Diagnostic imaging systems provider, Canon Medical Systems UK, has been officially recognised with partner status from the United Nations’ Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG).
This significant success comes as a result of its continued sustainability efforts through its CarbonZero programme that is leading to improvements in the health and welfare of people in Uganda and Kenya.
Canon Medical Systems’ CarbonZero project has achieved four sustainable development goals which led to the partner accolade from the United Nations including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality; Clean Water And Sanitation; and Climate Action, all resulting in activities that reduce C02 emissions from the burning of firewood and repairing clean water boreholes. This guarantees that Canon Medical Systems’ customers receive a carbon neutral product while helping to deliver livelihood and environmental benefits in Africa.
The Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG), part of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), plays a key role in the evaluation of the UN’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
At the core of this are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that together represent an urgent call to action for businesses to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth. When a company delivers the development goals, they are awarded the official UN partner status, accredited by Gold Standard.
The four SDGs achieved include:
Good Health and Wellbeing – Distributing fuel-efficient cookstoves through The Kenyan Energy efficient stove project has resulted in a 50% reduction in the need for firewood; less firewood means a reduction in smoke, reducing the likelihood of life-threatening respiratory conditions.
Gender equality – Through local borehole regeneration, the task of collecting fresh water, usually by women and children, is less onerous as it also no longer requires sterilisation on an open fire. This in turn means women are able to play a greater role within society and more children can attend school, improving gender equality and education.
Clean Water and Sanitation – Supplying families with clean water significantly reduces the need to burn firewood for sterilisation and limits the threat of disease. One borehole user said, “The water we drank was always dirty and I worried my children would become sick with typhoid or other water-borne diseases. Our lives have improved so much since the borehole was repaired.”
Climate Action – A key aim is to reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. The result of this to date has been a total offset of C02 emissions of 27,476 tonnes.
Canon Medical Systems will continue its efforts and is working towards a further eight of the SDGs. Through its work with carbon projects developer CO2balance, it supports initiatives that offset the C02 emissions caused through production and distribution of its products, as well as the company's corporate carbon footprint. Canon Medical Systems has been running its CarbonZero programme since 2014 and is still the only UK medical equipment provider to be a carbon neutral business.
Mark Hitchman, Managing Director of Canon Medical Systems UK, said: “As a leading healthcare technology provider, improving the lives of people across our planet is something we are incredibly passionate about – it is part of this company’s DNA. That is why it is of great importance to us that we take good care not only of people, but also of the environment we all share. We are honoured to have achieved UN partner status in recognition of our efforts and contribution to the wider good.”
Mark Hitchman concluded: “C02 in the earth’s atmosphere is a critical problem and if we don’t take action, it will lead to unpredictable changes in our global climate system. As customers look to business to define a purpose beyond profit, this announcement is testament to Canon Medical Systems’ focus on improving welfare in developing countries at the same time as improving health outcomes in the UK. This is very much in line with our corporate philosophy “Kyosei” which means living and working together for the common good.”