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Elis conducts a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study on reusable scrub suits

Study objective

In partnership with I Care, Elis has conducted the first-ever scientific study to compare the environmental impact of its reusable scrub suit solution with disposable suits to supply French hospitals. The study was based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the product.

An LCA assesses the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle, starting with the extraction of the raw materials required to product disposal.

Beginning in 2019, Elis embarked on a two-year LCA project, culminating in the publication of the study's results in the renowned scientific journal Cleaner Environmental Systems.

Discover our LCA study in 2 minutes

Climate emergency!

The reusable solution is less harmful to the environment.

By conducting the LCA study, Elis sought to help healthcare stakeholders to better understand the environmental impact of these products and to make science-based decisions.

It also aims to help the Elis Group to innovate to further reduce the impact of its products and services on the environment and to achieve its climate ambition.

Study context

  • dashboard_picto

    First LCA study on reusable scrub suits

    This is the first ISO-certified LCA study conducted (in partnership with I Care) on reusable scrub suits for hospitals in France by environmental and textile experts (ISO 14040-14044)

  • quality picto

    A study assessing the impact of circular business models

    The study demonstrates the benefit of circular business models compared with the single-use approach, i.e. reusable vs disposable.

  • Safety

    Open-access data

    The data from the study has been published on an open-access basis in order to benefit the whole industry.

  • lexic_picto

    Publication in the Cleaner Environmental Systems journal

    This study was peer-reviewed by a panel of environmental and textile experts.

Methodology

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

  • Reusable scrub suits, made of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. During the 940 working days (4-year contract), 15 reusable suits were used as, on average, such suits wear out after 64 washing cycles.
     
  • Disposable scrub suits, made of 100% polypropylene. During the 940 working days, 940 disposable suits were used on average as the suits were usually thrown away after each working day.

Spotlight on the study results:

The LCA study confirms the lower environmental impact of reusable scrub suits compared with disposable alternatives, reinforcing the benefits of circular business models and reusable solutions.

Some environmental criteria are well known, whereas others are less so.
Want to learn more about terrestrial and marine eutrophication? Interested in finding out about which stages of the life cycle have the greatest impact on the environment, and if geographical distance of the manufacturing process is harmful to the environment?

Click here to explore all the findings in the scientific article

     

    The study in picture

    ACV_etude_pyjama_jetable

    LCA infographics EXTEND THE INFOGRAPHICS

    Key figures

    • -31%

      The LCA confirms that using reusable scrubs suits instead of disposable suits reduces the impact on climate change by 31%

    • 15 vs 940

      Just 15 reusable suits are required compared with 940 disposable suits over 4 years per hospital employee

    • -46%

      less atmospheric smog (urban fog that limits visibility)

    • -54%

      less freshwater ecotoxicity (indicator that measures impacts on aquatic ecosystems)

    Magdalena Czyrnek

    "We are proud to have worked with Elis on assessing the environmental impact of its reusable scrub suit, and that has culminated in a scientific publication. [...] It also proves Elis’ commitment to lead the industry with scientifically proven solutions that can reduce the environmental footprint of the healthcare sector."

    Magdalena Czyrnek-Delêtre Project Manager at I Care, the environmental consulting agency that finalised the LCA study

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