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Northwell Collaborates with Envetec to Become the 1st Health Care System in US to Implement Innovative Clean Technology to Treat Regulated Medical Waste

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Summation

  • Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, and Envetec Sustainable Technologies Limited (“Envetec”), a pioneering cleantech company dedicated to eradicating the current unsustainable practices of treating regulated medical waste (also referred to as biohazardous or infectious waste), today announced the installation of GENERATIONS.

Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, and Envetec Sustainable Technologies Limited (“Envetec”), a pioneering cleantech company dedicated to eradicating the current unsustainable practices of treating regulated medical waste (also referred to as biohazardous or infectious waste), today announced the installation of GENERATIONS.

Groundbreaking Technology

This groundbreaking technology is designed for the safe and effective on-site treatment of regulated medical waste including single-use laboratory plastics, glass, PPE and sharps containers.

Climate Change

“Climate change is undeniably becoming a public health crisis that requires urgent action and leadership from hospitals,” said Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell. “As the largest hospital network and private employer in New York, Northwell Health is fully committed to leading the transition towards a sustainable healthcare future. Adopting state-of-the-art clean technologies such as GENERATIONS represents an important step forward in our climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030.”

The Center for Advanced Medicine houses Northwell’s core laboratory, recognized as the largest commercial laboratory in New York. As the central testing hub for a vast network encompassing multiple hospitals, general practitioner networks, and local healthcare providers throughout New York State, it efficiently processes samples from over 20,000 patients daily.

GENERATIONS

Northwell’s core laboratory is adopting GENERATIONS with plans to sustainably treat over 500,000 pounds of regulated medical waste annually onsite. This waste historically has required the conventional treatment and disposal methods of transportation, autoclaving and landfill. According to independent data comparing GENERATIONS to standard treatment of regulated medical waste at nine global sites, it is projected that

GENERATIONS will significantly decrease waste-related Scope 3 emissions by as much as 90%.2

Increasing Pressure to Reduce Production of Medical Waste

Laboratories worldwide are under increasing pressure to reduce their production of regulated medical waste, a substantial portion comprising plastics that can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. According to a recent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, the U.S. health sector is responsible for an estimated 8.5% of U.S. carbon emissions.3

“Exploring cutting-edge solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of the healthcare system will have significant health, social, and economic benefits,” said Donna Drummond, Senior Vice President, Chief Expense Officer, and Chief Sustainability Officer. “At Northwell, we have a responsibility to implement sustainable practices, and this includes a public pledge to increase waste recycling rates to 25% of total waste volume by 2027. To help us get there, we must collaborate across the entire supply chain and identify new technologies to support a more circular and sustainable waste management system.”

Before installation, the GENERATIONS technology was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Health.

Malcolm Bell, Chair and CEO of Envetec said…

“We are delighted to be partnering with one of the largest healthcare systems in the US as Northwell Health drives meaningful innovation to meet their climate goals. Enabling laboratories to break free from their reliance on transportation, autoclaving, incineration, and landfill requires a new standard in waste management. GENERATIONS treats biohazardous waste onsite and plays a crucial role in reducing Scope 3 emissions.”

[1] GENERATIONS is subject to registered trademarks and trademark applications in the EU, UK, US and Japan.

[2] Envetec requested Carbon Action Consultants Ltd, a London based independent third-party assessor of sustainability, to perform a three-month evaluation and due diligence of the impact of the GENERATIONS technology on lowering carbon emissions. The study benchmarked the life cycle emissions of processing a fixed amount of regulated or biohazardous waste against different waste treatment methodologies including incineration, landfill and autoclaving. For more information visit www.envetec.com.

(3) Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector — A Call to Action, October 13, 2021, at NEJM.org.

[4] NHS clinical waste strategy, March 2023.

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