The CO2 footprint from hospitals and other activities in the region must be reduced. The ambitious strategy on sustainability with the headline ”Our world – our responsibility” has just been approved by the Regional Council in Central Denmark Region. One of the goals is that 70% of the region’s waste must be recycled by 2030.
Towards 2030, hospitals and institutions in Central Denmark Region will go through a major green transition to meet the goals in its first strategy on sustainability, which was just passed unanimously by the Regional Council.
Click on illustration to open (PDF). Read more about the sustainability strategy at sustainability.rm.dk
Foto: Agata Lenczewska-Madsen
The strategy is an important step on the way to meet the Danish national goal on a 70% reduction of CO2 by 2030. The annual carbon footprint of Central Denmark Region is equivalent to the climate footprint of more than 30,000 people. The new strategy suggests that the running of Central Denmark Region within the area of energy and transport must be CO2 neutral by 2030. In 2050, the region will be a CO2 neutral ”circular region”.
- Being a large public enterprise, we have a responsibility. We have a high consumption of energy and we have a high rate of procurement. That is why we have to be part of the solution to the global climate challenges. We work within the area of health and it is not sustainable if our way of creating health today will limit our possibilities to live a healthy life in the future. We can and we will reduce our climate footprint and use resources smarter, says Anders Kühnau, Chairman of the Regional Council.
We do not have all the solutions yet
The Chairman of the Regional Council emphasises that new solutions must be developed to ensure a sustainable healthcare system without compromising on the core tasks. He is very happy that there is a will to create change both within the organisation and politically.
- We have to aim high – although we may not yet have the solutions. We are not familiar with setting goals without knowing exactly how to meet them and this can lead to feelings of insecurity. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how we can find common solutions to common challenges locally, nationally and internationally. The sustainable transition also requires us to collaborate with each other and with our partners, says Anders Kühnau.
Consumption and waste
Currently, many of the hospitals in the region work with different projects on how to sort plastic waste. The long-term goal is to carefully sort waste to ensure that as much plastic, glass and metal as possible can be melted down and reused.
- We are aware that we have to find many new solutions for procurement and sorting of waste and that we have to consume less and differently in the organisation. But we are very conscious that our healthcare system must not compromise on the core tasks in relation to e.g., patients and safety. Many employees are already engaged in the sustainable transition and we very much need their help to find solutions and to change our behaviour to meet our ambitions in Central Denmark Region, says Anders Kühnau.
Already in 2019, Central Denmark Region created a regional network at the hospitals at the initiative of employees to share experiences with sustainable interventions in clinical practice with the aim to e.g., consume less. In the past two years, funds have been allocated to pilot testing of ideas with the aim to spread and share ideas across hospitals. The politicians in Central Denmark Region decided in the recent budget to make the funding of sustainability consultants at hospitals permanent. At the same time, it was decided to establish a centre for sustainable hospitals in 2021. Both of these initiatives will contribute to ensure the implementation of the goals in the sustainability strategy.