The green revolution: what does the future look like for practices?

The green revolution: what does the future look like for practices?

Dürr Dental explains why dental companies should embrace sustainable practices with a clear vision for a greener future.

Environmental sustainability is a growing concern worldwide and a significant business priority. Forward-thinking companies are already reassessing their everyday practices, workplace culture, and purchasing choices to embrace a greener approach. 

Dentistry’s reliance on various equipment and disposable materials results in a shockingly large footprint. A recent study suggests the overall carbon footprint of dental practices has risen from 27 tonnes to 35 tonnes. Increased waste and staff travel are having an impact – despite a decrease in electricity-related emissions (Duane et al, 2024).

According to FDI World Dental Federation: ‘There is an urgent need for the oral healthcare profession to acknowledge responsibility for its impact and ensure high-quality, environmentally sustainable care for all.’ 

To reduce waste and curb pollution, proponents of a more holistic approach to dentistry are already innovating and placing sustainability at the heart of their operations. 

The profession can significantly improve its burden by implementing sustainable practices such as:

  • Reducing water and energy consumption
  • Encouraging alternatives to car use for work travel
  • Minimising waste
  • Using eco-friendly materials
  • Sourcing equipment from companies mindful of their environmental impact and taking action to minimise it. 

Of course, prioritising eco-friendly practices must be balanced with a continual commitment to the safest possible care delivery for patients.

The call for sustainability

The UK government’s recent move to ban wet wipes, designed to eradicate the pollution caused by their breaking down into microplastics, reminds us of the environmental impact of everyday items. When legislation is passed (this is promised before the government’s summer recess), an 18-month transition period will allow businesses to prepare. With overwhelming support for the new law (and some criticism that it has taken so long), there’s a growing demand for sustainable alternatives. 

Disinfection wipes are widely used in dentistry, contributing to the significant burden on ecosystems. Dürr Dental is a third-generation family business deeply committed to sustainability. Recognising its responsibility to future generations, it has become a cornerstone of its business strategy. From its buildings and production plants to products and research, it is actively pursuing initiatives to minimise its environmental footprint.

It is already meeting the need for sustainable alternatives to plastic wipes. Its FD green disinfection wipes add a big sustainability boost to its proven surface disinfection systems. The new wipe material comprises plastic-free natural fibres from certified renewable raw materials. It demonstrates that the company takes sustainability seriously, quickly meeting the need for change.

Building and production

Significant achievements in energy efficiency have marked the company’s journey towards carbon neutrality. Through sustainable heating systems, self-generated electricity from solar panels and energy refurbishments of its buildings, it has already achieved a remarkable 70% reduction in primary energy consumption. Investments in green roofs and LED lighting further demonstrate a commitment to a more sustainable infrastructure.

The company is also moving to e-mobility for its passenger car fleet and establishing e-charging infrastructure at its sites. It implements work bikes and mobile working/home office arrangements to reduce its carbon footprint.

Unsurprisingly, its products are also designed for energy efficiency and longevity. For example, the VistaScan Mini View 2.0 image plate scanner boasts a 40% reduction in energy consumption. The new Tyscor suction units also achieve an impressive 75% reduction. The company’s commitment to ecological packaging and local supplier structures also reflects a holistic approach to sustainability.

Sustainable technology

Dr Manoj Parmar is the principal at the award-winning Acorn Implant & Dental Practice in Birmingham and has been a keen advocate of technology, which meets modern-day expectations on all fronts, including sustainability.

He says: ‘We are constantly bombarded with technological advancements in dentistry, usually wrapped in marketing rhetoric on how it will improve efficiency, improve results, reduce costs, make dentistry more sustainable or a combination of the above. We embrace digital advancements in our practices and laboratory, but this is always done with considerable thought and research to ensure that quality of care is not compromised. At some point, you have to take the leap, so Dürr’s VistaScan Mini View, for example, integrates well with any practice management system – and has a minimal footprint.’

Dürr Dental’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond its internal operations. Its Gechingen production site has been carbon neutral since 2023, with measures like insulation, renewable energy sources and LED lighting contributing to its eco-friendly footprint. Similar efforts are underway at its headquarters in Bietigheim-Bissingen, demonstrating a company-wide commitment to environmental stewardship.

As governments worldwide take decisive action to combat plastic pollution, the dental industry must heed the call for sustainability. 

Dürr Dental’s pioneering initiatives demonstrate what is possible when companies prioritise environmental responsibility. With innovative products, sustainable practices and a clear vision for a greener future, it is leading the charge towards a more sustainable dentistry landscape. 

For more information about Dürr Dental, visit


Duane B, Steinbach I, What is the environmental footprint of a dental practice? A life cycle analysis (Part 1), British Dental Journal 2024

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