groundWork (Friends of the Earth South Africa)
GREENING GREY’S HOSPITAL
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 23 August 2016 – Grey’s Hospital is the latest health care facility to join the internationally recognised Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH)  initiative, which serves to create a global network of hospitals and health systems seeking to improve environmental performance, while sharing best practices and finding solutions to the common challenges they share. This Thursday, Grey’s Hospital will launch its “Greening Grey’s” awareness campaign among staff, patients and visitors.
“Grey’s Hospital became a member of the GGHH initiative in May because we wanted to make a difference to the lives we serve. It is our social responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint as a health care facility,” explains Dr Kandolo Benoit Bilenge, CEO of Grey’s Hospital.
As of June 2016, GGHH has 684 members from 38 countries representing the interest of 20 556 hospitals and health centres that are committed to reducing their ecological footprint and promoting environmental health. South Africa has 36 member hospitals and health care facilities from three provinces – KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng.
Health care facilities that join the GGHH initiative commit to at least two of the ten environmentally friendly and climate sensitive goals. This is in order to implement a comprehensive environmental health framework.
“We chose energy and waste management as our goals as we felt we could make a significant impact as we are, as a hospital, in control of these two contributors to environmental and climate change,” Dr Bilenge notes.
Through control of electricity usage in Grey’s Hospital generally and more specifically in the Doctor’s Quarters, electrical consumption (per kWh) has decreased by over 220 000 kWh between January and June this year. Reduction in the hospital’s maximum demand realized a projected saving of over R270 000 per annum. This consequently means that Eskom’s coal-fired generating capacity is reduced, thereby emitting less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
In order to reduce waste production and consumption of natural resources, a range of initiatives form part of Grey’s Hospital new waste management strategy. Much emphasis has been placed on staff training and awareness building at the hospital. This has resulted in a reduction of 3.4% in health care risk waste, and a cost saving of an average of R4000 per month between May and July for the same waste stream.
Environmental justice organization, groundWork  is the focal organization coordinating GGHH membership for the African region.
 The Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) initiative is a project of the international environmental health organisation Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) http://www.greenhospitals.net/
 groundWork is an environmental justice organisation working with community people from around South Africa, and increasingly Southern Africa, on environmental justice and human rights issues focusing on Coal, Climate and Energy Justice, Waste and Environmental Health. groundWork is the South African member of Friends of the Earth International www.groundwork.org.za
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Global Green and Healthy Hospitals
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Tel (w): +27 33 342 5662