Philips’ Deeptha Khanna talks about sustainable innovation at upcoming The Economist event
At Philips, a world leader in health technology, the twin concepts of taking care of people and taking care of the planet go hand in hand. Looking after the health and wellbeing of future generations by mitigating the effects of climate change is as important as improving the health of today’s population and enabling access to care.
And we have some work to do. In the last decade, we have seen a huge increase in the world’s environmental footprint, with consumption currently running at around 1.7 times the resource capacity of the planet , and resource use expected to double by 2050 if we continue with business as usual. Changing the way products are made and used can help address 45% of global greenhouse gas emissions, while creating a circular economy offers a $4.5 trillion economic opportunity by helping to avoid waste, stimulate business growth, and create employment opportunities.
In healthcare, it is vitally important that we create more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to deliver better care to more people at lower cost. And that we rethink the way in which we design and use our products. According to Deeptha Khanna, Chief Business Leader Personal Health at Philips, new technologies, innovative new and circular business models, and collaboration on all levels offer practical solutions.
Speaking during The Economist 6th Annual Sustainability Week (March 22 – 25, 2021), in a societal track session titled ‘Technology: Shaping the sustainability agenda,’ Deeptha will provide insights into how Philips is raising the bar in sustainability, the ambitious goals it has set itself, and how the company is harnessing the power of technology, innovation, and collaboration across the value chain to improve healthcare’s environmental footprint, reduce CO₂ and create more sustainable and resilient healthcare systems.
Rethinking product development and use
Technology and digitalization are becoming major catalysts for more efficient use of resources and a faster shift towards sustainable models of healthcare, including wider access to care and the enabling of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We are committed to driving systemic change in product design – optimizing the energy use of our products, reducing the amount of materials used, and adopting circular-ready design wherever possible. For example, software-based solutions like Teledentistry used in combination with Philips Sonicare power toothbrushes enable people to make healthy lifestyle choices, helping reduce the long-term burden on resource-intensive healthcare systems. And service-based offerings, such as our ‘Lumea Select Try & Buy’, which offers additional functionality beyond existing specifications with Philips maintaining lifecycle ownership, can reduce the environmental impact by as much as 40%.
And it’s not just about innovation. Philips is teaming up with customers to deliver telehealth and telemedicine solutions that can reduce healthcare’s overall carbon footprint and decentralize healthcare services. The company is also actively collaborating with partners to make the supply chain more efficient through cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, applying the latest insights in data science and machine learning methods to help determine the sustainability maturity of suppliers.
Sustainability is fully integrated in Philips’ approach to doing business responsibly and sustainably. The company’s 5-year Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) framework, comprises a set of key commitments and environmental and social targets for 2025 that help guide execution of its strategy. Philips is already carbon neutral in its operations and commits to reducing its carbon footprint further across the entire value chain in line with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C global warming scenario. It also intends to source 75% of its total energy consumption (including fuel) from renewable sources by 2025. Today, 15% of total revenue comes from circular products and solutions, and Philips aims to ramp up this to 25% of sales by 2025. And through investments in sustainable innovation, 100% of our products and services will be designed in line with EcoDesign requirements by 2025, aimed at improving energy efficiency, especially during the customer use phase.
However, whether it is reducing CO₂ in the supply chain or helping customers to deliver more sustainable healthcare, Deeptha will highlight that technology alone is not enough. Technology is undoubtedly an enabler of change, but it is partnership and collaboration with suppliers, customers, standards authorities, governments and NGOs that turns technology into sustainability.
To listen to the ‘Technology: Shaping the sustainability agenda’ session, where Deeptha will be accompanied by several other industry experts, register free for the The Economist 6th Annual Sustainability Week. Deeptha’s virtual session takes place on Thursday, March 25, 2021, from 14:50 – 15:50 CET.