A new life for unused medical equipment

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
©Credit/Envie Autonomie, 2019
Equipment collected by Envie Autonomie ready for repair and sanitisation before sale or rent
Problem addressed
In France, expenditure on health for people with disabilities
is high and has increased by EUR 13.5 billion since 2005.
Despite this increase in public health spending, individuals
with disabilities in France spend a substantial amount on
medical equipment – EUR 1.4 billion in 2013 alone. At the
same time, a large amount of viable medical equipment
is abandoned every year and goes to waste.
Innovative solution
Run by the Envie network, Envie Autonomie recovers,
recycles and reuses old medical equipment in order to
lower expenses for disabled people. The innovative aspect
lies in the fact that it of‌fers employment opportunities to
vulnerable people in the process.
The Envie network is made up of 50 companies that are
committed to social inclusion. The companies collectively
employ 2 500 people under the Envie Autonomie project.
These employees were previously either in a precarious
work situation or long-term unemployed. They f‌ind and
collect medical equipment that is no longer wanted, sort
through it and restore it. The equipment can then be
rented or purchased by anyone who needs it at a cost
that is between 50% and 70% cheaper than the cost of
purchasing new equipment.
Envie Autonomie also supports people with disabilities
to access the equipment. It provides loans and f‌inancial
services if needed and of‌fers technical assistance for the
delivery and installation of equipment.
Key results and benef‌its
Since 2015, the project has hired 50 full-time employees
and 2 450 employees on a temporary basis. It has collected
14 000 medical items and equipped 2 200 individuals
with 2 500 refurbished materials. The project is enabling
vulnerable people who have had trouble accessing full-
time and stable work to gain marketable, specialised skills
A new life for unused medical equipment
Envie Autonomie

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