26-28 September 2012 Healthcare without Harm organised CleanMed – creating healing environments – conference on sustainable healthcare. The conference gathered healthcare providers, sustainability organisations and medical and building material suppliers to healthcare to discuss and share successful initiatives in from many different perspectives. The topics included such diverse presentations from waste water management to how to communicate internally to engage and get buy-in for sustainability efforts in the organisation.
Sustainability is really at least a threefold concept encompassing both financial and social perspectives as well as the more obvious environmental angle. The conference brought out many excellent examples of projects that have had – and will continue to have – positive influences on the carbon footprint of healthcare activities, coming from innovative procurement to recycling and energy saving infrastructure of buildings.
Unfortunately the social sustainability aspects were highlighted to a lesser degree than the environmental and financial aspects. This is a shame as work environments that are in tune with our human senses, for instance sound environments, add to the comfort of the staff and patients, which in its turn could mean staff retention, patient satisfaction and healing – factors that also influence carbon usage and finance.
The conference will take place in Boston and Oxford in 2013 – hopefully the social sustainability efforts and impact will be more in focus at these events!
For more information go to the CleanMed website here