Risk Management: Where Are Hospital 'Green' Committees and Officers?

By McGain, Forbes; Kayak, Eugenie | Australian Health Review, November 2010 | Go to article overview

Risk Management: Where Are Hospital 'Green' Committees and Officers?


McGain, Forbes, Kayak, Eugenie, Australian Health Review


The contribution from healthcare to the 21st century's greatest threat to health, climate change,1,2 is not insignificant. The United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) produces 3.2% of the country's total carbon footprint.3 Locally the Victorian public hospital sector consumes 60% of the total energy used by that state government's departments.4 We propose that both an executive sponsored Environmental/ Sustainability Committee and a dedicated Environmental Officer are necessary within our hospitals to: help comply with legislative and accreditation requirements, improve sustainability practices and participate in the development of education, research and adaptation strategies for the future health impacts of climate change.

In response to climate change, the Australian Federal Government has enacted the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act (2007).5 Health services and hospitals with more than 400-beds are likely to be affected by this legislation. At a State Government level acts exist that require large agencies to not only report but also improve upon their energy, water and waste usage. In Victoria for example, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has mandated from 2009 that all large users of energy and water must institute an Environment and Resource Efficiency Plan (EREP) to reduce energy and water consumption.6 Hospitals need to ensure they have systems in place to meet these requirements.

Sustainability Committees and Officers could also become increasingly important in helping to reach hospital accreditation standards. Accreditation of Australian hospitals is performed by The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards' 'EQuIP 4' program.7 Presently Standards 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of EQuIP 4 include the efficient use of energy, water and transport as well as waste disposal by the hospital. These standards are currently being reviewed and it is likely that their environmental requirements will be strengthened.

A recent analysis of NHS CO^sub 2^ emissions showed that the procurement of goods and services accounted for 60% of total CO^sub 2^ emissions, considerably greater than the 22% from powering NHS buildings or the 18% accrued by staff and patient travel.3 Environment committees could ensure sustainability issues are addressed when purchasing goods and services. 'ResourceSmart', a Victorian Government initiative, aims to introduce sustainable concerns when hospitals make purchases.8 Guidelines also exist to aid in the running of environmental committees.9

Hospital sustainability committees can also be involved in planning research and educating staff and students on the adverse health impacts of climate change. Hospitals will need to prepare for both mitigation of and adaptation to global warming and there are significant opportunities for research funding. The Australian NHMRC funding for grants towards projects associated with climate change has increased substantially.10

Beyond a committee, a dedicated Hospital Sustainability Officer is integral to achieving large gains in hospital sustainability as well as demonstrating to staff that the executive consider environmental concerns important.11-13 Funding for a position may become cost-effective and be sensible 'risk management', especially with the increasing cost of utilities and mandatory government reporting of energy and water use.

Competing interests

Authors declare that no conflicts of interest exist. Both authors are members of Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Risk Management: Where Are Hospital 'Green' Committees and Officers?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.