Our Environmental Stewardship Strategy is giving life to our green actions. Guiding our endeavours the strategy enables us to manage our ecological footprint and, more importantly, the measurement and reporting of our performance in safeguarding the earth for future generations.
In the early phases, the Mater Hospital is implementing a number of goals and actions to capture and report our environmental intent and outcomes. With measurable targets we know that, by 2012, we will have significantly reduced our impact on the earth. The result will be the complete embodiment of the spirit of our mission to be a healing ministry.
The success of our strategy will be reported in our inaugural Environmental Action Plan and is reflected across five priority areas.
Set and achieve measurable energy reduction targets by 2012, we are developing a better understanding of energy and water usage, increasing efficiencies and reducing consumption. In the early phases we are currently determining our carbon footprint in a bid to accurately track and report our progress.
We know that our buildings, facilities and surrounding spaces can have a significant impact on the environment. Considering aspects in the design, construction, operation, maintenance and refurbishment of our buildings guarantees maximum environmental sustainability and efficiency of new and existing infrastructure.
As we continue to grow and evolve, our strategy is driving us to improve the environmental sustainability of new and existing buildings and facilities.
An estimated 607,000 kilograms of solid waste are produced by Australian hospitals every day. A complex matter, waste generation must be carefully considered in conjunction with other criteria such as hygiene and infection control. At the Mater Hospital we are reducing the volume of general and clinical waste generated per patient day.
Waste minimisation initiatives include monthly waste reporting to better understand and manage waste streams, the segregation of organic waste and, where possible, the recycling of paper, plastics, aluminium, glass and steel.
Our purchasing decisions have the ability to influence almost all aspects of our operations and their sustainability. We are committed to knowing what we are buying, where it has come from and where it will eventually go. Through our strategy we are reducing the environmental impact of our activities through informed lifecycle procurement decisions and processes.
As a healthcare organisation we rely on transportation to move patients, employees, clinicians, visitors, supplies and waste. Whilst the Mater Hospital is accessible via public transport we know that this is not always an appropriate mode of transport for patients and staff. As part of our strategy we will reduce the impact on human health and the environment caused by current transportation and travel choices through reduction in emissions from our fleet cars.
Our Environmental Stewardship Strategy demonstrates care for all creation and respect for the earth. It works towards reducing our contribution to carbon emissions, promotes wellness, encourages our caregivers and stakeholders to be environmentally responsible and it meets, and where possible, exceeds the requirements of relevant environmental legislation, regulations and standards.
The St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney (SV&MHS) Environmental Stewardship Strategy (ESS) commits the Mater Hospital to the following:
- Comply with all relevant environmental laws.
- Continue to improve our environmental action plan.
- Be responsive to the environmental concerns of our patients, staff, numerous stakeholders and the communities in which we deliver healthcare services.
- Build environmental stewardship awareness amongst our staff.
- Investigate and implement, where appropriate, programs to improve the efficiency of our resource consumption.
- Implement programs that minimise waste generation in our internal processes and through delivery of our services.
- Investigate and implement mutually beneficial programs of environmental management with governments and external stakeholders.
- Work with our suppliers to ensure that they establish and maintain appropriate environmental standards.
- Monitor and report our environmental stewardship progress.
A three year strategy the ESS is divided into five dimensions with working groups set up to to progress actions associated with each dimension:
Utilities and Greenhouse EmmissionsDeveloping a better understanding of energy usage, increasing efficiencies and reducing energy consumption.
Buildings and Physical EnvironmentMaximising environmental sustainability and efficiency of new and existing building infrastructure.
Waste Avoidance and Resource RecoveryReducing the volume of general and clinical waste generated per patient day.
Supply Chain and ProcurementReducing the environmental impact of operational tasks through informed life cycle procurement decisions and processes.
Travel and TransportReducing the impact on health and the environment caused by trasnportation and travel choices.
A knowledge and engagement team has also been established to build a culture of environmental stewardship in the workplace.