Going Green

In June a staff member left a comment on my blog, suggesting we need to think about how to make our hospital greener and more sustainable.  While I strongly agreed with her suggestion (and continue to do so), my answer at the time was that, sadly, we can’t confirm the size of CMDHB’s carbon footprint.

I returned to such thoughts this week after reflecting on a couple of things that have happened in the last few days. One was the recent announcement about Auckland’s air quality following the publication of World Health Organisation data. The second is around feedback I have received on the Planning and Delivery Organisational Design Consultation Document – specifically the importance of having somebody within our proposed new management structure to champion our organisation’s sustainability. I’ve also been considering how, every year, we get asked questions from the Health Select Committee on our carbon footprint and how many greenhouse gases we emit. Despite being the largest employer in Counties Manukau, we don’t yet have an answer.

But it’s precisely because we are the largest employer in Counties Manukau, and also a large organization in and of itself, that we need to start thinking about what our organisational responsibilities are with respect to the environment. Especially at this time of organisational change, when we have the opportunity to align our structure with our key priorities going forward, I’m really keen for you to feedback to me on this. How can we develop a much more environmentally sustainable model and how do we begin to be an environmentally responsible organisation?

We have already taken a few steps in this direction. Earlier this month we had two Sustainable Transport Expos, encouraging you to consider alternatives to single car occupancy to get to work. We’ve built bike sheds for staff to park their cycles in, we have increased the frequency of the staff shuttle between Middlemore, Lambie Drive and Manukau SuperClinic to reduce private car usage, and we continue to subsidise train tickets for staff by up to 20%.

But we clearly need to do more and I welcome your suggestions. As I hope you’ve read in earlier blog posts, I’m currently developing a key strategic project Thriving in Difficult Times 2 (T2) to focus on improving quality and reducing waste in the organisation. T2 will have several workstreams within it, one of which could be focussed on sustainability.  What do you think? Please leave me a comment or email me on ceoblog@middlemore.co.nz.

Finally, I missed seeing Wales play Namibia on Monday night because of a business meeting in Wellington. However, all was not lost – the boys actually seem to play better when I’m not there! Best of luck to the All Blacks and the Warriors this weekend – it’s going to be another big few days of sport.



Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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