At Western Health prior to 2007, hospital sustainability was rarely considered; environmental sustainability was not ‘core business’, very little was recycled, staff did not have an avenue to voice their many environmental concerns, there were no sustainability industry relationships and no research agenda.
For the past 9 years environmental sustainability has grown from a fringe concern to becoming embedded within the institution’s ethos. The Western Health Board and Executive has approved environmental sustainability as part of the Strategic Plan Western Health has a Sustainability Officer and Committee, staff have become engaged and enthused, and local sustainability action plans are in place. Further, published sustainability research is occurring and there are fruitful relationships with industry, universities and the wider society.
Healthcare is a latecomer to the climate debate and whilst Western Health's actions are not commesurate to the task at hand, it is aware of the importance of such action and the commitment to this challenge. It has commenced the Take 2 journey on strong foundation and looks forward to partnering with government, industry and society in leveraging our action and the dialogue in this new frontier of environmental sustainability.