DUBAI: On the final day of Medlab Middle East today, experts from around the world gathered at the 23rd Annual Laboratory Management and Medicine Congress to discuss the importance of environmental and social sustainability in the sector.
The “Sustainability in the Lab” conference track featured laboratory leaders from the UAE, the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), and Germany, who emphasised the importance of laboratories adopting sustainable and eco-friendly practices in their operations.
The UAE Government has declared an official ‘Year of Sustainability’ for a second consecutive year, promoting sustainable values and driving actionable environmental change nationwide. Hospitals and healthcare organisations worldwide are responsible for 8 to 10 percent of global warming, with medical laboratories accounting for a large proportion of plastic consumption in the healthcare industry.
Opening the conference, Dr. Nehmat El Banna, CEO of Freiburg Medical Laboratory in Dubai, outlined the importance
of incorporating sustainability in laboratories across the region and shared practical tips on how laboratories can incorporate green practices. Dr. El Banna emphasised that a laboratory’s commitment to environmental responsibility helps protect the planet and contributes to the community’s overall well-being.
She said, ‘Given that laboratories consume five times more energy than regular businesses, this makes us five times more responsible for consciously reducing energy consumption. There is no escaping the fact that climate change has a negative effect on health, which will place a greater burden on the healthcare industry. As practitioners in the field, we have a collective responsibility to reduce the impact of climate change through the way we operate and run our laboratories.’
Other speakers at the Sustainability in the Lab track today included Dr. Sheri Scott, Senior Lecturer, Advanced Biomedical Scientist and Clinical Lab Sustainability Champion at Nottingham Trent University, UK, who explored ‘Ach
ieving a sustainable culture in laboratories – practice and certification’, and Amy Spiczka, Executive Director, ASCP Board of Certification, Indianapolis, USA who delved into the laboratory workforce sustainability and the value of credentialing.
Sustainability is one of the core values of Informa, the organisers of Medlab Middle East. Throughout its exhibition portfolio, which includes the global Medlab series, Informa continuously and actively works with exhibitors, partners, and attendees to make all events more sustainable.
Tom Coleman, Senior Exhibition Director, Medlab Series, Informa Markets, said, ‘The speakers at today’s Sustainability in the Lab Conference highlighted the importance of sustainability in the laboratory sector, which also applies to the events and exhibitions industry.’
He added, ‘Informa is taking proactive measures to make events more sustainable and is achieving this through initiatives such as the Better Stands Programme and by working with exhibitors, partners, and attendees
to prioritise sustainability. This commitment is reflected in ‘Fast Forward’, a five-year programme to integrate sustainability throughout Informa’s operations and partnerships.’
The Better Stands programme was implemented at Medlab Middle East in its 20th edition and encouraged exhibitors and their contractors to build reusable and recyclable structures that can be used for multiple events, reducing waste and lowering the exhibition’s carbon footprint. The initiative promotes a collaborative approach to sustainability and hopes to achieve a more sustainable and eco-friendly exhibition.
As a business and across its products, Informa aims to become carbon-neutral by 2025, zero waste, and net zero carbon by 2030, or potentially earlier. The company has also set a target to halve the waste generated through its products and events by 2025.
Showcasing game-changing laboratory products and the latest innovations from around the world, Medlab Middle East concludes its 23rd edition today. The exhibition featured
900 exhibitors from more than 40 countries, representing a 20 percent increase from last year. Medlab Middle East has hosted thousands of laboratory professionals from different specialities under one roof this week, who have met, networked, and learnt from leading laboratorians from across the globe.
The Medlab Series comprises Medlab Middle East, held annually in Dubai at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Following next is Medlab West Africa, which takes place from 22nd to 24th April, 2024, in Nigeria and Medlab Asia and Asia Health, which will be held in Bangkok from 10th to 12th July, 2024.
Source: Emirates News Agency