Disposable bio-based aprons for Skåne’s healthcare sector (Sweden)

Following an analysis carried out in 2011 of the region of Skåne's impacts on climate change emissions, the regional council discovered that 40% of the Skåne's CO2 emissions were generated through its healthcare sector. A large part of this impact was caused by single-use (or disposable) products, such as protective aprons. In 2014, Skåne's healthcare sector was responsible for using and disposing of 5.2 million single-use aprons, generating the equivalent of 300 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The climate impact caused by these kinds of products can be reduced by limiting unnecessary consumption, finding new materials offering better performance and lower weight, as well as replacing fossil-based materials with fossil-free alternatives through, for example, innovation procurement

As a climate-neutral disposable protective apron was not available on the market at that time, the Region of Skåne embarked on an innovation-oriented public procurement process to purchase aprons mostly made from renewable (bio-based) material. The process began in 2014 and concluded in May 2016 with the contract awarded to a company for the supply of disposable aprons consisting of 91% renewable material. The purchase/use of the bio-based aprons is expected to result in savings of 250 tonnes per year of CO2 emissions.

For the Region of Skåne, the procurement exercise meant not only that it was possible to stimulate innovation, which led to the development of a more climate-neutral product, but that it was also possible to create a model for how a PPI can be implemented, with lessons - and newly developed materials - that can be implemented in future processes.

More details
To read the full case study and all the lessons that were learned, please download the report from here.

Bio-based aprons