Mercy Hospital Dunedin is now Toitu Enviro-Mark Silver Certified. Mercy Hospital achieved the certification following an audit held during February 2020, which was the culmination of a year’s planning and preparation.
Working through the Toitu Enviro-Mark certification programme was a natural progression for the hospital, which has had an increasing focus on sustainability. The certification provides an independent, third party endorsement of the Hospital’s environmental management system.
Initiatives include extensive tree planting, comprehensive recycling programmes, energy conservation initiatives and even a worm farm for kitchen scraps. When new products are evaluated for the hospital, the product’s lifecycle, recyclability and product stewardship from the supplier is also considered.
Richard Whitney, CEO of Mercy Hospital, says “one of our values is whakaute, or respect, a component of which requires us to consider the impact of our decisions and actions on the environment. We are delighted to have our work in this area acknowledged through achieving silver level certification.”
Many of the sustainability improvements have evolved from staff suggestions. The hospital’s PVC recycling programme is one example, where housekeeping staff spearheaded a campaign to divert PVC components of medical consumables from landfill. This was successfully implemented and the hospital now recycles PVC, diverting approximately one ton from landfill each year.
The certification process involved substantial work in checking compliance and developing environmental management policy and processes.
The Hospital’s focus on sustainability is in line with its founders, the Sisters of Mercy, whose global action themes includes ‘addressing degradation of Earth.’ The Hospital has its sights set on achieving Gold certification next.