innovative systems being implemented which help contract medical manufacturers uphold regulation practices against ISO 14644:215. New technologies have been implemented in areas such quality assurance and traceability records in a bid to streamline processes and ensure concise records for our clients.
Matthew Rich, the Sales and Marketing Director of PolarSeal says “investing in the future of sustainable contract medical manufacture, is quiet frankly, vital, in order for us to grow”. He moves on to say “The business has invested heavily in ensuring our manufacturing processes reflect our desire to support change. Alongside this, we also uphold our ‘people first’ value with our charitable giving. We invest £100,000 yearly to charitable causes, who work towards promoting well-being for all ages. The charities range in focus, and it means we can support a multitude of areas which aim to improve life whether it be through cancer research, to removing homelessness all the way through to reducing poverty and beyond to”.
Whilst PolarSeal are pleased with the changes they have managed to implement so far, it doesn’t mean that the business have by any means completed their mission to become more sustainable. The business will continue to invest heavily in developing more sustainable manufacturing products & practices for the healthcare industry and are always open to new partners approaching us to collaborate on green projects moving forwards too.