The extreme delicacy of the work that Servizi Ospedalieri does, related as it is to the healthcare sphere, and the primary need to ensure the utmost safety, mean that it is ineludible for the company to heed sustainability issues in all their aspects. Moreover, the fact that it belongs to the Rekeep Group, which has made sustainability a distinctive feature of its identity, strengthens this tendency.
Corporate Social Responsibility has always been a basically important element in the business culture of Servizi Ospedalieri and of the Rekeep Group to which it belongs. Manutencoop Società Cooperativa was, in fact, the first cooperative and one of the first companies in Italy to draw up its first Social Responsibility Report as far back as 1992. The same attention to all aspects of corporate social responsibility is constantly transmitted to all Group companies.
The Rekeep Group believes in company welfare. It believes that it is important to succeed in combining business development with its employees’ aspirations for professional and personal growth; it believes, too, that to do this it matters to be able to respond to the practical needs of its workers.
Servizi Ospedalieri S.p.A.,which has always been interested in experimentation and the encouragement of solutions for the recycling of the textiles it uses in laundering and renting hospital linen, has decided to join the European LIFE+ LOWaste project promoted by Impronta Etica, for the creation of a district in which the recycling chain starts from the enterprise and ends in the recovery platforms .
Servizi Ospedalieri has joined the project by sending waste materials of reusable technical fabrics, which are used for sterile kits for operating rooms.
Reusable technical fabric is a new generation fiber compound (trilaminate and microfiber), which is highly impermeable to liquids, releases few particles and is breathable. Once it can no longer be used, this material is usually sanitized, disinfected and prepared for disposal.
A “Call for ideas” was announced in the LOWaste project, resulting in no fewer than 32 reusable technical fabric projects being received, which had been developed by designers and makers from all over Italy, and which led to creating 24 prototypes including: technical textile beach and mountain wear, fair gadgets, cushions and chairs for home and office, bags, cases and sacks.
Under an agreement signed between the promoters of the project and the companies carrying out the experiments – including Servizi Ospedalieri - the intention is to continue with the trials, leading to the effective creation of LOWaste second-life products market.
designers and makers involved in design
of sanitary textiles saved from landfill disposal and made available to Servizi Ospedalieri
of CO2 saved as a result of the amount of raw material not dumped
which is not used for the manufacturing of new products
of CO2 saved by utilizing reused raw materials
The technical fabrics supplied to healthcare facilities by Servizi Ospedalieri that are reusable in operating rooms have a second life as design objects.
This, in a few words, is what happens as a result of the collaboration between Servizi Ospedalieri and RiUp, a Faenza start-up that specializes in transforming corporate waste into design objects for the home.
RiUp, formed by a group of young designers, makes its collections by using mass production waste from companies whose waste is normally unsorted and not recyclable, and which, for this reason, has high disposal costs and environmental impact.
After an analysis of the mass production waste produced in various parts of the country, the new Faenza company found a possible sphere of activity in the reusable technical fabrics employed in hospitals to cover operating tables: every year at least a hundred tons of green coverings reach the end of their life cycle, lose their sterility, become useless and go to make up one of the types of waste produced by healthcare facilities.
Since Servizi Ospedalieri, under the SO.Barriertech® brand, is one of the main Italian suppliers of textiles of this kind, collaborating with and supporting RiUp was a natural decision. And so Servizi Ospedalieri’s support and RiUp’s creativity gave birth to the Lunè table and stool, the Hosbag, a bag that changes into an anti-rain sheet, the little Hoppete swing, the Bihos shopping bag and many other objects, the outcome of the combination of reusable technical fabrics with other types of waste (ceramics, paper, etc.) but all having elements in that characteristic hospital green colour.
The collaboration between Servizi Ospedalieri and RiUp has three shared goals:
Servizi Ospedalieri S.p.A., in collaboration with Treedom, has conducted an innovative study for the quantification of the carbon footprints of two important activities carried out in favour of its customers: the industrial laundering and rental of hospital linen, uniforms and work clothes and the hiring of sterile kits in Reusable Technical Fabric.
Carbon footprints are considered for the entire life cycle: the production of the raw materials, the manufacture of the products, their transport to Servizi Ospedalieri’s plant, washing, ironing and sterilization, collection from and delivery to the hospital facilities ending with disposal at the end of the product’s useful life.
In addition to calculating the total value of the carbon footprint, the findings of the study also identify the phases that cause most concern. This heightens awareness of the environmental impact generated and helps to make improvements in the procurement chain, the plant operated and logistics and also to start adopting CO2 compensation measures, such as the scheme for the reforestation of areas in the southern hemisphere.