New association pushes green initiative

An Australian group has formed to promomte sustainability in hospitals and aged care.

A new association has been formed to promote sustainable healthcare in Australia, following the inaugural Australian Green Hospitals Conference in Brisbane at the end of last month.

The Australian Association of Sustainable Healthcare (AASH) has established a five-member committee and is currently developing its goals and mission statement.

Founder, John Brodie from Vim Consulting, said the association hopes to improve building design and reduce pollution.

Mr Brodie said the hospital sector is the fourth biggest consumer of power in the built environment and the second biggest consumer per square metre.

But he stressed it was crucial that aged care providers improve their environmental perform as well.

“What we are trying to do is improve the understanding, knowledge and benefits of the introduction of a sustainable approach in all avenues of healthcare,” he said. 

“We want to disseminate the benefits of sustainability and assist healthcare providers to implement them throughout their hospitals, aged care facilities and retirement living communities.”

Another key focus of the new association will to improve the environmental impact of manufacturing and supply chains within the sector.

“We hope to get some of the large aged care and hospital providers behind us to push for a change in the way they make products,” said Mr Brodie.

“If we can get large numbers behind this it will put pressure on the suppliers to comply or die. They won’t want to miss out on the changing market.”

AASH hopes to join up with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), a global coalition of 473 organisations in over 50 countries committed to sustainable healthcare.

HCWH has been promoting the cause for about ten years and in that time, Mr Brodie said it has been achieved considerable goals, particularly in America.

“They have been able to reduce the amount of mercury in American hospitals massively,” he said.

“And they have cut the number of incinerators across American hospitals down from 6000 to about 300 in last three or four years.”

A number of government departments, architects and hospitals have already expressed interest in the association.

For more information, contact Mr Brodie at johnbrodie@vim.net.au

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