How Philips is helping dentists transition to a circular economy

How Philips is helping dentists transition to a circular economy

Philips shares the details of its sustainability strategy, from minimising the environmental impact of its operations to promoting a circular economy through recycling.

Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, is driving sustainability across its operations. The company is minimising its environmental impact and investing in protective initiatives with a social conscience to positively impact both people’s and the planet’s health.

As a global health technology leader, Philips is helping to create a more sustainable future for people all around the world through its environmentally conscious business model. Producing ground-breaking innovations for more than 130 years, Philips is leading the transition to a circular economy with eco-by-design product development practices and green initiatives that extend the lifetime value of its solutions.

Minimising environmental impact

Philips environmental achievements so far include:

  • Carbon-neutral in its operations
  • 100% of operations powered by renewable energy
  • 91% of operational waste is recycled
  • Zero waste to landfill from industrial sites
  • 20% of sales from circular products and solutions
  • 71% of sales from green products and services.

Chris Taylor, sustainability lead Philips UK&I, said: ‘We are dedicated to creating a more sustainable business and know that many of our customers and their patients are becoming much more environmentally conscious, deliberately seeking out companies and brands with a positive focus on minimising their environmental impact. 

‘We have worked assiduously to support the dental sector in its journey towards sustainability.’

‘From our work at Philips, we know that human health and planet health are intrinsically linked, and so we’re working with numerous external partners globally to invest in projects that support underserved communities who experience health inequalities around the world.

‘These include providing safe drinking water to combat waterborne diseases and supplying access to clean energy while improving health and education.

‘Projects also focus on protecting nature and biodiversity through re-forestation and forest preservation. Buying a Philips product is a simple way to support a wider environmental campaign. For example, our clean drinking water project in Uganda and Ethiopia has already helped over one million people.’

Championing sustainability across oral healthcare

Philips has updated the sustainability of its Sonicare toothbrushes and brush heads with 70% of the plastic used in brush heads is bio-based, and old brush heads are recycled back into Philips products. Meanwhile, toothbrush handles, and Power Flossers can be recycled in small electronic depots throughout the UK.

Packaging concerns also remain a key issue in the road to sustainability, particularly when ensuring products meet hygiene regulations. Philips has transformed its packaging for 2025:

  • All packaging material is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • Paper and cardboard used contains 100% recycled content or is from 100% certified renewable sources (or a combination of the two)
  • Where possible, no plastic is included. If plastics are necessary, they will contain more than 50% recycled content, or 100% bio-based content
  • Use of PVC and EPS and other polymeric foam materials has been banned.

‘We know dentists are time poor, and communicating any sustainable updates with patients can be a challenge,’ says Chris Taylor.

‘To combat this, we have created eco passports for each dental product, which allows us to share the environmental benefits of our Philips Green products. Each passport imparts insights about energy efficiency, recycling, and packaging.’

Promoting a circular economy

To further encourage the circular economy, Philips has partnered with Terracycle, leaders in recycling hard-to-recycle materials. To date, with the help of Philips’ dental partners, the company has:

  • 420 dental collection points in the UK
  • Collected 594 tons of recyclable dental waste
  • Facilitated the donation of significant funds to participating practices’ nominated charities.

‘Terracycle has the global footprint to scale the program across countries and categories,’ says Chris Taylor. ‘They are able to support Philips in buying back the recycled waste to put into our manufacturing process. We work with the Terracycle Insights Team to ensure the programme has a positive carbon footprint impact.’

To find out more about Philips’ Environmental Credentials please visit:

To find out more about the Philips’ Terracycle programme and to sign up, please visit: or

This article is sponsored by Philips.

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