Melbourne Health has won the Health category in this year's Premier's Sustainability Awards for the program 'Reducing Waste, One Dialysis Patient at a Time'.
The nephrology service at The Royal Melbourne Hospital has developed a leading environmental sustainability multidisciplinary team, the Nephrology Environmental Sustainability Special Interest Group, which champions a range of waste reduction initiatives and significantly decreases the amount of waste the service as a whole, and its patients, produce each year.
Nephrology practice (the treatment of kidney disease), is one of the most energy and resource intensive treatments in medicine and has significant negative environmental effects.
By seeking alternative disposal methods for PVC materials and by improving recycling, the nephrology service was able to make significant reductions in clinical waste, while educating staff and patients about sustainable practices and appropriate waste segregation.
One satellite dialysis site reduced their clinical waste per patient treatment from 2.4 kg in 2010 to 1.55 kg in early 2016, representing a sustained 35 per cent reduction in clinical waste.
Winters Flat Primary School in Castlemaine won the top honour of the night - the Premier's Recognition Award - for its program developing sustainability programs that engage not only their school, but their local council, businesses, Indigenous groups and their whole community.
“Each year we continue to discover the passion Victorians have for protecting their environment and thinking creatively about new sustainable practices," says CEO Sustainability Victoria, Stan Krpan.
“Our state has an excellent track record of delivering innovative projects that benefit our environment and the community through efficient waste management, resource recovery, and new technologies for clean energy.
“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Your contributions will have positive long-term effects on our society and our way of life."
The Premier also chose Bendigo Sustainability Group as winner of the Premier's Regional Recognition Award for their region-wide program. They are an active and well connected organisation that brings together a diverse group of stakeholders, empowering their community to drive a range of sustainability programs.
The awards ceremony was held at the Plaza Ballroom and was hosted by entertainer Eddie Perfect.
For more information on the winners, visit www.sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au.