CHI working towards a truly GREEN CAMPUS
The CHI vision for a GREEN CAMPUS is based on and supported by the following premises;
- Children are at particularly high risk from climate change, due to their developmental susceptibility and long term exposure to climate change
- Our children want us to be sustainable. This has been illustrated in recent mass School Strikes and CHI needs to support this global and local advocacy movement
- Providing high quality healthcare has an impact on the environment and there is a strong correlation between environmental pollution and population health
- As a healthcare organisation we need to be a health promoting business and therefore concerned about environmental sustainability
- Healthcare campuses are part of the local community and can benefit the health and wellbeing of the surrounding localities
- CHI can improve both employee and patient engagement and experience through sustainability
- When CHI reduce our environmental impact we can re-invest savings into clinical activity to provide better services for patients
In this regard CHI has established a sustainability workstream led by a GREEN CAMPUS Steering Group, in partnership with local CHI hospital based GREEN CAMPUS Working Group.
The CHI GREEN CAMPUS Steering Group which has expert representation from all CHI locations aims to review, consolidate and drive the actions that CHI hospitals are already taking to reduce their environmental impact across the five commonly held categories as below and to pursue the vision for a truly GREEN CAMPUS.
Examples of environmental impact reduction actions that CHI hospitals have already taken are as follows;
- Energy audit of sites completed
- Annual measurements of fuel consumption conducted and results down reductions
- Upgrades of standards fluorescent lamps to LED
- Linkages with CTC (Clean Technology Centre) an EPA funded waste management initiative which provides assistance including waste reports, waste characterisation, training and assists to improve segregation practices within all the waste streams
- Increase in clinical waste that is heat treated delivers reduction in waste going into landfill
- Significant decrease in cost of skip waste disposal
- Energy consumption attributed to Natural Gas which is used to provide heat, hot water and steam has increased
- Development of mobility management plans with targets relating to a reduction in car dependency, cycling, walking and use of public transport.
- Operation of Cycle to Work and TaxSaver Incentive Schemes for staff
- Move to ensure that all single use coffee cups, lids and plates are now compostable and segregated from standard recycling waste
- Move to ensure that public and staff canteen no longer displays disposable cups, lids and plates in close proximity to server area
- On-going internal/ staff aware campaigns with clever messaging to drive down printing and light usage and encourage usage of keep cups and walking and cycling to work or using public transport
- National Health Sustainability Office (NHSO) guidance on the Government ban on Single Use Plastic Catering Items
Plastic pollution affects our waters and marine life. It also affects our health. Oil used in the production of plastic can give rise to emissions and climate change.
Following a Government announcement in March 2019, no Government Department or Agency (including the HSE) should buy:
- single-use plastic beverage cups
- single-use plastic cutlery
- single-use plastic drinking straws
The only exception to this is where there is a health, hygiene or safety issue.
The National Health Sustainability Office has prepared a document to offer guidance and advice on how to comply with this Government Decision from 01/04/20. Please see https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthbusinessservices/national-health-sustainability-office/files/guide-for-the-removal-of-single-use-catering-plastics.pdf
Please also see for more information
Consultation with YAC (Youth Advisory Council)
The CHI Green Campus Steering Group has also met with and taken advice from YAC on CHI might become more ‘GREEN’. YAC has advised that CHI should
- Encourage reusable water bottle for patients
- Mimic ‘Green Committee’ initiatives in schools
- Reduce food waste through service trolleys at wards
- Support video conferencing instead of travelling for appointments, and reducing paper
Further efforts to deliver on the CHI GREEN CAMPUS
- In September 2019, CHI became a member of GGHH (Global Green and Healthy Hospitals) community which uses innovation, ingenuity, and investment to transform the health sector and foster a healthy future for people and the planet. CHI looks forward to engaging with and learning from the numerous stakeholders, sharing experiences and moving forward to reduce our combined environmental footprint. CHI IS also working to ensure that CHI objectives for a Green Campus align to GGHH sustainability goals
Please see https://www.greenhospitals.net/ for more
- CHI is aiming to obtain a Green Flag by 2021 and achieve BREEAM Operational Excellence when the new children’s hospital opens in 2017
What can you do to put your stamp on our GREEN CAMPUS?
- Think about what GREEN related actions you can take
- Reach out to your local GREEN CAMPUS Working Group and help them in achieving their objectives
- Spread the GREEN CAMPUS message
- In delivering on the CHI Green Campus vision, CHI will continue to
- Facilitate information exchange and the sharing of best sustainability practices across all CHI locations and via internal staff communications campaigns
- Provide technical support to our locations to help them adopt more sustainable practices
- Aggregate information regarding the progress towards the GGHH agenda goals
- Publicise the progress that CHI locations make and the outcomes our locations achieve in their bid to green their operating practices
For further information please contact
CHI Green Campus News
Reducing energy, packaging and waste have always been high on our three Irish children’s hospitals agendas. But now as one entity and in light of undisputed climate change arguments, Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) continues to further these efforts to reduce environmental impact by driving individual, team and departmental responsibility around sustainability in each CHI location to deliver a truly Green Campus for patients, staff and the environment.
So what has the CHI Green Campus Steering Group been up to since we last reported in?
Areas of focus
The ‘green’ focus for Q3 and Q4 2019 has been to continue to reduce single plastic usage across the five CHI locations and then in 2020 our focus will be on promoting sustainable food and sustainable procurement related choices.
CHI Green Campus launch events
To date we have launched the CHI Green Campus campaign in CHI at Crumlin, Temple Street, Connolly and Herberton/ Kilmainham whereby we set about answering the following questions for staff
- What is CHI doing across our five locations to reduce our environmental impact?
- What is the CHI vision for a Green Campus?
- How can you put YOUR stamp on OUR Green Campus?
Interactive sessions were a key component of these launch events whereby staff were invited to make practical suggestions on how as individuals and teams they can pursue the ‘green’ agenda. These suggestions have been collected and are feeding into and informing the roadmap to deliver on a CHI-wide Green Campus. The date for the Green Campus launch in CHI at Tallaght has yet to be confirmed.
Youth Advisory Council (YAC) in Ireland influence Green Campus campaign
YAC is a group of young people who share their experiences as users of hospital services in order to improve the care children and young people receive in the three children’s hospitals in Ireland. YAC also feeds into the design and delivery of services in the planned new children’s hospital on the St James’s campus, Dublin 8. YAC meet five times a year in the Ombudsman’s for Children’s offices, Great Strand Street, D1.
CHI run workshops with YAC members to elicit their views on what it means to be ‘green’ and how CHI Leaders can best deliver on a Green Campus. CHI greatly welcomes YACs views, practical suggestions and design ideas. CHI is also very impressed by how young people are driving the sustainability agenda generally as witnessed in the last two international and national ‘School Strikes’.
CHI joins Global Green Healthy Hospitals (GGHH)
CHI has recently achieved membership of GGHH and has signed up to the GGHH pledge of reducing their carbon footprint across the organisation. The first step involved in this will be to measure the current emissions from CHI locations accurately so that there is a baseline to measure improvements from. Then targets will be created and a detailed action plan for reaching them will be developed.
Ireland - Green Awards 2020
CHI has been shortlisted in the ‘Green Healthcare’ category of the Green Awards 2020 which is the leading national platform to promote sustainability intelligence, leadership and innovation in best green practice in Ireland. Please see https://www.greenawards.ie/. The Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on Tues 25th February 2020 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, D4 and we will wish the very best to our CHI Green Campus Steering Group that evening.