Environmental sustainability

Sustainability

The Wesley Hospital is committed to protecting the environment and using energy and resources wisely.

We recognise that reducing our carbon footprint and being more resource-efficient – using less energy and water, and producing less waste and emissions – are essential to promoting healthy and sustainable environments for our patients and communities.

As we are part of the UnitingCare family, our internal sustainability program is Greening UnitingCare, which captures the multitude of initiatives we are implementing to continuously improve our environmental performance. From green fleets to LED lighting retrofits, recycling to reducing single-use items – these are some of the ways we are growing sustainability at UnitingCare.

In the past three years, The Wesley Hospital has:

  • Upgraded 1,666 lightbulbs to energy-efficient LEDs, reducing our footprint by 590,000 kWh and 473 tonnes of CO2e per year. This is equivalent to 130 households’ annual electricity use!
  • Continued to expand our recycling program, by introducing specialised recycling initiatives, such as PVC (IV bags, tubing and oxygen masks), Kimguard (sterile wrap), copper (diathermy cables and surgical devices), aluminium (anaesthetic gas bottles), e-waste, and batteries.
  • Avoided 120,000 plastic bottles per year by providing a refillable water jug service to our inpatients.
  • Prevented 480,000 plastic straws going to landfill each year, by switching to paper straws and reducing overall usage.
  • Eliminated 3.3 tonnes of single-use plastic required to process single-use sharps containers by deploying a reusable Sharpsmart system.
  • Donated 300kg of medical supplies no longer fit for human use – and otherwise destined for landfill – to the Animal Welfare League.
  • Partnered with OzHarvest to donate 250kg of fresh fruit and cereals each month to local school breakfast programs.
  • Partnered with Lifeline to rehome 850kg of curtains and 1,100 paper towel dispensers through Lifeline shops, which raise funds for the 13 11 14 Crisis Support Line to support Queenslanders in crisis.
  • Collected thousands of plastic bottle tops – which aren’t easily recovered through normal mixed-recycling processes – for Lids4Kids, an innovative program that uses these plastic lids to 3D-print prosthetic limbs for children in developing countries.
  • Switched to compostable bagasse (sugarcane-based) containers and cutlery made from FSC™ certified birchwood for takeaways at our Gown & Glove Restaurant, to avoid single-use plastics.
  • Established a network of Waste Warriors among our hospital staff, who meet bi-monthly to share knowledge, focus on education and innovation, and develop systems to improve recycling in their wards and work areas.

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