Today, roughly a quarter of all human disease and death in the world can be attributed to what the World Health Organization (WHO) broadly defines as environmental factors. Climate change, chemical contamination, and unsustainable resource use are exacerbating ill-health around the world.
The health sector is contributing to various environmental health problems through the utilization of products and technologies, natural resources, generation of hospital waste and the construction of the buildings.
Therefore, Siddhasthali Rural Community Hospital takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously and aim to implement the most sustainable means in our operations.
How is Siddhasthali Helpling?
(1) Planting Trees
Trees are the backbone of our environment. They house 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, keep our air clean, filter the water we drink, and even absorb carbon from the atmosphere to fight climate change.
They also have a tremendous amount of social benefits. Trees can be safely farmed and provide lumber, paper, and medicine to our society. As a result, the forestry industry provides an endless amount of job opportunities for the world.
But forests around the world are under threat, jeopardizing these benefits. And we all can do our part to reduce the damage.
Through our “Going Green” initiative, a tree will be planted at the end of the year for every 100 patients visiting our hospital.
We currently plant trees in two districts. These include Makwanpur and Sindhuli. We hope that this initiative will create a healthier climate, fight climate change, and protect biodiversity in multiple areas.
(2) Reducing plastic waste generation
The plastic pollution crisis is global in scale. It is estimated that only 9% of the plastics that have ever been produced is recycled, while 79% simply accumulates in landfills, or worse, in the natural environment.
The use of plastics is detrimental to the environment, public health, and welfare. Furthermore, the manufacture and distribution of single-use plastics require utilization of natural resources and results in the generation of greenhouse gas emissions.For this reason, we have adopted various strategies to reduce plastic waste generation at our hospital.
We promote the use of eco-friendly bags, which we define as being made from leaf, paper, cloth, polyester, or recycled materials.
We have banned the use of certain single-use plastics such as plates, cutlery, polystyrene food containers, beverage cups, and drinking straws in the hospital.
Our cafeteria serves food to patients and visitors using reusable plates and cutlery.
To discourage the use of plastic water bottles, we have introduced water fountains and replaced plastic cups with paper cups.
Enforcement and penalty
Siddhasthali Rural Community Hospital may impose a fine on a person or entity that knowingly violates this rule, in the amount of NPR 500 per day for the first violation of this policy, NPR 1000 per day for the second violation, and NPR 2000 per day for the third and subsequent violations.
All fines collected pursuant to a violation of this rule will be retained by the hospital and be used only for the following purposes:
Costs associated with complying with the requirements of this ordinance.
Actual costs of providing recycled paper bags or reusable bags.
Costs associated with the educational materials or educational campaign.
(3) Green Construction
We have designed our hospital building to make it smarter and more sustainable through:
People with any ability or disability can move around freely and safely.
The facility stands ready for any emergency and is prepared to provide continuous care no matter the external circumstances.
The indoor and exterior environments maximize patient healing and decrease the length of stay.
The indoor environment does not expose staff or patients to pollutants and chemicals of concern.
The building and grounds maintain capability and flexibility to grow and change with the changing care needs of the community.
The facility uses natural light throughout rooms, common areas and outdoor spaces to reduce energy consumption and also to promote healing.
We are using Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) blocks in the construction to achieve a decrease of 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. AACs blocks have a much higher insulation value, therefore it reduces the energy consumption required for heating and cooling. They also offer excellent sound insulation and are fire-resistant. The total energy consumption for producing ACC is less than half of what it takes to produce other building materials. Furthermore, it is said that AAC helps to reduce at least 30% of environmental waste than traditional concrete.
When patients are discharged, we encourage them to donate all unwanted goods; clothes, bags, books, gifts to the hospital. All the items collected are provided to other inpatients.
(5) Eco-Friendly Hosting
The Internet is the fastest-growing carbon polluting industry. Today, data centres account for 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, that is as much as the Airline Industry!
Therefore to commit to our going green initiative we have hosted our website on an eco-friendly platform that uses 100% green energy to power their data centres, servers and operations.
(6) Sustainable Procurement
Sustainable Procurement is a critical issue to ensure our natural resources are used efficiently, waste is avoided and that we protect our biodiversity. It is a process to achieve value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment”.
Our approach to sustainable procurement include:
Lead by example and thereby make sustainable procurement a leadership priority.
Set clear priorities for sustainable procurement.
Remove barriers to enable and support sustainable procurement.
In addition, we factor in the following conditions while making purchasing decisions.
Identify if the purchase is really necessary (to reduce consumption and carbon footprint).
Consider the “whole life” cost of equipment purchases.
Try and purchase products that may have a high recycled content.
Where possible purchase goods and services that may be manufactured, used and disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.
Reduce the use of volatile organic compounds where possible.
Reduce the use of materials containing heavy metals where possible.
Control the discharge to air, land and water.
(7) No Burn Technology
Siddhasthali Rural Community Hospital utilizes autoclave technology as an alternative to incineration for the disposal of hospital waste. To reduce the risk caused by sharp waste, safe injection practices are introduced where needles are destroyed at the source.
The hospital waste is segregated at the source by the medical staff and visitors. The segregation of waste at the source avoids contamination of reusable waste. The waste undergoes further segregation at our recycling centre where they are categorized into plastic, paper, glass, metals which are sold to scrap dealers for recycling.
We have substituted mercury products with non-mercury products to avoid exposure of elemental mercury to our staff and patients.
We have implemented printing on both sides of a sheet of paper as it cuts paper use by nearly 50%.
Our Going Green Initiative support the following SDG’s: