Mercy Hospital's newly formed Environmental Management Steering Committee has begun working towards Toitū Enviromark Gold certification. This involves planning and implementing projects to mitigate Mercy's already identified environmental impacts, which were collated and measured when Mercy achieved Enviromark Silver certification in early 2020.
Achieving gold certification requires organisation wide support and involvement. To encourage staff engagement, Mercy's Enviromark implementation team held a staff launch, visiting each department and asking employees were to identify and prioritise Mercy's environmental impacts. This will help guide which projects are tackled first.
Senior staff responded enthusiastically to the campaign and many have chosen to be members of Mercy's Environmental Steering Committee. Mercy's credentialed specialists have also been supportive of the hospital's focus on sustainability. Mercy is fortunate to benefit from the expertise of Dr Matt Jenks who has significant experience in 'green hospital' projects.
The group has selected a variety of projects to scope and address Mercy's environmental impacts. These include recycling sharps in the theatre environment; seeking information from Mercy's suppliers about their environmental policies and commitments; investigating the impact of single use patient warming blankets; looking at providing better bike parking and further staff incentives for cycling; and reducing the use of plastic bags across the campus.
Mercy's focus on sustainability is in line with its value whakaute (respect), which includes considering the impact of decisions and actions on natural resources and the environment. It also echoes the priorities of Mercy's founders, the Sisters of Mercy, whose global action themes includes ‘addressing degradation of Earth.’