Kickoff meeting of CAREFREE project led by Nicole Bouvy


The CAREFREE-project is a dynamic, multidisciplinary research project aimed at transforming healthcare into sustainability practices and funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The research focuses on reducing the environmental impact of operating rooms.

NUTRIM Professor Nicole Bouvy: “We're passionate about reducing the environmental footprint of healthcare and aligning it with global sustainability goals and committed to making a difference. Our work aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Health Care Green Deal targets”.

Collaborations & Expertises

CAREFREE brings together experts from diverse fields, including social psychology, ethics and philosophy, sustainability research, surgery, anaesthesiology, pharmacology and toxicology, health economics, operations research, industry partners, procurement, medical societies and many more. Our collaborative approach empowers us to gain unique insights and to create effective strategies for positive change.

Hospitals already pay a lot of attention to sustainability, for example through the Green Deal Zorg 3.0 and various 'Green Teams', including at Maastricht UMC+ (MUMC+).

Led by MUMC+ professor of innovative surgical techniques Nicole Bouvy, this study adds a dimension to that; an in-depth analysis using the common (15,000 times a year in the Netherlands) gallbladder removal via keyhole surgery. To include all aspects of sustainability, a diverse team was assembled: researchers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, philosophers, materials purchasers, policy makers and stakeholders from the drug and instrument industry, water boards, TNO and RIVM.

Kick off meeting

The meeting on October 11th marked a significant milestone as we officially kicked off our CAREFREE-project. “It was an opportunity to set the course for the next six years and align our vision.
In the spirit of sustainability, each of our partners received a reusable and sustainable mug crafted from recycled clay. It's a symbol of our unwavering commitment to a greener future.

The journey is only just beginning, and we're looking for passionate individuals to join us. We have exciting vacancies in various areas, from PhD opportunities focusing on pharmaceutical residues to life cycle assessment, philosophy and ethics.”


Do you have questions or want to get involved? Feel free to reach out to us at Or follow carefree on LinkedIn

Read more or on the website of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Heelkunde


The research is entitled CAREFREE (Creating A healthieR Environment for FutuRE patiEnts). Besides Maastricht UMC+, the following institutes are part of the research team: Radboudumc, Radboud University, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, UMCG, Laurentius Hospital, Rijnstate, Spaarne Gasthuis, Isala (hospital), Heelkunde Instituut Nederland, Annadal Kliniek and Maastricht University.

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