EGHS making a sustainable difference

East Grampians Health Service has released its Environmental Sustainability Report 2021, showcasing the improvements and initiatives that have made sustainable differences to the health service’s environment over the past year.

EGHS chief executive Nick Bush said the health service recognised the importance of, and is committed to, sustainable environmental management by reducing landfill waste, reducing energy usage and promotion of energy efficient behaviours.

“Our commitment to sustainability is long standing,” Mr Bush said.

“We recognise the link between human health and the environment including climate change. Extreme weather events that occur as a result of our changing climate, such as heat waves, see our patient admission rates rise, placing increased pressure on the services that EGHS delivers.

“As a large consumer of electricity and natural gas, and a considerable generator of waste, EGHS has a key role to play in helping to reduce our impact on the environment by using resources efficiently, reducing the amount of waste generated, maximising recycling opportunities and minimising the amount of waste going to landfill.”

Mr Bush said the EGHS Environmental Sustainability Committee oversees the implementation of sustainable strategies and endeavours to engage, educate and empower staff to create an environmentally sustainable workplace.

“Major projects this year have include the installation of a large scale carpark shelter solar system, which is expected to save the health service $34,000 in the first year, lift upgrade and ongoing LED replacement program.

“However, there are many smaller upgrades and initiatives occurring across the health service to improve sustainability and energy efficiencies.”

Some of these initiatives include installation of additional water fountains (encouraging staff to use reusable water bottles), an order has been placed for five hybrid fleet cars, introduction of recycled toilet paper, photocopy paper and paper hand towels, use of biodegradable cotton tip applicators (used to apply medicine to wounds), introduction of small recycle bins in offices, and purchase of a new generator fuel tank which will prevent spillage and rupture to the tank that could be devastating to the environment.

EGHS has increased construction of vegetable gardens across the Ararat and Willaura sites for residents and clients and compost bins have been purchased for each area which use the waste from the kitchens. Coffee grounds from Café Pyrenees are also used in the compost bins and for fertilising the gardens.

“As part of our redevelopment projects across the health service, it is part of our process to recycle materials wherever possible,” Mr Bush said.

“During these projects, we have been able to reutilise and recycle many items, which has not only assisted with large cost savings to the health service, but has also assisted in less wastage.”

Mr Bush said the community was welcome to read the full Environmental Sustainability Report 2021, which can be found on the EGHS website:

“EGHS is proud of its commitment to the environment and sustainable practices across both the Ararat and Willaura sites and we will continue to evaluate these practices to ensure we reduce our impact on the environment,” Mr Bush said.