Sustainability throughout the value chain

Arjo’s focus lies on reducing its environmental footprint and contributing to a sustainable development. Our environmental impact mainly comprises energy and resource consumption, as well as waste management.

We continuously implement improvements in both production and through operational control. The aim is to enhance efficiency in resource utilization and to reduce the impact from energy, raw materials and transportation.

Arjo’s environmental management system ensures that our production is conducted in accordance with applicable laws and international regulations. The Group’s manufacturing units are certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard.

In 2020, we are initiating several activities based on business opportunities to identify new ways of reducing the environmental impact of our products.  This includes investments and new partnerships, as well as internal initiatives, that drive the environmental agenda forwards.

UN SDGs: 12. Responsible consumption and production

Through Arjo’s four focus areas in sustainability, we ensure sustainable consumption and production in accordance with the UN SDGs. In 2019, we established a sustainable approach throughout our value chain and increased the demands on product safety, with a consistent focus on individuals and society.

Arjo’s environmental goals 2019–2021

Reduce energy consumption

In production, energy consumption is to be reduced by 5% in MWh/MSEK by 2021, with 2018 as the base year.

Reduce CO2 emissions

Emissions from production are to be reduced by 5% measured in tons of CO2/MSEK by 2021, with 2018 as the base year.

Reduce the amount of hazardous waste

Reduce the amount of hazardous waste by 10% by 2021, with 2018 as the base year.

Increase recycling of non-hazardous waste

The goal is for 75% of non-hazardous waste to be recycled by 2021, with 2018 as the base year.

Increased share of renewable energy

The ambition is to further reduce CO2 emissions from operations and to review the possibilities of increasing the amount of renewable energy.

Results of the environmental activities

Arjo works actively to improve production in accordance with the established environmental goals. During the year, Arjo increased its net sales by 3.9%. Nonetheless, energy consumption and CO2 emissions remained at the same level as in 2018. Hazardous waste comprises less than 1% of Arjo’s total waste and was further reduced in 2019. We also increased our recycling during the year. We met all environmental goals for 2019 and the year’s results are presented in the graphs below.

1. Energy consumption
2. CO2 emissions
3. Hazardous waste
4. Recycling

UN SDGs: 13. Climate action

Arjo’s initiatives to minimize the company’s environmental footprint follow a well-defined agenda. We can contribute to a sustainable future by reducing our energy consumption, CO2 emissions and waste, and increasing our recycling.

Eco-design in each step

Eco-design is becoming increasingly important at Arjo. We evaluate all materials and components used when designing new products or upgrading existing ones. This work is conducted by Arjo’s research and develop­ment team, which has deep expertise and extensive technical knowledge related to our operations.

Eco-design at Arjo focuses on five areas:

*Morris et al., 2008

Reduced environmental impact throughout production

We strive to ensure that our products will be comprised of substances and materials with as little environmental impact as possible. As part of these efforts, we look at the complete life cycle, from production to reuse or recycling.

Sustainable materials

Our production units follow the guidelines of the EU chemicals legislation and regulation of the European Parliament, REACH. An initiative was started in 2019 with the aim of reducing the amount of PVC in our products and will remain in focus in 2020.

Product packaging

Sustainable packaging is an important focus area. We comply with local laws to reduce the amount of plastic in packaging, or utilize recycled plastics where possible.

Our ambition is to reduce the amount of packaging throughout the value chain, which could generate environmental gains. We conduct a continuous dialog with our suppliers regarding the way in which their products are packaged and delivered.

Renewable energy initiative

Arjo’s production facilities aim to reduce their environmental impact based on existing equipment and continuously review the possibility of changing to renewable energy.

Our textile plant in Poznan, Poland, has reduced its energy consumption and installed machines that reduce the amount of fabric waste. The plant in Magog, Canada, uses solar energy for heating by way of installed solar panels. This lowers the amount of natural gas consumed and reduces energy consumption.

Reprocessing to support healthcare

In 2018, Arjo acquired the US-based company ReNu Medical, which is specialized in green reprocessing of single use non-invasive medical ­devices, such as garments to prevent DVT.

Unlike conventional methods of recycling, in which carcinogenic chemicals such as ethylenoxide (EtO) are used, ReNu’s process is free of toxins, with no chemical residue or emissions. Instead, a green, water-based high temperature process is used. The process also reduces the exposure of patients and healthcare professionals to hazardous substances. ReNu’s method further enables the product to be reused twice as many times as with a traditional recycling process using EtO. This results in a reduction of waste.

Arjo’s competence in this area strengthens our offering and creates new business opportunities. Our aim is to develop ReNu’s operations in Canada and Australia in 2020.