We care more

Aging populations in Europe are increasing the stress on the healthcare sector. Meanwhile, the global population has grown to a point where human activity is testing planetary boundaries with alarming consequences: climate change threatens to affect our environment, but also people’s health. These are the two main reasons why Healthcare must transform itself at a pace unseen before. Therefore, offering safe products at reasonable costs is no longer sufficient and we, at Evercare Medical, must support healthcare providers across Europe in this transformation. This is why we have decided to place sustainability at the core of our business strategy.

As a part of the Asker Healthcare Group, we share the group’s mission to improve patient outcomes and reduce total costs of care, while ensuring a fair and sustainable value chain. We are proud to participate in Asker’s sustainability strategy ‘A Bigger Care’. At the heart of the Asker Group, Evercare Medical has a significant role to play for Asker to reach its sustainability goals. Through collaborative efforts, we contributed to Asker Healthcare being awarded a Platinum rating by EcoVadis, putting Asker among the top 1 percent of over 100,000 companies rated by EcoVadis for sustainability every year.


Value chain

Evercare Medicals value chain consists of design and development, sourcing, delivery, support, and life cycle management with the aim to create value for our customers and stakeholders with high-quality, innovative, and sustainable products.

 

Download Value chain (PDF)

Design and development

Design & development

 

At Evercare Medical we share the values of our parent company, Asker Healthcare Group:

  • Caring for customers
  • Passion for improvement
  • Taking responsibility

These values are present when we design and develop our products, with an obsession to make a positive difference in European healthcare. We work according to structured processes that ensure continuous improvements through our certified quality and environmental management system. Taking responsibility also implies being accountable for our products across their entire lifecycles and striving to minimize their negative impacts, not only through their design but also by ensuring a fair and sustainable value chain.

Life cycle thinking is core to our environmental strategy. By conducting Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) – a scientific method to evaluate the environmental impacts of products and services throughout their lifecycle- Evercare Medical ensures that its sustainability strategy is based on scientific principles and is both holistic and comprehensive. This approach allows us to identify key areas for improvement, make informed decisions, and implement effective measures. It also enables us to communicate our products’ environmental impacts based on verifiable and reliable data.

Raw materials

Raw materials

 

As a legal manufacturer of CE-marked medical devices, the selection and validation of raw materials have always been key to ensuring that our products are safe for patients and healthcare personnel while performing as intended.

Environmental LCAs of our products indicate that certain product groups have a significant impact in the raw material acquisition and pre-processing phase. For instance, we have identified that cotton gauze swabs have a substantial environmental impact, including global warming potential and water usage. In such cases, we actively search for alternative raw materials that would allow to reduce these impacts and try to promote them to our customers. Non-woven swabs made of viscose and polyester have much lower environmental impacts compared to cotton gauze swabs. They also present much lower risks of adverse social impact on people in the value chain. Therefore, we encourage our customers to substitute gauze swabs with non-woven swabs wherever non-woven swabs can perform as well as gauze swabs.

We are also looking into new polymers and bio-based or circular materials. We have developed a range of polyolefin-based, PVC-free infusion sets with the objective of completely phasing out PVC and associated plasticizer compounds (such as phthalates, DEHP, DOTP, etc.) from our product range.

Since our LCAs consider multiple environmental impacts, we remain cautious of negative trade-offs that might arise. For example, an alternative material might have a positive effect on one impact factor, such as climate change, but have negative consequences on other aspects, such as land use or freshwater ecotoxicity.


shaking hands

Supplier relationships

 

Our suppliers and manufacturers are chosen with care to ensure alignment with our strict criteria for quality, environmental care, and social responsibility. We pay special attention to the qualification of third-party manufacturers located in countries where we have identified potential risks of negative impacts on people in the value chain and who supply certain commodities, such as cotton or latex-based products. In such cases, we systematically audit the production facilities before approving production at the supplier.

All our suppliers and manufacturers are requested to sign the Asker Supplier Code of Conduct, which outlines our commitment to responsible business principles that are foundational to our relationship with them.

As producers of regulated products where quality and safety are paramount, we prioritize long-term partnerships. These partnerships foster close collaboration and continuous improvement, not only with regards to quality, but also social and environmental aspects. This is often what enables us to leverage our joint capabilities in R&D to develop products which, while performing as intended, can also help healthcare providers towards their sustainability goals.


Distribution to warehouse

Distribution to warehouse

 

Even though our LCAs have identified that shipping and transportation account for only a fraction of our products’ environmental footprint, we collaborate with freight forwarders who have the capability to select vessels with a lower environmental footprint. We also aim to improve our packaging design so as to optimize loading efficiency and cost while ensuring that the products are adequately protected up until their point of use.

Warehouse

Warehouse and Distribution

 

Evercare Medical’s primary customers are our sister companies within the Asker Healthcare Group, such as OneMed in the Nordics and QRS in Benelux. These companies are continuously working on reducing their warehouses’ environmental footprint in line with Asker’s Science-Based Targets.

These activities include:

  • Switching to renewable district heating in workplaces and warehouses.
  • Installing solar panels on warehouses and switching to LED lighting to further reduce emissions.
  • Reducing inbound air freight from Asia.
  • Optimizing the degree of filling of packages and trucks to reduce the number of transports to end customers.

Medical gloves

Use phase and End of life

 

Most of our products are designed for single-use, prioritizing safety and efficiency. Consequently, they have a linear lifecycle and participate in the depletion of planetary resources. This is quite common in healthcare as single-use products are manufactured in a standardized and lean manner, which reduces the risk of deviations and quality defects, thereby contributing to patient safety.

Over the past few decades, single-use products have gained popularity in healthcare as they allow providers to focus their resources on patient care instead of cleaning and re-processing at scale.

Shifting back to reusable products would require systemic changes and close partnerships with end-users. This would involve developing new collaborations for packaging and re-processing and making significant adjustments to our quality management system, all of which would require large investments in resources. Meanwhile singleuse products will remain necessary for all those end-users that have not invested in such systemic changes.

Therefore, our efforts to incorporate circular design principles into our products are focused on improving materials, extending the shelf life of our products. And designing our products and packaging for recyclability.