CM Health gets official nod for sustainability efforts

Media statement 17 December 2018 | Counties Manukau Health (CM Health) has again been recognised for reducing its carbon footprint with the renewal of its Certified Emissions, Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) Certification.

One of the latest projects introduced as a result of the CEMARS programme is a new recycling system at Middlemore’s Emergency Department. 

The system was rolled out in March this year after an interdisciplinary team led by Wendy Sundgren (charge nurse and clinical champion)and  more than 20 nurses attended a green team training session. Now, the department fills up to 20 wheelie bins a week of recyclable materials, including PVC and soft plastic, diverting an average of 2.5 tonnes of waste away from landfill each month.

Sustainability manager Debbie Wilson says clinicians who work in the emergency department have responded well to the new recycling system.

“They are so dedicated to contribute to a cleaner and greener environment,” Ms Wilson says.

New bins have recently been provided to other areas in the hospital, including the critical care complex and the national burns unit, she says. In these departments there are now bins for single use metal items such as scissors and tweezers, and these items will also be recycled.

CM Health plans to extend the service to other areas early in 2019. The organisation also operates a number of worm farms at some community sites. There are 18 worm farms spread across six sites. They can be found at the Auckland Regional Spinal Unit, Lambie Drive and at a sensory garden on Kerr’s Road.

“This is a unique way for a large health organisation to deal with food waste,” Ms Wilson says, adding plans are underway to increase the number of worm farms in the hope to divert more food waste away from landfill. The compost will be used to grow vegetables, with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of the local community by making fresh vegetables more readily available.

CM Health was first certified in the CEMARS scheme in 2012. It has reduced its emissions by 18 per cent since this time. Ms Wilson says CM Health is committed to reducing emissions by at least 2 per cent each year.  A new goal has been set by the organisation, which is to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Issued by: CM Communications

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