Why is sustainability important?

As a portfolio medical technology company, Smith+Nephew’s purpose is to restore and promote health and wellbeing.

We believe that this applies not just to the benefits our products deliver to patients, but also to the wider health of the planet and society.

Our sustainability strategy

Our sustainability strategy is built on our purpose – Life Unlimited, our business strategy and our culture pillars of Care, Collaboration and Courage.

Our sustainability strategy, which was developed by our Sustainability Council and approved by the Board, was inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is directed by our business strategy that forms the basis of our value creation plan for the medium term. It is designed to help us grow together; not just as a Company, but as a global team, and to do so in an efficient and effective way.

Our sustainability strategy reflects the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainable development. As a profit-seeking enterprise, our challenge is to focus our efforts on meeting our economic objectives while at the same time optimising the social impact and reducing the environmental impact of our work.

Net zero transition plan

We have developed an overview of our net zero transition plan based on the UK Transition Plan Taskforce Disclosure Framework issued in October 2023. Our transition planning will be updated periodically as we progress against our milestones and as best practice emerges.

Our targets


  • We are committed to living our culture in our communities by providing 8 hours of paid volunteer time to all employees and enabling at least 50 community/charity events across our sites each year from 2023 to 2030.
  • Between 2020 and 2030, donate $125 million in products to underserved communities
  • Empower and promote the inclusion of all


Our progress in 2023:

  • 95 events in the first year
  • $5.1 million product donations in 2023. Total since 2020 = $16.2m
  • 4200+ employees engaged across our 7 Global Employee Inclusion Groups and sub-groups.


Additional actions:

  • Consolidate and implement our social responsibility strategy globally, including providing guidance to all locations on social contribution and volunteering activities.
  • Continue to measure and report on health and safety metrics (eg incident rates) at our operations and commercial (non-manufacturing) sites.
  • Implement tailored HSE training for our commercial sites.
  • Enhance the HSE audit programme and governance framework to include additional commercial sites.
  • Continue to share HSE and sustainability best practices across operations sites.


  • Achieve net zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHGs by 2040 and Scope 3 GHGs by 2045, beginning by achieving a 70% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHGs by 2025.
  • Achieve zero waste to landfill at our facilities in Memphis, US, and Malaysia by 2025 and at all of our strategic manufacturing facilities by 2030.

Our progress in 2023:

  • We have made a commitment to achieve net zero by these dates. A carbon roadmap for Scopes 1 and 2 through 2025 has been developed and a roadmap forScope 3 is being developed. We have calculated our baseline 2021 Scope 3 GHG emissions data.
  • 40,266 tonnes Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2e emitted (market-based), a 40% reduction since 2019.
  • 1.3 million tonnes Scope 3 CO2e emitted.
  • Zero waste to landfill in our Malaysia facility.
  • 849 tonnes sent to landfill from Memphis. We sent 32% less waste to landfill during 2023 compared to 2019
  • 1,411 tonnes sent to landfill from all our strategic manufacturing facilities. We sent 30% less waste to landfill during 2023 compared to 2019.


Additional actions:

  • Develop and implement a GHG emissions reduction programme.
  • Determine local human and ecosystem water needs at each significant location.
  • Develop and implement a water reduction programme targeted to waterstressed locations.
  • Develop and implement a waste reduction programme.
  • Develop a Scope 3 GHG emissions reduction roadmap and set interim objectives.
  • All current metrics (eg water usage and recycling percentages) will continue to be measured and reported.


  • Include sustainability review in New Product Development (NPD) for all new products and product acquisitions.
  • We are committed to reducing our packaging and designing with reusable, recyclable and/or renewable resources that are sustainably sourced.
  • By 2025, complete a focused risk-based due diligence of our Tier 1 suppliers, including risk-based analysis of sub-tier suppliers, to assure compliance with our sustainability requirements.


Our progress in 2023:

  • Sustainability is now embedded into our NPD phase review process, ensuring that we discuss, consider and implement sustainability measures as part of product development (design and manufacturing).
  • We have refined and updated our packaging objective. We have continued to improve sustainable sourcing, including our ‘regionalisation strategy’ to purchase more packaging materials from local suppliers. We continue to use our electronic Instructions For Use platform, minimising paper instructions issued where possible.
  • We have completed due diligence and assessments of Tier 1 suppliers according to our risk-based procedure. We have continued our supplier on-site audit programme for suppliers identified through risk-based analysis. On-site audits include worker interviews and practical assessment of the implementation of supplier policies and procedures to assure compliance with modern slavery, human trafficking, HSE and sustainability requirements.


Additional actions:

  • Identify and catalogue the sustainability attributes in existing products and services.
  • Apply identified international labour standards to our third-party sellers as part of our Third Party Seller Compliance Programme.
  • Identify sustainability requirements which are significant for customers, investors and regulators and embed them into R&D/NPD objectives and processes.
  • Develop and implement a programme to communicate and embed product and service sustainability attributes into medical education, market development, sales training, R&D/NPD and product launch, evidence generation and manufacturing processes through collaborative working

S+N Pulse

Stories from the heart of Smith+Nephew.

Read about some the ways that we're working to deliver on our Sustainability targets. 

EVP Diversity.4

Sustainability Reports Archive