The health and aged care industry is no exception and sustainability in the sector is receiving increased focus.
So, how does the industry adapt to meet these evolving stakeholder expectations?
Much of the early focus goes towards improving energy efficiency and taking advantage of solutions such as switching to LED lighting, optimising heating and cooling systems and incorporating renewable energy sources such as solar panels into power generation.
However, central to making a step change in any organisation’s sustainability outcomes is a focus on waste management. Understandably, this may seem like a daunting task when considering everything from packaging materials to sourcing decisions, the recyclability of a wide range of waste streams, internal and back-of-house source separation processes to optimise landfill diversion and the commercial implications of all of these decisions.
Health and aged care also have the added complexity across most other industries in having to navigate medical waste streams.
Fortunately, there are some common starting points for any health or aged care organisation. The first of these is detailed knowledge of the waste you are currently generating and how that is being disposed of. While this sounds simple, many businesses do not have the right data available to guide their decision-making and as such, have no clarity regarding their starting point.
The second is the commitment of your people. Without the desire of the employees to embrace changed processes, to engage in separation practices and play their part, the path to improvement will be difficult.
And the third is a trusted waste partner to provide expertise across many steps of the sustainability journey. Gaining an understanding of what resource recovery options are available for what waste streams, which can often be compromised by geographical location, can be a time-consuming process.
So, how do you bring all of this together? The best place to start is to develop a comprehensive waste management plan to establish and record the goals of the organisation as it pertains to waste management and resource recovery, and the actions to be taken to achieve those. This plan should ideally include:
Now all that probably sounds like a lot. And to be honest, it is. But great outcomes are worth the effort and that is especially true when that involves delivering on your organisation’s sustainability goals.
The green transition is only gaining momentum and the best organisations are starting early to ensure they will be ahead of their peers and meet the expectations of stakeholders.
But you don’t have to do this on your own. Industry expertise is available to help get you started and guide you every step along the way. Learn more from Wasteflex here.