Philips Aims to Become Carbon Neutral This Year

Los Mirasoles wind farm in Texas powers Philips' U.S. operations (Photo courtesy EDP Renewables)


AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, February 25, 2020 (ENS) – With its U.S. and Dutch facilities now 100 percent-powered by renewable electricity, the multinational health technology company Philips is closer to its goal of becoming carbon-neutral in its own operations this year.

Philips is committed to becoming carbon neutral in its own operations and to sourcing all its electricity from 100 percent renewable sources by the end of 2020.

Before 2019, all the company’s U.S. operations were already powered by renewable electricity from the Los Mirasoles wind farm in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, about 16 miles from the U.S. border with Mexico.

Los Mirasoles wind farm in Texas powers Philips’ U.S. operations (Photo courtesy EDP Renewables)

Then, in 2019, the Krammer and Bouwdokken wind farms in the Dutch province of Zeeland, with which Philips closed long-term contracts through the company’s renewable electricity purchasing consortium with Nouryon, DSM and Google, powered all Philips’ operations in the Netherlands. Combined with the Los Mirasoles wind farm, this covers about half of the company’s total electricity demand.

This action on CO2 emissions reduction in 2019 contributed to a drop in Philips’ operational carbon footprint of 10 percent compared to 2018, even as the company recorded 4.5 percent comparable sales growth. The company’s reduced use of airfreight was another contributing factor.

Formerly one of the world’s largest electronics companies, Philips is now focused in the area of health technology; other divisions have been successfully divested.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company provides diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring, and health informatics, as well as consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2019 sales of €19.5 billion with sales and services in more than 100 countries provided by its 80,000 employees.

Philips and its CEO, Frans van Houten, hold several global leadership positions in advancing the circular economy, including as a founding member and co-chair of the board of directors for the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), applying circular approaches in its capital equipment business, and as a global partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

“Sustainability is a cornerstone of the way we do business because we believe it benefits our customers and society and because it drives sustainable long-term economic growth,” said van Houten.

“I am proud of our strong track record of delivering affordable outcome-focused health technology solutions that will help to achieve universal health coverage, while making sure we do it in a sustainable way that minimizes natural resource consumption and our carbon footprint,” van Houten said.

Philips also runs the EcoVision initiative, which commits to a number of environmentally positive improvements, focusing on energy efficiency.

Also, Philips marks its “green” products with the Philips Green Logo, identifying them as products that have a significantly better environmental performance than their competitors or predecessors.

Philips makes diagnostic tools for use in hospitals (Screengrab from video courtesy Philips)

Philips’ businesses continued to develop their Green Products and Solutions portfolio, which improve patient outcomes, provide better value, and help secure access to high-quality care while reducing environmental impact.

A good example is BlueSeal magnet technology, which is designed to reduce lengthy and costly disruptions in MRI practice and help healthcare facilities transition to more productive and sustainable helium-free operations.

In the Connected Care businesses, the IntelliVue X3, MX100 and MMX patient monitor platforms feature 18 percent lower energy usage than predecessors, as well as 11 percent reduced product weight and 25 percent reduced packaging weight compared to predecessor products.

To achieve its vision of making the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation with the goal of improving the lives of three billion people a year by 2030, Philips aims to address pressing societal issues with a focus on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3, 12 and 13 – three key SDGs aimed at improving access to affordable care, the transition to a circular economy, and action on climate change.

Philips’ Healthy people, Sustainable planet program is the vehicle that enables the company to deliver on these commitments.

Philips is committed to grow its Green Revenues to 70 percent of sales and to have 15 percent of its revenues generated through circular economy-driven propositions by the end of 2020. Last year, Green Revenues accounted for 67 percent of the company’s revenues, compared to 64 percent in 2018.

Green Revenues are revenues generated through products and services that offer environmental improvement in one or more Green Focal Areas: Energy efficiency, Packaging, Hazardous substances, Weight, Circularity and Lifetime reliability. For healthcare equipment, remote serviceability is another Green Focal Area.

The lifecycle approach is used to determine a product’s overall environmental improvement. It calculates the environmental impact of a product over its total life cycle – raw materials, manufacturing, product use, and disposal.

Circular Products and Solutions accounted for 13 percent of revenues in 2019 compared to 12 percent in 2018.

Circular Revenues are generated through products and solutions that meet specific Circular Economy requirements. These include performance and access-based business models, refurbished, reconditioned and remanufactured products and systems, refurbished, reconditioned and remanufactured components, upgrades or refurbishment on-site or remote, and products containing at least 30 percent recycled plastics.

Green Innovation is the research and development budget supporting new generations of green products and solutions and green technologies that address SDG 12 – ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Philips’ 2019 highlights:

• In 2019, Philips’ products and solutions improved the lives of 1.64 billion people, compared to 1.54 billion in 2018. This included 194 million people in underserved communities, compared to 175 million in 2018.

Mothers and their newborn children in the maternity ward at the Health Center of Baptist Community of Congo in Kenge, Democratic Republic of Congo on April 4, 2018. (Photo by Dominic Chavez/The Global Financing Facility)

• Philips signed a partnership agreement with the Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Population Fund to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in the Congo. The partners will work together to develop a large-scale Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care program that will reach more than 500,000 women and 70,000 newborns.

• For the seventh year running, Philips has been placed on the Climate Disclosure Project, CDP, Climate Change A List, recognizing the company’s actions to reduce emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy.

• Philips was once again recognized as one of the top companies for sustainability performance in the global 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, DJSI, list. Philips scored 82 out of a possible 100 points in the DJSI Health Care Equipment & Services industry group, further improving on its 2018 score to achieve the #2 ranking in 2019.

• Philips issued its first Green Innovation Bond under the Philips Green & Sustainability Innovation Bond Framework developed together with Rabobank. The proceeds of this bond will be used as an alternative means to finance the company’s expenditures on green innovation, the transition to the circular economy, and becoming carbon-neutral.

• Philips invested approximately €235 million in Green Innovation in 2019.

• Philips has teamed up with the non-profit organization Point-of-care Ultrasound in Resource-limited Environments, PURE, to deliver a pioneering tele-ultrasound program linking specialists around the globe with physicians in Rwanda.

Today, Philips also published its latest Human Rights Report, underlining the company’s commitment to respect human rights and drive positive human rights impacts.

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