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.

Overall climate goals in Central Denmark Region

  • CO2 neutral running of the area of energy and transport by 2030

  • A 67% reduction in total CO2 footprint from 2018 to 2030 (incl. goods and services)

  • A 96% reduction in total CO2 footprint from 1990 to 2030 (excl. goods and services)

  • CO2 neutral circular region by 2050.


  • The Central Denmark Region ”Sustainability strategy 2030 – our world – our responsibility” has specific goals within four areas: Circular economy, Electricity, water and heating, Logistics, transport and mobility and Social responsibility

  • According to the plan, the Regional Council will approve a two-year plan for sustainability to be implemented locally at the regional workplaces

  • The climate footprint of Central Denmark Region: Procurement of goods and services (69%), Buildings and constructions (18%), Transport (8%) and Energy consumption (5%)

  • The annual CO2 footprint of Central Denmark Region is 578,000 tons CO2 (2018), equivalent to the CO2 footprint of approximately 30,400 persons

  • The hospitals in Central Denmark Region produce approximately 7,000 tons of waste annually; today, 19% of the waste is recycled

  • A ”circular region” means that the region makes sure that items bought, used and discarded at hospitals, institutions etc. are produced in a way that makes it possible to reuse or recycle the products and materials

  • Read more about the sustainability strategy at sustainability.rm.dk