Case study | Assessing reusable scrub suit’s environmental impact with Elis

Case study | Assessing reusable scrub suit’s environmental impact with Elis
A post by:
Magdalena Czyrnek-Delêtre Magdalena Czyrnek-Delêtre Project manager
Alexis Burguburu Alexis Burguburu Consultant
  • First Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) study conducted on reusable scrub suits for hospitals in France
  • The study was peer-reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed top-class scientific journal Cleaner Environmental Systems
  • The study demonstrates the benefit of circular business models over a single-use approach for scrub suits used in hospitals

Elis, the industry leader for reusable clothing solutions, wished to assess the environmental impact of a reusable scrub suit versus a disposable one.

The scrub suit is a clothing set, which is used by hospital workers every day.

Therefore, Elis, together with I Care, has embarked on a two-year project to assess scrub suit’s impact on the environment. The project culminated in the publication of the study’s results in the renowned scientific journal Cleaner Environmental Systems.

Context

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to assess reusable scrub suit’s environmental impact. LCA is an internationally recognized method that evaluates the potential impacts that a product has on the environment over the entire period of its life cycle (from material extraction to product disposal).

Two types of suits were selected for the study, which analyzed the two options on 10 different environmental indicators, from the impact of the scrub suits on climate change to water depletion and land pollution:

  • The reusable scrub suit is mostly composed of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. During the 940 working days (4 years contract), 15 reusable suits are used as, on average, such suits wear out after 64 washing cycles.
  • The disposable scrub suit, made of 100% polypropylene. During the 940 working days, 940 disposable suits are used on average as the suit is usually thrown away after each working day.

Results

The LCA study confirmed the lower environmental impact of reusable scrub suits compared to disposable alternatives.

Scientifically proving the environmental benefit of circular reusable clothing solutions, the study was also recently published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Cleaner Environmental Systems.

 

We are delighted to have been accompanied by the I Care team of environmental experts for our LCA study. This worthwhile project, long and dense due to the scientific approach, is meaningful given the current climate. This study sheds light on the different environmental impacts of our products and services and gives us the keys to change and improve further. It’s a real opportunity to be able to make a concrete contribution, in partnership with our healthcare customers, to the protection of our precious planet“, – Christèle Tanné, Healthcare Marketing Manager, Elis Group.

 

Visit the official Elis website page dedicated to the study and learn more about the results.

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