Netcare has once again been awarded gold medals in all four categories of the prestigious 2022 global Health Care Climate Challenge Awards – the only healthcare organisation across all continents to have achieved this distinction.
This is the third consecutive year that Netcare has received the highest accolade by Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH), an initiative of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH). The four categories in which the Group has achieved gold medals are Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Energy), Renewable Energy, Climate Resilience, and Climate Leadership. The awards are based on the individual progress of 371 climate challenge participants, representing the interests of over 26 000 hospitals and health centres in 43 countries.
Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare, said that the Group has remained committed to continue advancing the environmental sustainability of its operations and exceeding objectives despite the challenges faced by the healthcare sector in recent years.
“We have substantially outperformed our original targets ahead of our schedule. For example, we have achieved a 35% reduction in energy intensity per bed, surpassing our 10 year target set in 2013 of between 22% and 25% per bed. More recently, we have also focused our attention on water and waste and have already achieved a 23% reduction in water utilisation per bed,” he said.
According to the Health Care’s Climate Footprint report published by Health Care Without Harm and its partners in 2019, the climate footprint of healthcare provision is equivalent to 4.4% of global net emissions. The report states that if the health sector were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter on the planet.
Dr Friedland said that Netcare is all too aware of the impact that healthcare provision has on climate change. “Our investment represents the largest healthcare environmental sustainability programme in Africa, with a capital expenditure of R585 million since the initiation of our strategy in 2013. Our Group has not only been able to make tangible inroads into addressing the urgent climate crisis but we have also achieved cumulative operational savings of just over R1 billion by the end of the 2022 financial year, yielding an internal rate of return of more than 25%. Had we not embarked on this environmental sustainability programme, our electricity cost over this past financial year alone would have been some R598 million, compared with the R386 million that was actually incurred.”
Nick Thorp, network director of Global Green and Healthy Hospitals - Health Care Without Harm, congratulated Netcare on another year of outstanding environmental sustainability gains made. “We are honoured to recognise your achievements and progress with these four gold awards and offer you our sincere congratulations on being a 2022 Climate Champion. Your institution stands tall as a global leader in creating climate smart healthcare.”
Dr Friedland noted that Netcare launched its environmental sustainability programme in 2013, which resulted in the Group’s first gold medal in 2015 in the inaugural Health Care Climate Challenge Awards. Since then, the number of medals awarded to Netcare has increased steadily. In 2020, the company became the first and only participating healthcare institution to be awarded a full house of four gold medals and repeated this achievement in both 2021 and 2022.
Expanding the Group’s environmental sustainability programme
Dr Friedland pointed out that Netcare has set ambitious targets to reduce its Scope 2 emissions generated by purchased electricity consumed by the company, to zero. “We aim to reduce both Scope 1 emissions which are those directly occurring from sources that are owned or controlled by the Group, and Scope 2 emissions by a combined 84% by 2030. We further aim to achieve 100% renewable energy, zero waste to landfill and a 20% reduction in our water utilisation by 2030.”
“Netcare strives to be an example of the benefits of environmental sustainability in the healthcare sector and to South African industry at large. We are truly humbled to receive these international awards again, which are a testament to what can be achieved with a clear and firm strategic approach towards cultivating greener solutions that yield a healthier environment for generations to come,” Dr Friedland concluded.
Notes to editor
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