With operations focused on infection prevention, Bactiguard contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal: Good health and well-being. Bactiguard’s unique technology and product portfolio form an important link in the work to achieve the UN’s goal to eradicate infectious diseases and halt resistance to antibiotics.
Bactiguard’s operations in infection prevention play a key role in the fight to prevent healthcare associated infections (HAIs) and thereby reduce the use of antibiotics. According to WHO, antibiotic resistance has reached dangerously high levels throughout the world and has developed into a global crisis that has to be tackled urgently.
By 2050 ten million people risk dying every year from infections that will not be able to be cured with antibiotics unless the increase in resistance can be limited. People who are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria are more than 60% more likely to die than those infected by bacteria that are receptive to antibiotics.
HAIs are a growing problem and constitute a major threat to global public health. HAIs are infections that patients acquire during hospital treatment or when seeking other kinds of healthcare. The urinary tract, the respiratory tract and the bloodstream are the most common areas where HAIs occur. These infections often arise as a result of medical or surgical procedures. Over half of all HAIs are caused by bacterial growth on medical devices.
According to WHO one in every ten patients suffers from healthcare associated infections that lead to antibiotics being prescribed, which speeds up the development of resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent health risks of our time and threatens to undo a century of medical progress,” says
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO.
Significant contribution to the UN’s Global Goals
According to WHO, antibiotic resistance is a threat to achieving the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals. The lack of effective treatments for TB, pneumonia and urinary tract infections poses a serious threat to global public health.
By preventing infections, Bactiguard contributes directly to the UN’s Global Goal 3: Good health and well-being. The UN has stated that good health is essential for people to be able to realise their full potential and contribute to social development. The aim is to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030 and to combat hepatitis, waterborne diseases and other contagious diseases. This goal is at risk if we do not succeed in our work to prevent HAIs.
Bactiguard’s technology and product portfolio help to reduce the risks of HAIs. Viral infections – for example the coronavirus – places the body’s immune system under stress, which increases the risk of secondary bacterial infections. One of the most serious consequences of bacterial infections is sepsis, which is the leading cause of death around the world and is the cause of one in five deaths every year.
We offer significantly improved infection prevention when using medical devices. Our daily activities at Bactiguard help in the work to prevent HAIs. This is how we contribute to achieving the UN’s Global Goals. Infection prevention is therefore not only a strategic issue for Bactiguard, but a central component in healthcare and one of the most important sustainability issues for the future.
The most important measure of our success in this work will be when WHO is in a position to report that the levels of HAIs are falling in the world.
Trust is an important sustainability issue
The most important sustainability issue for us is our ability to contribute to better infection prevention. It is important for us to maintain the trust people have in us if we are going to be successful in this work. Bactiguard’s reputation and the trust we have from our customers, business partners, employees, suppliers, shareholders and other stakeholders are fundamental for our ability to succeed.
We strive to be a reliable, long-term partner for both existing and new customers. We want to be a reliable and trustworthy partner for healthcare services around the world. Our goal is to supply high-quality, safe products and services that help to reduce HAIs and improve health economics.
To protect our ethics and our reputation, our business relationships must always be defined by honesty, integrity and compliance with laws and regulations.
Every day we are in dialogue with a high number of stakeholders. The most important stakeholders are our customers, business partners, employees, governments and regulators, shareholders and competitors, as well as the societies where we operate. Our stakeholder relationships and dialogues must be honest, factual and transparent without risking our commercial confidentiality.
Sustainability related risks and risk management
One important risk in terms of sustainability is any damage to the trust people have in us. The main risks that we have identified are:
We must supply safe products to patients, customers and healthcare. It is therefore extremely important for all employees to carry out high-quality work. We are also continually performing clinical studies in order to generate more data about our products. We particularly want to see how effective our products are in preventing infections and other complications. We also study safety, user-friendliness and patient satisfaction. More than 40 clinical studies have been performed including a total of more than 100,000 patients.
We comply with all legal and regulatory requirements for clinical studies, product development, production, goods declarations, sales and marketing.
Our EC certificates, as with other regulatory approvals, are proof of our quality, showing our ability to maintain a high level of quality for our products and processes.
Our activities are notifiable under the Swedish Environmental Code. Our environmental work focuses on the safe management of chemicals and waste in product development and production. Our unique coating contains very small amounts of noble metals and does not require any special disposal procedures. The metals in the coating are not destroyed during incineration and are collected at the incineration plant.
Our environmental management system is based on ISO 14001 to ensure we adhere to the existing laws and requirements on the environment and that we conduct internal audits in a satisfactory manner.
