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Across Europe, hospitals and their staff are coming up with simple but effective ways to reduce their environmental impact while saving time and money, Elisabeth Mahase reports
After years of frustration at the numbers of items in healthcare that were used once then thrown away, Maria Gaden, a midwife by training, became the head of Denmark’s Centre for Sustainable Hospitals. The centre, which works with all hospitals in the Central Denmark Region (Midtjylland), was established in 2021, alongside a new sustainability strategy that set three main goals for hospitals to achieve by 2030: reduce consumption by 30%, reduce the total amount of waste by 30%, and recycle 70% of all waste.
To help them achieve this a microfunding programme was set up to finance sustainability projects. Every year the scheme opens to applications, and anyone from the hospitals can apply. The money is mainly spent on subcontracting employees so that they can take a day or two off a week for perhaps half a year to devote time to the project. Gaden told The BMJ this can involve “reaching out to partners, testing, gathering data, making material for communication, and so on.”
The funding scheme has proved fruitful, and Gaden has created a …SpainNorthamptonshireUnited-kingdomMidlandsLeicestershireOurenseGaliciaDenmarkRegion-midtjyllandMidtjyllandCristina-enjamioMaria-gaden
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