Latest News 24 August 2020 | Counties Manukau Health (CM Health) is among the top ten carbon reducers in New Zealand.
Sustainability watchdog Toitū Envirocare (formerly CEMARS) recently confirmed that out of hundreds of organisations actively working to reduce their carbon, CM Health along with only three other DHBs, had come up trumps.
This year CM Health has reduced its carbon emissions by 5160 tonnes. In total, the top 10 carbon reducers of 2020 have saved 55,979 tonnes of carbon. This equates to taking 33,000 cars off Auckland streets for a year, according to Toitū Envirocare.
The Toitū Envirocare recognition is testament to the huge efforts put in by staff, according to Co-founder of the Environmental Sustainability Board David Galler.
“Until very recently that effort was coordinated, inspired, and led by Debbie Wilson, appointed by CM Health in 2012 as the very first Sustainability Officer in a DHB in New Zealand. Thanks to her and the efforts of so many of our staff, Counties Manukau has achieved much," Dr Galler, who is also an intensive care specialist at Middlemore Hospital, says.
Recycling and energy savings are among the activities that have helped seal CM Health’s position on the carbon reducing leader board.
In 2018, a recycling system was introduced within the Emergency Department which saw the department fill 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.
Other carbon reducing initiatives at CM Health have included promoting more sustainable modes of transport (CM Health has a staff travel plan), the operation of worm farms across several sites and the introduction of hand dryers to replace non-recyclable paper towels in select toilets at Middlemore Hospital and Manukau Health Park.
Dr Galler says CM Health has done remarkably well but says there is still a way to go.
“There is a lot of opportunity. Everything we do to reduce carbon has a positive impact on health and wellbeing.”
CM Health has a stated goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 and has been actively working to reduce its carbon since 2011.