“Carbon offsetting – and how every purchase of Toshiba Medical equipment benefits some of the poorest parts of the world”

A commitment to redressing the balance

At Toshiba Medical Systems we care about the environment and about our responsibility to help people in parts of the world less fortunate than ours.

In the UK as a Sales and Service division we can only do so much to reduce the organisations Carbon footprint, so after 6 years of setting targets to reduce our impact on the environment. We have taken the decision to go beyond the impact of our own operation and do much more. We have joined forces with the carbon offsetting experts CO2 Balance to devise a scheme whereby the carbon footprint of every piece of Toshiba Medical equipment purchased is offset. CO2 Balance work in Kenya and Uganda on projects aimed at improving people’s lives whilst reducing Carbon emissions..

What is carbon offsetting?

  • Carbon offsetting is a way of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere by balancing out any emissions through environmental projects.
  • We started by calculating the carbon footprint of each of our products. For every piece of equipment this includes:

CO2

The path to ‘carbon zero’

Armed with that information, we worked closely with CO2balance – who specialise in projects that not only lead to less CO2 in the atmosphere and less deforestation but also improve the lives of people in developing countries. Together we have devised two projects that will benefit greatly from Toshiba Medical’s carbon offsetting initiative.

Kenyan Improved Stove Project

This project builds energy-saving cooking stoves for villages in Kenya, resulting in a 50% reduction in the need for firewood and cutting carbon emissions by up to 3 tonnes per stove, about the same footprint as an ultrasound scanner. It also provides families with a cost- and time-effective method to cook with, and has many other benefits:

  • Less firewood means less deforestation, which also benefits wildlife in terms of habitat and flood prevention
  • It’s a healthier method of cooking
  • Indoor smoke, a serious problem dubbed the ‘kitchen killer’, is reduced by half
  • Children don’t need to miss school to collect firewood

 

The number of people positively impacted by these projects:

  • A Toshiba Medical ultrasound scanner = 7 people positively impacted
  • A Toshiba Medical MRI 1.5T scanner = 254 people positively impacted
  • A Toshiba Medical 3TMRI scanner = 342 people positively impacted
  • A Toshiba Medical X-Ray System = 91 people positively impacted
  • A Toshiba Medical CT scanner = 87 people positively impacted

Ugandan Bore Hole Project

The project is based around repairing and maintaining boreholes in North East Uganda for seven years, supplying families with fresh clean water. As well as the natural health benefits it means that families no longer need to boil water, saving firewood and so cutting carbon emissions.

  • There are over 50,000 defective water supply installations in Africa (IIED 2009)
  • This is mainly due to lack of public involvement and lack of funding to support ongoing maintenance of the pumps
  • This project not only brings these boreholes back into use for the community but also creates a funding mechanism for the community that ensures their long-term maintenance – and therefore long-term water security

Making a difference

CO2balance, our offsetting partner, run “Gold Standard” projects which are monitored by the United Nations and as such are the most respected carbon offsetting projects available, providing environmental and health advantages.