Environment

Overview

The Netcare Group of which Medicross is part is committed to conduct all of our operations in a manner which will sustain environmental resources. Our goal is to conserve and protect environmental resources across our operations, services and supply chain and to minimise our environmental footprint. Environmental optimisation is an important contributor to our quality improvement efforts and supports the Quadruple Aim  framework adopted by the Group.

Our Group subscribes to the Kyoto Protocol and COP21 goals to limit global warming targets to below 2ºC but endeavour to limit it to 1,5ºC, and greenhouse gasses due to human activity to such a point that trees, soil and oceans can absorb this naturally between 2050 and 2100. We also participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project as well as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and are included in the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index Series.

Our hospital, primary care, renal dialysis and emergency medical services operations as well as our head office are focused on continuously improving their environmental performance through effective use of all resources and efficient management to minimise any adverse impact on the environment. Our Group's focus areas include energy and fuel consumption, emissions, water usage, general and healthcare waste, as well as green procurement and green facilities.

The security of electricity and water supply required for Netcare's high-acuity operations is critical in delivering the best clinical outcomes and patient experience. By adopting environmental best practices and limiting exposure to future utility cost increases, Netcare is also focusing on ensuring the environmental sustainability of its hospital, primary care, renal dialysis and emergency medical services operations.

In 2013, Netcare embarked on developing a comprehensive environmental sustainability strategy for implementation throughout the Group, with energy, water and waste management as the initial main focus areas. This commitment to environmental sustainability, together with considerable investment in identified initiatives, has already yielded substantial reductions in energy consumption.

Energy projects


PV roof installation at Netcare Olivedale Hospital

The strategy to substantially reduce the Netcare Group's reliance on energy supplied from the national grid was initiated with the commissioning of a number of enabling projects and determining accurate baselines for measuring future reductions in consumption.  A set of tangible interventions offering potential energy reduction benefits were then identified, and specific projects for individual facilities were thereafter initiated. Rigorous post implementation reviews are conducted a year after the completion of projects to measure their performance.

The introduction of check meters on the main electricity supply lines into its facilities enabled Netcare to select the most optimal tariff structures, which resulted in a substantial reduction in energy costs. Projections indicate that Netcare will reach its initial target of an 18 to 26% reduction in intensity by the end of 2018, which marks the first five years of its energy management programme, with the aim of reaching an energy intensity reduction of 35% by the end of the 10 year strategy.

Committed to sustaining environmental resources and minimising our environmental footprint.

Progress on key energy projects-January 2013 to March 2017

 
 
 

62

projects completed

64

projects in various stages

200+

project opportunities in investigation or developmental stages

Solar photo voltaic roof panel installations


PV roof panel installation at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital
Solar photo voltaic (PV) roof panels have been installed at 13 Netcare hospitals, 14 Medicross facilities and at Netcare 911's head office, providing a total installed capacity of 5,5MWpeak, to reduce the dependency on the national grid. 
A further 26 facilities are in design or installation stage, which on completion in early 2018, will account for a further 4,9MWpeak, bringing the total solar PV capacity to 10,4MWpeak. 
This will potentially lower the energy demand from the grid by some 18GWh per annum.


Lighting conversion

Converting interior lighting in its hospital facilities from CFL lights to 9W LED down lights is one of the projects currently being undertaken by Netcare. The before (left) and after (right) photos clearly shows the significant improvement in the quality of lighting, with less glare and strain on the eye due to varying levels of lighting. The project will ensure more cost-effective lighting and also help to reduce Netcare’s environmental footprint.
Before
After

Netcare is realising substantial benefits from its focused environmental sustainability initiatives

Water and waste projects

Following extensive research in 2015 to develop a sustainable water and waste strategy, Netcare has developed an integrated waste management solution for the Group which is expected to begin its implementation phase towards the end of 2017

Waste
Netcare has, for several years, implemented systems which ensure that healthcare risk waste (HCRW) is managed according to the applicable legislative requirements so as to protect staff members and the public from any form of risk.  In 2016, Netcare initiated a national project to segregate waste more effectively and to reduce the HCRW produced by its operations. A baseline data set was established and a steady improvement has since been recorded, especially across sites with higher HCRW volumes.

Netcare’s goal is to integrate all waste streams into an integrated waste management solution and to convert waste streams to value streams by diverting waste that can be recycled and re-used from landfill sites, as well as by implementing waste to fuel, energy or fertiliser conversions on the basis of investment in enterprise development. The complete solution is expected to take three to five years to implement, and could potentially reduce Netcare’s spend on waste by as much as 38%.

Water

An ageing municipal infrastructure and drought conditions which occur from time to time are two of the factors impacting water security. A national bulk water storage expansion project and emergency boreholes at Netcare facilities in drought stricken areas are addressing short term water availability risks, and this is coupled with a stringent water optimisation initiative involving awareness, an emphasis on leak repairs, and regular water audits. However, to ensure an ultimate long term water stewardship solution, Netcare is focusing on developing a water recycling process to convert waste water generated by its facilities to potable standards and quality. Technological developments have made this both possible and viable, both in terms of delivering a controlled and constant quality of water and a return on investment.

Our environmentally-friendly family medical and dental centres

Fourteen Medicross facilities have been equipped with solar PV roof panels, aligned to environmentally sustainable principles. 

To enhance their energy efficiency and reduce Medicross’ environmental footprint. Back-up battery systems have also been installed at a number of facilities with day theatres.

In a further effort to optimise energy efficiency, lighting upgrades whereby traditional energy inefficient lights are replaced with new energy efficient LED (light emitting diodes) and fluorescent lights have been undertaken at 29 Medicross facilities. An occupancy sensor installation has been completed at Medicross’ head office to ensure efficient use of lighting.

A view of the new solar PV roof panels that have been installed at Medicross Krugersdorp.