Media release 12 February 2018 | Associate Health Minister the Hon Julie Anne Genter visited Counties Manukau Health’s Middlemore Hospital today to look at the ways it is reducing its carbon footprint.
Ms Genter, whose visit to the hospital was the first since her appointment to the office, saw first-hand the steps the organisation is taking towards its goal of being carbon neutral* by 2050.
So far, Counties Manukau Health (CM Health) has reduced its carbon emissions by more than 20 per cent through a number of measures including promoting the use of reusable cups, resulting in a saving of more than $40,000 since the project was started in 2012.
Other activities which have reduced CM Health’s carbon emissions include programming computers to go sleep mode after a period of not being used and waste reduction activities. Targeting these areas have resulted in a combined saving of $150,000.
Supply chain and procurement represent a large area of opportunity. Data obtained about the NHS UK carbon footprint suggests procurement accounts for 60 per cent of their emissions. As a part of our programme, CM Health anaesthetist Rob Burrell has been involved in a project looking at the impact of anaesthetic gas on the environment and has identified one option (sevoflurane) that has less impact on the environment and is cheaper to use than alternative drugs. This has also has resulted in an estimated $150,000 over the last 12 months.
The new goal of becoming carbon neutral is part of the strategy, Environmental Regeneration at CM Health 2017-2050. It covers several areas of carbon reduction including energy, travel, waste, procurement, supply chain, and green building design, with an emphasis on communicating this message to a wide audience.
Acting chief executive Gloria Johnson says CM Health is proud to have already reduced its carbon footprint by over 20 per cent in the last five years and the organisation’s ongoing commitment to environmental regeneration will accelerate this progress over the coming years.
Dr Johnson says CM Health’s efforts are in line with national and global efforts.
“In 2015 the United Nations launched a new set of global sustainable development goals and all member states will be expected to use these to frame their domestic policies for the next 15 years.
“Regenerative practices ultimately improve the wellbeing of our population – through creating a healthier environment, and through saving money that can be better spent on care.”
Ms Genter’s visit highlights the fact that CM Health is on the right track, she says.
*Carbon neutrality is achieved by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset.
For further information, contact the Counties Manukau Health media line on 09 250 9857.