Meet three new B Corps redefining sustainability in the medical field

Medicine. It’s a field used to putting people first, but what about the planet? 

From single-use plastic items in clinical settings to hazardous medical — not to mention the often energy-intensive processes in medical manufacturing — the medical industry is known for having a significant environmental footprint

As the demand for medical services continues to rise, there’s a pressing need for the industry to adopt more sustainable practices, minimise waste, and address the broader environmental challenges that come with providing life-saving healthcare.

However, when it comes to sustainability in the medical field, there is a new wave of businesses redefining the norm, and setting themselves apart not just with groundbreaking devices, but also with an unwavering commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Meet the three newly B Corp Certified medical equipment companies revolutionising healthcare and working hard to create greater sustainability in all its forms.

Medenterprise doctos

Image: Medenterprises

Rust not, want not — Tasman Trolleys are built to last

From their award-winning manufacturing site in Taranaki New Zealand, Tasman has made medical trolleys, carts and cabinets for over 65 years. Despite being a well-established organisation, their small team saw a recent ownership change as an opportunity to “take a fresh look at how we could align some of our historical practices” with their modern-day values. 

“B Corp Certification allowed us the opportunity to formalise some of the work we are currently doing, and gave us the opportunity to challenge our suppliers and align our thinking with an international program.”

— Tasman Trolleys and Medical Equipment

With a keen focus on local manufacturing and recycling efforts, Tasman sources all of its materials from New Zealand, including natural anodised aluminium. Known for its durability, this unique aluminium can be recycled indefinitely due to its high intrinsic value, and it’s not uncommon to see a Tasman trolley still in use after 20+ years.

Providing equipment for dental surgeries, vet clinics and hospitals, these versatile storage solutions are custom-built to minimise waste and designed to accommodate various medical supplies, medications, and diagnostic equipment.

A women-led organisation with a small dedicated team, they pride themselves on providing well-made products and great customer experience. In addition to providing employment opportunities and minimising their environmental impact, the team at Tasman also supports a variety of local community initiatives and not-for-profits that are close to their hearts.

Their one tip for navigating the certification process? Get the help of a B Consultant. A great way to smooth out any bumps in the process.

Tasman trolley

Image: Tasman Trolleys

Channelling ‘do no harm’ for the planet — Medsalv leads the way

Currently, the only company in the Southern Hemisphere that remanufactures single-use medical devices and brings them back to hospitals for safe reuse, the team at Medsalv refuses to compromise on purpose. 

Known for their commitment to doing what they say they’ll do, no matter who is watching, they are an innovative med-tech pioneer redefining sustainability in healthcare, started with two goals in mind:

“First, reduce the level of waste generated in the New Zealand Health System; and secondly, reduce the amount of money that New Zealand spends on medical devices. Ultimately these two goals are core to a more financially and environmentally sustainable health system, but they are only a small part of the sustainability conversation.”

— Medsalv

Boosting environmental sustainability by diverting devices from landfill and preserving raw materials, Medsalv is significantly reducing the environmental burden of new product manufacturing throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. With a focus on supply chain sustainability and local manufacturing, they also prioritise sustainability in a social sense by employing people facing barriers to employment.

“At the heart of the healthcare conundrum is an industry that is essential for human wellbeing, but environmentally, it’s a disaster. The guiding principle of medicine, ‘Do No Harm’, has been ignored in this area for too long. Medsalv confronts this paradox with a mission to replace healthcare’s environmental cost with sustainable solutions that benefit both the planet and the patients on it.”

— Medsalv

By fusing profitability and purpose, and championing a business model that creates global, positive change, Medsalv leverages cutting-edge technology and circular economy principles to recover, restore, and remanufacture medical devices that would typically go to waste. By extending device lifetimes and preserving raw materials, they are working hard to reduce the environmental burden of new product manufacturing, while providing jobs in the local economy.

Medsalv team

Image: Medsalv

Echoing Tasman’s calls to work with a B Consultant throughout the certification and verification process, Medsalv is passionate about not just wearing the B badge ‘for show’, but backing it up with tangible proof. 

“Our meticulous actions, spanning from device cleaning to the complete remanufacturing process, are anchored by hard, raw data. We stand transparent and accountable, making us a force of nature, underpinned by indisputable evidence.”

Scoring a whopping 139.4 on the B Impact Assessment (BIA) with multiple Impact Business Models unlocked, Medsalv is leading the way when it comes to more ethical business practices that they would like to see become the norm:  

“If devices can be reusable rather than just single-use, it is better for the bottom line and the environment. Also designing your company so that you are able to hire people with barriers to employment and have a more diverse workforce; it’s not hard to do when it is done right from the start.”

— Medsalv

Lastly, for the team at Medsalv, being a B Corp “isn’t just an impressive title” — it’s a signal that your business has earned its credentials through an “intensive process that demands proof of a persistent commitment, not a one off.”

Medsalv team

Image: Medsalv

Advancing human health and helping those who help others

Built on the belief that a well-staffed healthcare system, with fulfilled medical professionals, leads to better patient outcomes, this next B Corp is helping to ultimately create a healthier and happier society for all. As one of our region’s largest medical recruitment agencies, Medenterprises uses its vast network to connect doctors and other medical professionals with better permanent and locum job opportunities — a ‘worklife operating system’ using technology to connect healthcare workers and employers.

“While our mission has always led us, after successfully lobbying to change the Declaration of Geneva (the modern-day Hippocratic Oath) in 2017 to include the health and wellbeing of doctors, achieving B Corp Certification best reflects our commitment to enriching the lives of our doctors and providing medical staffing where it is needed most.”

— Medenterprises

Ensuring that they do everything possible to advance the health of medicine, Medenterprises  — and its subsidiaries Medrecruit and Medworld — were recognised with two Impact Business Models for customers under the BIA. Placing doctors in hospitals and practices where they are much needed, including remote, underserved communities, and low-socio economic areas, they continually do all they can to enrich doctors’ lives, which has vast ripple effects throughout the community.

Medenterprise doctos

Image: Medenterprises

“Our promise to the profession is that we will never stop striving to improve the staffing crisis and advocating for the wellbeing of doctors. We have always been vocal about our mission. Having B Corp Certification shows our customers we are not afraid to be accountable.”

— Medenterprises

Founded by Dr Sam Hazledine, Medenterprises was born out of Sam’s interest in doctor wellbeing soon after he graduated medical school. Noticing large numbers of his classmates becoming quickly disillusioned and leaving the profession, he started to see the scale of the doctor wellbeing crisis and soon decided to make it his life’s work. 

“As business owners and entrepreneurs, we are responsible for using our innovative thinking to constantly reimagine our niche and what we could do in this space to leave the world a better place than we found it. For us, that means enabling the collective intelligence of the medical profession to solve medicine’s challenges; our goal is to build a useful collaboration engine and advance the health of medicine.”

— Dr Sam Hazledine, Founder of Medenterprises

Unfolding over the course of a year, the team used the certification and verification process as an opportunity to come together and seek out things to celebrate within their existing business, and identify areas for improvement. Implementing procedures, policies, and initiatives that inspired their ‘B keepers’ to think innovatively about ways to improve each department, and how to measure their impact. Their last piece of advice to aspiring B Corps is:

“See the process not as something arduous but as investing in personal and professional development for your business.”

In an era where sustainable action is not just a choice but a necessity, it’s heartening to see these medical industry pioneers leading by example. Prescribing a more holistic definition of ‘sustainability’ that encompasses the environment, devices and equipment, as well as the fulfilment and longevity of staff, these three new B Corps are not only pushing the boundaries of what medical science can achieve, but doing so in a way that’s better for all.

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