Published on 20 April 2023

Sustainable Diabetes Care

Earth Day is a once-a-year moment for both industry and individuals to come together to demonstrate commitment to protecting our shared environment. The theme for this year’s Earth Day – on Saturday 22 April – is ‘Invest In Our Planet’. 

Along this theme, companies globally are doing more and more to invest back into our planet and be more sustainable – however, for the diabetes care industry, these initiatives pose a unique set of challenges. People with diabetes depend on the products and the consumables they use for safe and effective diabetes management, but safety and hygiene requirements mean many products consist of elements that may only be used once.

For instance, if disposable needles are used several times, they become blunt, leading to the hardening of the patient’s skin tissue and eventually to poorer insulin action. Blood glucose test strips, too, can only be used once. Packaging is also difficult to reduce, as parts of products are often packed separately to protect from contamination and infection… 

An estimated 10.5% of adults aged 20–79 years worldwide have diabetes – and this number continues to rise.1  As the proportion of the world's population living with diabetes increases, so too will the potential environmental burden of diabetes care. 

Although we can't avoid the need for some disposable products and extra packaging in diabetes care, we can still find innovative ways to increase our sustainability in spite of these necessities. Together, the diabetes care sector can make small changes that will add up to a big impact for the planet. 

Take a look below at some of the measures we’re taking to reduce our environmental footprint and make daily diabetes management ‘greener’.

Click here to learn more about sustainability at Roche. 


1IDF. Diabetes Facts and Figures. Available here [Last accessed November 2022]