Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of the Netcare Group, had high praise for the Group’s environmental sustainability team after it was announced that Netcare has received four gold medals in the global 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge Awards.
“Netcare achieved the remarkable distinction of being the only healthcare institution globally to have received gold awards – the highest accolade – in each of the four categories in the prestigious 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge Award. These categories are Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Energy), Renewable Energy, Climate Resilience, and Climate Leadership,” commented Dr Friedland.
“Since the launch of Netcare’s environmental sustainability programme in 2013, the Group has placed considerable emphasis on optimising this aspect of its operations and improving energy efficiencies at its facilities throughout South Africa. We are most gratified for the international acknowledgement of Netcare’s leading role in advancing environmental sustainability in the healthcare sector,” he added.
According to Dr Friedland, the Group’s energy efficiency and renewable energy projects have achieved a 24% decrease in energy consumed from the national grid and have contributed savings of more than R492 million. By the end of the 2025 financial year, Netcare expects to have achieved a compound savings of around R1.1bilion.
“To date, Netcare has completed more than 12MWp of solar photo voltaic installations and replaced more than 140 000 lights with energy efficient alternatives, whilst continuously optimising its domestic hot water and HVAC plants across all its facilities.
“The Netcare environmental sustainability team is continuously looking for new, innovative opportunities to optimise the Group’s facilities in environmentally friendly ways and has committed to reducing its absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by more than 28% by 2030, in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) which aims to limit the increase in global warming to 2ᵒC. This is aligned with the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”
Netcare’s increasing contribution to environmental sustainability is evident from the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge awards it has received over the years:
• 2015: A gold award for Climate Leadership.
• 2016: Two gold awards for Climate Resilience and Climate Leadership.
• 2017: Two gold awards for Climate Resilience and Climate Leadership, and two silver awards for
Renewable Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction.
• 2018: No awards were presented in 2018.
• 2019: Three gold awards for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction, Climate Resilience and Climate
Leadership, and a silver award for Renewable Energy.
• 2020: Four gold awards for Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Energy), Renewable Energy, Climate Resilience, and Climate Leadership.
The 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge was organised by Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH), which was launched at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. Netcare was one of five founding participants in Africa. The GGHH network has over 1 350 members in 72 countries, which represent the interests of over 43 000 hospitals and health centres.
“We are honoured to be part of a global community of healthcare institutions on every continent leading the transformation to climate-smart healthcare, and look forward to progressing our environmental sustainability initiatives further as we strive to help protect the future health of our communities in South Africa and the planet,” says Dr Friedland.