EWMA Objectives Acting on UN Sustainable Development Goals 

EWMA, dedicated to improving wound care, has integrated sustainability into its objectives, aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). EWMA president Dr. Kirsi Isoherranen emphasizes the importance of this move, aiming to leverage EWMA’s network to advance sustainability in healthcare. She urges professionals to rethink daily practices with sustainability in mind.

As an association, whose core goal is to improve the lives of wound patients, EWMA has a set of objectives and goals to promote the best wound treatment and prevention. Yet these goals also contain an awareness that EWMA has a desire to contribute to a sustainable world. Improving the conditions of humanity is also improving the conditions of patients.  

With sustainable development being an ever more important issue in the global community, EWMA has now defined a number of actions specifically related to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where the work of EWMA is relevant. 

“The UN Sustainable Development Goals are global, and they are more like general goals that have an impact on daily life. But we thought that EWMA’s objectives and goals fit very well with many of the UN goals. By framing them in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, our objectives and goals get more strength and a bigger scope. It gives us the possibility of bigger thinking and give it more authority and perhaps we take them more seriously. That was the main reason behind this initiative,” says EWMA President Dr. Kirsi Isoherranen. 

These objectives were decided in April 2023 and were presented during the EWMA 2023 conference in May. 

EWMA ensures a great network across health care professionals, scientists, health care industry and health care services, and aims to use that position to help advance the sustainability agenda within the field of wound care. 

“We hope that every professional that is related to EWMA will rethink their daily practice in reflection to these goals, as sustainability thinking is something that none of us can escape anymore. So we must rethink our daily practice, our way of education, everything. And it is not only related to the use of materials, it is also related to well-structured education and to the right timed diagnosis of the wound patient,” says Dr. Kirsi Isoherranen. 

5 Sustainable Development Goals

The actions fall under five of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. These are areas, where EWMA can have an impact on sustainable development.

The five SDGs and what EWMA does and aims to do are: 

  1. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (SDG 3) 
    The core mission of EWMA is to improve European wound patients’ quality of life. Key components to achieving that is to pursue and encourage a multidisciplinary approach to wound treatment and management, as well as enhancing person-centered care and focus on healthy lifestyle. An important way for EWMA to do this is through publication of scientific and educational projects and documents such as these on person-centered care and lifestyle factors (EWMA document on Person-Centred Care – ewma.org and The Impact of patient health and lifestyle factors on wound healing: 2020–ongoing – ewma.org).

     
  2. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG 4):  
    Education has always been central to EWMA. Supporting good education in wound management is key to the realisation of EWMA’s main objective to improve and develop wound management in Europe. Educational activities include selecting and putting together curricula as well as facilitating e-learning courses and webinars. EWMA also works to make translations of material into several languages, with hopes to reach out to even more people and make knowledge readily available for all across language barriers.  Educational activities are also done in collaboration with international partner organisations to ensure a broader reach. Learn more about EWMA education activities here:  With the expertise that is collected in its network, EWMA also identifies and endorses high standard education courses and programmes within wound healing and management to ensure quality education all over the world.  Learn more about endorsements here: https://ewma.org/what-we-do/education/ewma-endorsements

     
  3. Reduce inequality within and among countries (SDG 10)
    EWMA advocates equality in wound care, also amongst the poor and disabled people or people with health conditions or impairments. It has always been a core mission of EWMA to support collaboration between European wound healing associations and international partner organisations to ensure knowledge and expertise is shared across borders to benefit wound patients everywhere.  Free resources for education and knowledge are made available by EWMA for all, as knowledge to aid in healthcare should not be reserved for any one group. Health economy and cost effectiveness in healthcare are areas of focus for EWMA.

     
  4. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG 12)
    Rapid and accurate wound diagnosis is extremely important not only to the well being of the patient but also to avoid unnecessary interventions and use of wound care materials. This is an issue that EWMA addresses often, for example in the newly released document on Lower Leg Ulcer Diagnosis and Treatment (EWMA Programme on Compression Therapy – ewma.org). There is constantly technological advancements and innovations in the field of wound healing, which EWMA has a keen eye on and make sure to address, as in the document New Technologies in Tissue Replacement (New technologies for tissue replacement – ewma.org).  While technology and is often a costly resource, it is also here that great advancements in sustainability can be made. Thus EWMA will aim to promote the development of sustainable and reusable technologies (e.g., devices, dressings, compression materials, offloading devices).

     
  5. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG 13) One of EWMA’s big activities is the yearly EWMA conference. Conferences are important to the scientific community, health care professionals and industry to share knowledge, to develop relations, and to promote the best healthcare to colleagues around the world.  But it takes a lot of resources to gather so many people. What can be done, however, is to minimize the environmental impact of the events. And this is where EWMA can take action and promote conferences with sustainable policies. This can be reduction of use of materials by keeping most electronic and reusing materials from previous conferences, making sure venues are easily accessible by public transportation, and cutting nonessentials. There is still much to be done in this area, and the EWMA Conference team is far from done in thinking about ways to minimize the impact on climate and the environment. But the course is set, and EWMA is determined to be part of a positive development.
     

Read more about EWMA’s objectives and goals and how we aim to promote the Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more about the goals here.

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