Recognising the urgency to prevent global warming exceeding 1.5° Celsius Northland DHB has increased its commitment to further reduce its carbon emissions by 2030.
The organisation has set actions for a low carbon future to be in their vision He Hauora Mo Te Tai Tokerau, a Healthier Northland.
The DHB has a goal to achieve a net zero emission rate before 2050, and have updated their 2016 target of reducing carbon emissions by 15 percent by 2025 – to halving them by 2030.
The new target requires significant practice changes on every level, especially with the unprecedented growth for medical and surgical services in the region.
Besides continuous operational improvements, a set of sustainability policy rules have been approved to support the target:
Northland’s sizeable geographical area means road transport is one of the main challenges to tackle together with the energy emissions from all hospital buildings.
Since 2016 there has been good progress in reducing emissions by 16 percent, which is a 7 percent improvement over the last 12 months.
A crucial emission reduction project was the conversion of diesel boilers to electric heat pumps in all the district hospitals with the help of EECA loans, which has saved over 200,000 litres of diesel and around $300,000 per year in operational costs.
Our surgical department has made great reductions in the use of medical gases, particularly Desflurane; a product with a very high global warming potential, which was halved in the last year alone, avoiding almost 100 tCO2e.
These outcomes show it is possible to reduce our environmental impact and emissions, without impacting patient care or health outcomes.