23 Aug 2019

Auckland DHB wins climate action award, cuts carbon by 28%

Posted in: Inspiring Action

Auckland District Health Board, one of the top 200 energy users in NZ, cuts carbon footprint by 28 percent

Auckland District Health Board (Auckland DHB) has won the Excellence in Climate Action - Large Organisation category at the Enviro-Mark Solutions Awards in Auckland.

Auckland DHB is in the top 200 energy users in New Zealand, yet through strong leadership, planning and energy reduction partnerships, it has cut its carbon footprint by 28 percent since it started measuring carbon emissions with Enviro-Mark Solutions in 2015. A major factor was the reduction of the DHB’s energy consumption by 36 percent over this period.

Auckland DHB uses an immense amount of energy each year to treat more than one million patients, employ nearly 11,000 staff and ensure essential services are open around the clock.

Auckland DHB’s Chief Financial Officer Rosalie Percival says “This award belongs to our 11,000 Auckland DHB people. I want to acknowledge our Sustainability Manager Manjula Sickler, our network of almost 300 passionate sustainability champions, and our many partners, particularly Ngāti Whātua.

“As a healthcare provider, we will see the impacts on climate change on the health of our population. For these reasons it is imperative we respond and take action to reduce our own contribution to the atmosphere. Achieving Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme® (CEMARS) certification through Enviro-Mark Solutions has meant we are able to really understand our energy use, and therefore, our carbon emissions. With this detailed understanding, we can target areas of real improvement.”

Auckland DHB team with Enviro-Mark Solutions Chief Executive Dr Ann Smith

Dr Ann Smith, CEO of Enviro-Mark Solutions has praised the Auckland DHB’s efforts, “Enviro-Mark Solutions is proud to work with the Auckland District Health Board. They understand how their operations contribute to global warming and how climate impacts will impact on health and health services. They are deeply committed to reducing their carbon emissions and have achieved great results through their CEMARS certification. We are delighted to announce them as the winner in the Excellence in Climate Action – Large Organisation category.”

Ms Percival attributes the Auckland DHB’s success to buy-in to its long-term strategy by the executive leadership team, and the organisation’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050.

“Being aligned on our vision means that we can move forward with new programmes and necessary capital expenditures quickly,” says Ms. Percival. “One example is the collaboration with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to develop a roadmap to cut our energy use in half and produce 50% of our energy requirements through on-site renewable energy by 2030. We call this vision Energy 50/50.”

Energy 50/50 in practice means Auckland DHB has created an energy dashboard to report energy trends throughout the month and continues to show energy use trending down. The scope of the Energy Management Plan covers all building energy use, namely; Auckland City Hospital, Starship Children’s Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre.

Auckland DHB team receiving the CEMARS certificate

Highlights of Energy 50/50 progress to date:

  • 1160 LED lights fittings or lamps upgraded; resulting in reduced energy by approximately 64,000 kWh
  • PC Sleep software on almost 4,000 computers which has seen energy savings of approximately 554,000 kWh per year
  • Starship patient lift upgrade with energy-efficient motors
  • Air Handling Unit (AHU) optimisation to improve efficiency of the unit and controls
  • Kids Domain lighting conversion with LEDs
  • Additional energy monitoring systems to capture all energy usage at Grafton

“In 2015, we set out to be the most sustainable district health board in New Zealand by committing to a zero-carbon target by 2050,” says Ms. Percival. “Underpinning our sustainability programme is an integrated view of the environment that is founded on principles of kaitiakitanga and responsible stewardship which align with Te Runanga o Ngāti Whātua.”

“We’re delighted to be recognised by Enviro-Mark Solutions for the hard work and commitments of our staff, our Green Teams and our energy reduction partners.”