Clinipower’s team was strengthened in November with a new employee, sustainability expert Jaana Pirhonen. Over the years, Pirhonen has worked as an environmental and quality expert at Niemi Services Ltd., as a project manager for the Uusimaa social and health organization partnership network Kumaja, as a research manager at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, and as a special researcher at Università degli Studi di Verona.
“Don’t underestimate tacit knowledge. Clinipower has a strong team and a variety of expertise. I believe I will learn a lot from them.”
According to Pirhonen, in the medical device business, responsibility has often been viewed primarily from the perspective of operational safety, but increasingly, the importance of responsibility throughout the entire production chain is being emphasized. This includes examining the entire life cycle of a product, from the procurement of raw materials to the waste treatment of the discarded product.
“More and more buyers want responsibility from companies. All large companies have environmental and responsibility programs. Without them, you can no longer compete in tenders”, Jaana Pirhonen states.
According to her, it is becoming increasingly common for a portion of corporate executives’ performance bonuses to be linked to environmental metrics. It must affect at least 20 percent of the bonus for it to be significant.
Responsibility extends everywhere
When you start exploring the term “responsibility,” you are surprised by the multi-dimensional landscape that unfolds. Responsibility relates to, among other things, the environmental burden of raw material production and how production affects local communities. Responsibility also includes compliance with labor and occupational safety laws and timely payment of wages. When examining the level of responsibility, one can also look at the social message a company sends to the surrounding society. Does it include representatives of minorities among its employees, and what is the proportion of women in the staff?
“This all applies to consulting services companies as well. In them, the amount of responsibility for each service can be calculated, which includes the ergonomics and ecology of the home office”, Jaana Pirhonen reminds.
She understands that many small entrepreneurs initially feel overwhelmed by the breadth and diversity of responsibility issues. However, she emphasizes that not everything needs to be in order right away. It’s enough to start moving.
According to Jaana Pirhonen, one interesting area of responsibility is waste. Every year, a lot of equipment and textiles are removed in healthcare. Where do they end up?
“Now that there is a shortage of raw materials, considering the repair and reuse possibilities of medical devices from the design phase becomes significant”, Pirhonen states.
Progress has already been made in this area. For example, hospital textiles, which were previously either burned or taken to landfills, are now increasingly recycled.
Ikebana and its parallels to business projects
Jaana Pirhonen has been practicing Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, for over 20 years. At the same time, she has been teaching Ikebana at a community college for years.
At first glance, flower arranging and day job as a consultant at Clinipower seem very distant from each other. But are they?
“If I create a large arrangement for an exhibition, I need to have a vision to aim for. The implementation often proceeds through trial and error, and it requires persistence. In the end, however, I am overtaken by the joy of success. When I teach, my students range from complete beginners to experienced practitioners. I help them look at the arrangement from a new perspective. If they can’t get a plant into the position they want, I give them practical tips. I help them find creativity within themselves and the courage to express it.”
According to Jaana Pirhonen, the same applies to the business world. “If a company hasn’t considered responsibility issues at all, I need to first awaken the thought. As soon as the company’s leadership sets goals, I push them on the path and provide sparks for thought. When we reach the goal, the feeling of satisfaction is mutual.”
Text: Minna Torppa