The Zero Waste Challenge for 2012

Frances Mortimer's picture

The Green Nephrology Network is taking up a "zero waste" challenge in 2012. Kidney departments will be cutting carbon and saving money by driving out waste from the dialysis process.

Case studies from Glasgow, Fife, Bradford, Cornwall and elsewhere are already leading the way in embedding the "reduce, reuse, recycle" philosophy across the dialysis unit.

They highlight the double benefit of waste reduction in saving money and carbon twice over: avoiding unnecessary purchases in the first place, while also reducing the amount of waste created for disposal.  In Fife, the removal of unnecessary consumables (saline bags, giving sets and dressing packs) saved £24,900 in 2011.

A carbon footprint study carried out by Green Nephrology Fellow Dr Andy Connor in 2010, showed that procurement of drugs and medical equipment together make up 60% of a renal service's greenhouse gas emissions, while waste disposal adds a further 10%.  These proportions are even higher than the same components of the NHS carbon footprint - due to the high use of dialysis consumables.

That is why the Green Nephrology Network is making 2012 the year of the "zero waste challenge".  All the units in the Network are challenged to carry out an inventory of equipment use per dialysis session - to identify and pursue possible savings, and let us know how much money and carbon they are saving by the end of the year!

We'll be featuring your successes and frustrations in the Green Nephrology blog spot and forum.  

Keep us posted!

 

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