As we enter 2023, it seems harder to ignore the drastic environmental changes that have become more frequent in recent years. The concepts of climate change and the greenhouse effect are based on the fact that humans emit mass amounts of carbon dioxide and other gasses, which are causing irreparable damage to the earth. As it stands, the global healthcare industry contributes a steadfast portion of carbon emissions yearly. The need for sterile environments and working conditions necessary for health and safety leads to high waste output. This has contributed to 4.6 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.1
Larger hospitals, research facilities, and their suppliers are some of the organizations that have had the greatest impact on these carbon emissions, but O&P clinics are also represented in the healthcare industry. The nature of O&P work can often be quite wasteful. Like other healthcare industries, much of what is utilized in the patient setting is used once and disposed of. During fabrication, various materials are used and excess tossed if deemed unusable. One factor that contributes to excess emissions via O&P is due to the range of material types needed to traditionally fabricate devices. Substantial amounts of energy required to produce carbon, thermoplastics, and even plaster prior to ever being used in a clinic.