Boston Scientific’s Sustainable Journey – From Innovation to Impact

 As a leading global medical device company, Boston Scientific acknowledges the intrinsic link between planetary and human health. The company strives to integrate its core values into its operations across all markets.

“I’ve traveled extensively and the consistent set of values across our company is remarkable,” says Kathryn Graves Unger, Vice President of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) at Boston Scientific.  

“Regardless of the location, there is a palpable sense of unity at Boston Scientific,” Unger says. “The standards of quality, the caliber of individuals, and the unwavering focus on improving patient health all converge to reinforce our shared purpose. This focus is the cornerstone of our company.”  

With more than 37 million patients served and up to 90 new products launched in 2023 globally, Boston Scientific places paramount importance on its unique position within the industry. Acknowledging the inherent lead time associated with the development of new products, the company emphasizes its capacity to integrate sustainability objectives into its innovation process.  

This strategic approach underscores Boston Scientific’s commitment not only to advancing medical technology but also to aligning its endeavors with broader environmental and social imperatives. Unger emphasizes the importance of allocating resources toward initiatives that make a difference.  

“Whether it’s innovating care to help people live longer, better lives; empowering people by advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace and communities; or enabling a healthier planet, we are committed to making sustainable progress,” she says. 

Unger notes that while Boston Scientific diligently pursues sustainability measures, its customers and patients may not always be cognizant of these efforts. The company has made significant strides in several ways.  

Kathryn Graves Unger, the Vice President of Environmental Social and Governance at Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific was one of the first within its sector to have its net-zero, science-based scope 1, 2 and 3 targets approved under the Science Based Targets initiative Net-Zero Standard, setting the company on a path toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This includes a goal to achieve carbon neutrality (scopes 1 and 2) for manufacturing and key distribution facilities by 2030. The company achieved 82% renewable electricity last year at its manufacturing and key distribution facilities, bringing it closer to its goal of 100% by the end of 2024. This includes renewable electricity generated on-site and purchased electricity matched with electricity from renewable sources. Central to Boston Scientific’s ethos is a proactive strategy emphasizing reduction, conversion, and compensation.  

As an integral component of its sustainability endeavors, Boston Scientific engages in collaborative efforts with its suppliers to comprehensively assess their environmental footprint and strategize methods to reduce carbon emissions. Concurrently, teams collaborate closely with their counterparts at facilities worldwide to identify actionable steps toward sustainability. A notable instance of such initiatives originates from Taiwan, where efforts to minimize paper usage yielded tangible results.  

“Taiwan is ahead on reducing packaging waste,” Unger says. “We were the first multinational medical device company to switch our Taiwan instructions for use entirely to a digital platform, eliminating millions of sheets of paper annually.”  

In 2023 over half Boston Scientific’s Taiwan employees took part in BSC Academy, Boston Scientific’s STEM education program.

Unger further stresses the importance of fostering meaningful connections with employees and communities. At Boston Scientific, employee engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion play a pivotal role in advancing ESG initiatives, underscoring the company’s foundational belief that “everyone makes an impact.”  

On a global scale, Boston Scientific staff demonstrated their commitment to social responsibility by contributing 50,000 volunteer hours in 2023. The company’s outreach efforts also extended to the realm of education, with 110,000 students benefiting from engagement with STEM programs supported by Boston Scientific. These impressive figures underscore the company’s dedication to making a positive impact beyond its core business activities, fostering a culture of service and support within communities worldwide. 

In Taiwan, the company’s 130 employees contribute over a thousand hours each year to advance STEM programming and volunteer on behalf of local communities. For example, 98% of employees in Taiwan have completed STOP THE BLEED® emergency response training, which benefits employees, their families, and the wider community. The company also sponsors Taiwan Pride, joining similar pride parade sponsorships in other BSC locations around the world, and holds a Purple Light Up campaign for International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.  

“I am so impressed at the way that our Taiwan facility has embraced DE&I both within the community and our workplace,” says Unger. “In Taiwan, 80% of our senior leaders and 60% of the total workforce are women. That’s remarkable. And I think that really demonstrates who we are, as Boston Scientific.”