We operate in many different countries – through licensees, distributors or our own direct presence. We adopt a zero-tolerance approach to bribes and undue influence so that we can mitigate the risk of corruption.
We have employees in countries where violations of human rights may occur. It is therefore important for all our employees to be well-versed in our code of conduct and ensure compliance. All employees must be aware of their rights as set out in the code of conduct.
The governance of sustainability for Bactiguard is based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the OECD’s principles and standards for multinational enterprises on responsible business conduct. We have adopted two policies for sustainability that regulate how the company, its subsidiaries and employees are to behave and act in order to build a business that is sustainable in the long term. These policies are the code of conduct and the environmental policy. The code of conduct has been set by the Board, while the environmental policy has been set by Group Management. The environmental policy is revised annually.
The code of conduct and the other policies must be communicated to every employee; it is the responsibility of every manager to ensure that this takes place within their own organisation. It is also the responsibility of these managers to ensure that employees who need to be made aware of specific goals, rules and procedures, or any other information, are told about them. It is up to every employee to comply with the code of conduct, as well as the rules and procedures that the company has set for its environmental work. The managers are responsible for monitoring compliance with these policies. The employees are encouraged to report any deviations and highlight any good examples. These policies are monitored through internal and external audits, meetings of the Board of Directors and Group management, and, in the organisation, at group meetings and employee appraisals.
This is a report on our policies for the following areas: the environment, employees and social aspects, respect for human rights and anti-corruption:
We have identified the following areas as being the most important areas for the environment:
As far as possible, our production must recycle waste, collect and sort hazardous items, and maintain a low scrap rate. We strive to be economical with water and electricity.
Any chemicals that are used in production and laboratory activities must be approved by the person responsible for chemicals internally, and these chemicals must have the lowest environmental impact.
We have a variety of waste in our operations, including paper and packaging. Waste for laboratory activities and production includes chemicals and non-durable goods. We strive to reduce the amount of waste and ensure that waste is recycled in an environmentally sound manner.
The environment is a parameter that must be considered for all purchases and negotiations of products and systems.
Any non-durable goods that are purchased must, where possible, bear a well-established environmental marking.
We consume energy through heating, hot water and electricity. We are working to reduce energy consumption and to make sure that the energy that we use has an ecolabel.
For travel, we must always consider whether it is possible to choose a more eco-friendly alternative, whether it is possible to replace a trip with a video conference, and whether the most eco-friendly choice of vehicle has been made.
The Group engages in notifiable activities under the Swedish Environmental Code (environmentally hazardous activities and health protection) and to the Swedish Work Environment Authority (use of contagions in risk group 2). The notifiable activities concern portions of the production process and the research and development the company conducts.
Employees and social aspects
To be successful in our business and help to prevent HAIs, we rely on motivated employees. To ensure that we have motivated employees, it is important for our culture to be defined by innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity. Our core values form an integral part of everything we do and help to create a positive work environment.
We work together to achieve our goals and therefore create a work environment where employees can experience job satisfaction and feel a sense of commitment. We utilise our employees’ individual skills, which span a wide range of areas, including product and business development, production, clinical studies, marketing and sales.
Every employee must receive correct and fair remuneration based on their individual performance and their contribution to the company’s success. Employees should be offered suitable training to develop relevant competence, grow within the company and progress in their career.
The employees are encouraged to report any breaches of the code of conduct. Any reports must be dealt with quickly and fairly, and be subject to a detailed investigation. In 2020 no reports were dealt with and there are no reports under investigation.
During the pandemic employees who can carry out their duties outside the workplace have been asked to work from home to minimise the risk of transmitting the infection.
Respect for human rights
Every employee should be treated equally and fairly. Recruitments and promotions are based on competence alone. We strive to create a work environment where everyone is respected, irrespective of their individual differences, abilities or personalities. No employee or potential employee should face discrimination or harassment because of their age, ethnicity, gender, religion, neurodiversity, nationality, sexual orientation, family situation or political beliefs.
We do not accept child labour or forced labour.
Every employee is entitled to choose whether or not they want to be represented by a trade union and negotiate collectively. No employee may be discriminated on the grounds of trade union membership.
We adopt a zero-tolerance approach to bribes. We do not allow anyone to be offered payments or other benefits to influence them to recommend, use or buy our products or services. We do not negotiate or sign agreements with business partners, where we have reason to believe that they pay bribes or make unsolicited payments. We do not discuss with competitors or enter agreements with them about pricing, market shares or other similar illegal activities.