Damien Gruson

He is also a member of the research unit on Endocrinology Diabetes and Nutrition of the Catholic University of Louvain. Pr. D. Gruson is a member of the division on Emerging Technology of the IFCC.

City-Labs is a project financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which aims to integrate the innovation of laboratory medicine and mobile health. The scope of the project is to facilitate access to laboratory tests as part of a collaborative approach to ambulatory care of a chronically ill individual, as well as to contribute to the dynamic monitoring of patients with chronic diseases, always fostering sustainability.

Environmental actions to tackle climate change are rightfully gaining space in the EU and national policy agenda. We are exceeding the Earth's capacity, reaching the limits of growth on a finite planet. Looking at our economy, it is clear to me that healthcare is part of the problem and must become part of the solution. As the third largest employer in the world, health care has the potential to make a significant impact on European sustainability strategies, maintaining quality of care and safety as a priority. Reducing hospital admissions and waste is not only critical for human health, but also for environmental and financial sustainability. Waste management initiatives offer great opportunities to reduce both environmental footprints and waste disposal expenses while improving the supply chain. I believe we can achieve significant cost savings – as high as 40-70 percent of waste disposal outlays, representing €3.5-6 billion in savings for the health industry. In addition, I see a major role for health care settings in reducing environmental impact by using their resources more efficiently, designing ‘greener’ buildings, and fostering primary care. Know your waste stream The first step to improving a facility's waste management is to understand its overall waste stream. Non-regulated waste, which makes up around 85% of a hospital's total waste stream, is no different from the waste generated by a hotel, where up to 60% is either recyclable or compostable. Regulated medical waste makes up about 5-15% while hazardous chemical waste makes up a smaller percentage (less than 5%) of a health care organization's waste by total volume. Hence, I believe it is important to embrace a recycling culture inside hospitals and start reducing the amount of environment damaging products such as plastic. For instance, a small initiative is to replace plastic bottles with glass ones, and to...