Auckland DHB showcases sustainability advances to Associate Minister of Health

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Auckland DHB showcased the advances it has made in sustainability, including significant reductions in waste and carbon emissions, during a visit by the Associate Minister of Health today.

Hon. Julie Anne Genter visited both Auckland City and Starship Hospitals to address the DHB’s monthly sustainability forum and hear about progress in sustainability practices at one of the country’s leading DHBs. 

Ms Genter says the healthcare system contributes between 3% and 8% of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions and the issue is a challenge for the sector.

Auckland DHB Board Chair Pat Snedden says the organisation recognises the vital need to adopt sustainability initiatives and has had an active sustainability programme in place since 2015.

“We are a high-end user of gas, electricity and water and at the same time we produce significant amounts of waste and carbon emissions.  We are acutely aware of the need to be sustainable for the benefit of our business, our environment and the health of our community,” Pat says.

“We’re proud of our achievements so far, in particular the efforts we’ve made to reduce our waste, energy use and carbon footprint.  We’re committed to going even further and believe Auckland DHB can be a leader in sustainable healthcare in New Zealand.

“The Auckland DHB Senior Leadership Team has just endorsed the development of an Auckland DHB Sustainability Strategy based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As a first step, we will be undertaking an assessment to prioritise these 17 Sustainable Development Goals and will then begin taking the strides needed to achieve them.”

Since 2015, Auckland DHB has:

  • Reduced carbon emissions by 21% since joining the Certified Emissions Programme (CEMARS)
  • 94 fewer tonnes of medical and general waste has been delivered to landfill
  • Recycled more than 9,000kg of PVC plastic, such as intravenous bags, oxygen masks and oxygen tubing, in association with Baxter Healthcare.
  • Recycled more than 4,000kg of electronic, electrical and other metal waste.
  • Adopted the Energy 50/50 programme in partnership with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to reduce energy use by 50% and generate 50% of the remaining energy from on-site renewable sources. 
  • Introduced waste reduction strategies such as desk cubes instead of rubbish bins and tri-bin waste sorting throughout the DHB’s two main sites.

Pat says clinical areas in the hospital have also been encouraged to design and lead sustainable practices which are specific to their needs and environments.

Auckland DHB’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint were recognised last year when it received three Healthcare Climate Challenge awards from the Green Global Healthy Hospital Network.

ENDS

For further information, please contact the Auckland DHB Media Line on 09 375 3499 or email Sarah McMahon sbakker@adhb.govt.nz  

 

 

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