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Forté Health smashes emissions targets years before deadline

Forté Health has reduced its carbon emissions by 15% in the last three years, shaving a quarter off its electricity usage in the process.

The results have been outlined in Forté’s annual carbon emissions report, prepared as part of the Toitū net carbon zero programme. Forté is New Zealand’s first net carbon-zero hospital – a milestone achieved in 2021.

When starting on its net carbon zero journey in 2019, Forté Health set itself three emissions targets to achieve by 2026. It’s smashed that goal – meeting two of those targets this year. Forté has reduced its total carbon footprint by 15% compared to the baseline year (2019), exceeding its goal of a 14% reduction by 2026. Forté has also reduced electricity emissions by 28%, exceeding its target of 24%.

The annual audit also reported a 5% reduction in waste from 2021 to 2022 and the removal of the anaesthetic gas Desflurane, which is a harmful greenhouse gas.

Forté Health Sustainability Coordinator Patryk Szczerba says they are incredibly proud of the emissions reductions achieved but, considering the health sector is one of the biggest contributors to waste and users of energy in the environment, work can’t stop here.

“Our achievements to date have taught us that every action, no matter how small, makes a difference. From making sure we switch off patient monitors when not in use, to better segregation of waste and reducing air travel, we are committed to looking for environmental savings in every facet of the business so we can continue to reduce our environmental impact,” says Patryk.

Emissions reductions projects currently underway at Forté Health include working with Medsalv to collect and remanufacture specific medical products, exploring options to use a 100% renewable electricity supplier, and investigating more biodegradable or reusable products from vases for patient flowers to gloves.

Forté Health CEO Rachel Hillyer says many factors that contribute to our health and well-being are threatened by climate change.

“It’s our responsibility to reduce our impact on the world for those that are going to follow us. Forté Health is proud to be showing real leadership and action on this issue, as we showcase how, through innovation and perseverance, you can operate in a way that’s better for our people, our patients, and our planet,” says Rachel.

Photo: Forté Sterile Services Team Leader Julia Edwards with one of the specialist reusable sterilisation crates which replace some single-use alternatives.