Ramsay Health Care has ramped up its commitment to creating a healthier planet after reaching its goal of saving 50 million single-use plastic items from landfill.
Australia’s largest private hospitals operator hit that milestone at the end of last year, having doubled its previous target of swapping out 25 million single-use plastic items for more environmentally-friendly alternatives in the 18 months to January 2022.
It now plans to lift that total to 75 million by the end of December 2023.
“Ramsay Health Care is committed to making meaningful, tangible changes to improve the future of the planet,” said the global group’s Australian CEO, Carmel Monaghan.
“Our teams around the country worked hard to ensure we reached this incredible milestone, suggesting small changes that will make a big difference.
“We started with the basics – including crockery, straws and cutlery – and through suggestions from our people we’re now operating with more sustainable anaesthetic and injection trays and utilising reusable medicine cups, as well as many other small, but significant substitutions.”
The organisation’s ‘Ramsay Cares’ sustainability strategy includes replacing plastic water bottles with jugs of water and glasses, in addition to the other single-use items.
“This particular Ramsay project began in 2019 and saves an incredible six million plastic water bottles per year from ending up in landfill,” Ms Monaghan said.
Ramsay is also reducing its carbon emissions, with 23 of its 73 private hospitals, clinics and day clinics having installed solar panel systems, and more scheduled for 2023.
Its sites have saved more than 61,000 tonnes of carbon emissions – the equivalent of removing 1,288 new cars off the road.
The upgrade of more than 23,300 light fittings across 23 sites to energy-efficient LED systems has reduced carbon emissions equivalent to taking 1,960 new cars off the road.
As well as PVC and aluminium recycling programs across the group, 16 Ramsay Australia hospitals are working to create ‘greener operating theatres’ by removing the anaesthetic gas desflurane and switching to more environmentally-friendly options.
Ramsay, which also has operations in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia, last year committed to meeting ‘Net Zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 in a bid to help slow global warming.
Read more: How theatre plastics can help your garden