Netcare has, for the second consecutive year, achieved the distinction of being the only healthcare institution in the world to win Gold Medals in all four categories in the latest global Health Care Climate Challenge Awards, organised by Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH), an initiative of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH).
These categories are Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Energy), Renewable Energy, Climate Resilience, and Climate Leadership. In 2020, Netcare became the first and only participating healthcare institution ever to be awarded gold medals in each of these categories.
The 2021 awards, which have just been announced internationally, solidify the Group’s standing as a world-wide champion and leader in the global community of environmentally conscious healthcare institutions across all continents, with Netcare once again being the only healthcare institution to have won top accolades in all four categories. This is an extraordinary accolade, given that the GGHH network is comprised of over 1 450 members in 72 countries representing the interests of over 43 000 hospitals and health centres.
“It is remarkable that, despite having focused much of our efforts over the past two years on fighting COVID-19, the pandemic did not detract from our commitment to continually progress environmental sustainability within our Group. This journey which we embarked on in 2013 earned us our first Gold Medal in 2015 when the Health Care Climate Challenge Awards were launched,” says Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare.
“We have steadily built on our achievements in each of the subsequent years when the GGHH awards were presented – receiving two Gold Medals in 2016, two Gold and two Silver Medals in 2017, three Gold and one Silver Medals in 2019, and a full house of four Gold Medals in 2020 and now again for 2021.”
In informing Netcare of its latest achievement, Nick Thorp, Network Director of Global Green and Healthy Hospitals - Health Care Without Harm, commented: “We are inspired and impressed by your progress and achievements in your climate work and are honoured to present you with the recognition. Congratulations! Especially in light of the difficult year presented by the pandemic, it is fantastic to see your continued efforts and perseverance for climate action.”
Dr Friedland commended all who helped make Netcare’s environmental sustainability project a success to date: “We would not have achieved this notable progress and international recognition without it being championed by our Group’s national environmental sustainability manager, André Nortje and his team, his predecessor, Johan Durand who steered the project for the first seven years, and the significant contribution by the general manager of our property division, Theuns Langenhoven and his team, the management and staff at our Group’s facilities, and our external consultants, AECOM and Energy Partners,” he asserts.
Innovating for the future
February marks Environmental Health Awareness Month, and Dr Friedland says that Netcare’s steadfast commitment to continue pushing the boundaries has informed the development of a new strategy as well as medium and long-term environmental sustainability initiatives and targets.
The focus on implementing climate-smart solutions aimed at further reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, the use of electricity generated from fossil fuel and water consumption will continue.
In 2021, Netcare was the first private healthcare institution in Africa to join the Race to Zero global campaign which strives to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions and investors for a healthy resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive sustainable growth.
“Our goal is a 100% renewable energy supply by 2030 through grid-wheeled solar and wind energy, maximising the opportunity to reduce emissions, and lower operational costs, thereby supporting the Race to Zero campaign through the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi),” explains Dr Friedland.
“Planned waste management strategies and initiatives including the implementing of an integrated waste management system which will support accurate data, the identification and quantification of waste streams, benchmarking, target setting and developing, implementing and monitoring progress. Two waste project proofs of concept, namely to convert all infectious healthcare risk waste to inert products and achieve zero waste to landfill for waste outside the HCRW stream, were concluded in 2021.
“Planned water initiatives include investigating alternative means of re-using grey water, and implementing grey water systems to reduce our impact on natural surface water sources, enabling support to equitable water availability to all sectors in South Africa.
“Netcare is a model for environmental sustainability in the South African healthcare sector, and we hope that our achievements will inspire other corporates to fully pursue similar initiatives. We will continue to explore and implement appropriate green solutions to contribute to creating a healthier environment in South Africa to aid the wellbeing of our people, now and for future generations,” Dr Friedland concludes.
To find out more about the services offered through Netcare hospitals and other of the Group’s facilities, please contact Netcare’s customer service centre either by email at email@example.com or phone 0860 NETCARE (0860 638 2273). Note that the centre operates Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 16:00.
Looking for a medical appointment? Netcare appointmed™ will make appointments with specialists practising at Netcare hospitals, GPs and dentists at Medicross medical and dental centres, and specialists at Akeso mental health facilities for YOU. Simply phone Netcare appointmed™ on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00, or go online at www.netcare.co.za/Request-a-medical-appointment to request an appointment.
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