ESG in the forefront of industry responsibilities

By: Rami Rajab, Chairman of MECOMED, Middle East and Africa Trade Association for Medical Devices, Diagnostics and Imaging

Finding ourselves in an accelerated world of the digital transformation has made us refocus our priorities and our approach to our daily operations. We’ve also witnessed the resilience and ingenuity of people as the increasing pressure for frontline workers became overwhelming. Our capabilities to adapt have advanced our roles in society, but it has presented a new set of challenges. One of the most important topics to tackle of this current digital era is ESG (environmental, social, and governance). Sustainability has skyrocketed to the top of the list of obligations, prompting organizations in various industries, governments, investors and individuals to reevaluate how they conduct business and their lives responsibly.

The MedTech industry is no exception to the rule. ESG goals are driven by the new adopting appropriate policies and business strategies regulated by the region’s needs. The pandemic’s effect on global health and established remote-working norms have given businesses time to reflect on their impact on the environment, stakeholders, and the planet as a whole.

According to recent reports, ESG funds are the fastest growing in the world, as 25% of institutional investors are fully fledged ESG compliant. This further acknowledges that a company is required to carefully use natural resources, as to not create a negative impact on the environment from the effects of its operations.

Leading organizations in MedTech have already implemented its “green” initiatives, such has cooperating with health authorities in the region to accept electronic instructions for use (e-IFU) for professional use of medical devices. The e-IFU reduces product waste and cuts down carbon footprint, which is a sustainable alternative from paper IFU. Acceptance of electronic submission process and soft copies of documents also bring about swift access to medical technology.

Socially, actively building upon relationships leads to a better understanding of community necessities. Aiding suffering communities with aid, providing flexibility for remote-working, and partnerships that improve supply chain standards advance patient safety through security and efficiency. More importantly, MedTech in the region have practiced consistent inclusion in the work environment, promoting diversity and empowering women through projects that provide a leadership position.

Industry leaders have now been given an opportunity to develop long-term sustainable strategies, as growth comes from customers’ willingness to engage with “green” or environmentally friendly organizations. MECOMED continues its support behind the ongoing journey to accomplish ESG goals in the region that provide cost saving resources, higher productivity and lower risks. In addition, not only will we be able to actualize sustainability objectives, but future-proof operations in growth and higher returns for our stakeholders.

We still remain in recovery mode, and to fully realize the potentials and our way to recuperation, investing in ESG is the future. There has never been a more urgent time to adopt sustainable practices than now, putting customers’ health and safety first in a cleaner and “greener” environment they can thrive in.