The Environmentally Sustainable Business Award for excellence recognizes a business that has taken significant steps to reduce the environmental impact of the business through using resources more efficiently and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Benalla Church Street Surgery was commended by the judges, John Lloyd from BSFG and Nick Katsanevakis from Sustainability Victoria, on
- developing an environment and sustainability plan
- having an energy audit conducted to recommend the steps they should take to make the surgery much more energy efficient
- undertaking a number of recommended actions to significantly reduce energy and water usage
- considerably reducing the amount of waste generated at the surgery.
- the impending installation of 15kW of solar panels which will mean further significant reductions in demand for grid electricity.
- the leadership taken in the establishment of the North East Sustainability and Health Group, which the judges consider a very positive way to promote environmental sustainability amongst health services.
During the site visit the judges recommended setting a target of reducing energy, water and waste by a certain percentage as part of the surgery's environmental policy, suggesting that making this an annual target could form the basis of a policy of continuous improvement.
Congratulations go to Dr Brownstein who, inspired by discussions about the issue of sustainability and health, introduced the development of an environmental plan at the Church Street Surgery to make it more sustainable. Energy auditors Ecomaster, presenters at BSFG's Building forums in 2015 and 2016, completed the audit, making recommendations which were implemented at the surgery relating to draughts, insulation and waste. One of many efficiency strategies introduced by the practice has involved eliminating faxes by sending emails rather than faxes! Interestingly, prior to the energy audit the surgery had been told that it would need 25kw solar panels, however after implementing the audit only 15KW of solar panels are required.
A worthy winner and an inspirational case study!