With the effects of climate change becoming more visible and pronounced, St Vincent’s Health is determined to continue its efforts to reduce emissions by cutting its reliance on fossil fuels and managing its energy use more effectively, while at the same time increasing the organisation’s renewable energy capacity.
SVHA’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint has seen the organisation decrease its total energy use to approximately 100.2 GWh which is 2.1% down on its 2017/18 result, despite the addition of new facilities.
SVHA has invested considerable resources to ensure it maintains the downward trend in its carbon emission footprint.
After a successful reduction of more than 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and its equivalents in 2017-18, SVHA has achieved a further decrease of almost 1,000 tonnes of CO2e in the 2018-19 reporting period.
SVHA generated approximately 12,733 tonnes of waste in 2018-19, with non-clinical or non-related waste making up 10,551 tonne, at a total combined cost of $3,927,796 to the organisation, a slight increase on the previous year.
National Energy Action Program (NEAP)
Building on the success of the first phase of SVHA’s National Energy Action Program (NEAP), the organisation has further expanded its capacity in renewable energy by an additional 613kW, which is expected to generate 819,165 kWh of clean energy annually.
Included in SVHA’s second phase of solar panel installations is the organisation’s largest installation at its joint aged care and private hospital facility at Werribee. This installation was completed in June 2019 and has already started generating a significant amount of clean energy.
St Vincent’s Care Services Hawthorn
SVHA has further committed itself to increasing its renewable energy capacity by an additional 790kW by installing solar panels across five of its aged care facilities at Auburn, Yennora and Bronte (NSW), Hawthorn (Vic), and Carseldine (Qld).
Another exciting development has been SVHA’s ‘Chiller Optimisation’ project which allows our facilities to run their chiller plants (eg: for air conditioning) with less pumping activity, thereby reducing energy consumption.
An initial test of the system at St Vincent’s Sydney has resulted in energy savings of 857,267 kWh against a target of 753,295 kWh; an overall reduction of 30% energy consumption against a target of 26.4%; and a utility cost reduction of $128,590 against a target of $112,994.
So encouraging has been the success of Chiller Optimisation that St Vincent’s plans to roll out the project to other facilities in 2020.