In recent months the hospital’s Sustainable Environment Project and Waste Management offices have undertaken a number of successful initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability issues in Cork University Hospital (CUH) and Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), and include
- Sustainable Healthcare Awareness day
- Staff Knowledge Competition
- Monthly Newsletter
- Food Waste Awareness day
The Sustainable Healthcare Awareness day, held on the 4th February, was a great success with the offices’ information stand well attended by hospital staff and visitors.Information on energy reduction measures, waste prevention measures, and appropriate waste segregation, both in the hospital and at home, was provided to staff and visitors throughout the morning. Congratulations and feedback was given to staff on achieving a waste disposal cost reduction of €151,190 in 2013. A staff knowledge competition, with substantial prizes, was launched on the day. The questionnaire provided important examples of waste prevention measures with staff asked YES/NO questions based on this info. Staff learnt important information without having to sit down to a lesson or awareness session.
The Food Waste Awareness day held on the 12th March, was run to raise awareness of the cost of food waste in the hospital and at home. The hospital’s coffee dock and canteen supported the day by providing special offers. The canteen’s smaller portion meal option aimed to reduce plate waste and provide a healthier option for staff with lower appetites. The option was so popular that it is hoped to make it a permanent fixture in the canteen in the coming weeks.
The event was run to coincide with the launch of the Cork Food Policy Council (CFPC) and their Feed the City event. Transition Year students studying Social & Scientific (home economics) from Mercy College Secondary School provided guidance to staff and the public on how to reduce the quantity of food waste they produce. Raising awareness of local events and engaging with local schools is a key component of CUH’s community involvement. Development of a pilot for local food sustainability, in collaboration with CFPC, is in train. For more information on Cork Food Policy Council visit www.corkfoodpolicycouncil.com
A monthly email newsletter to all staff, highlighting environmental issues in the hospital and at home, continues to raise awareness on an ongoing basis.