N ABEYSEKERA1, J REYNOLDS2, R FENTON3, T BATTAGLINI-SMITH4, R MACE4, M JOSE1,3
1School of Medicine, Hobart, Australia, 2North West Renal Satellite Unit, Burnie, Australia, 3Southern Tasmania Renal Unit, Hobart, Australia, 4Northern Tasmania Renal Unit, Launceston, Australia
Aim : The Green Dialysis survey aimed to establish a baseline for environmental sustainability across Tasmanian dialysis facilities.
Background : Dialysis is responsible for high resource consumption, resulting in a high economic burden and cost to the environment.
Methods : Nurse unit managers of all Tasmanian public dialysis facilities received an online survey, which asked 23 questions relevant to the environmental sustainability of dialysis services. The survey used was a modified version of the survey used to assess Victorian & UK dialysis facilities.
Results : Responses were received from 6/6 dialysis units in Tasmania. Energy saving initiatives included the use of fluorescent lighting (n=6, 100%), motion sensor lights (n=1, 17%), thermostat controlled heating (n=6, 100%) and automatic hibernation settings of fax machines and computers (n=6, 100%). Five units (83%) were supplied with energy by Aurora and one unit (17%) from TasNetworks. Water saving initiatives included motion sensor taps (n=3, 50%) but no units harvested rainwater nor recycled reverse osmosis water. Recycling initiatives included waste segregation in all units and four recycled PVC plastic. Sustainable transport initiatives included active and public transport (n=3, 50%). Three units (50%) also provided bicycle parking with access to shower and changing facilities. None of the units used virgin paper and all had double-sided printing as an automatic setting. All units used a combination of paper and digital medical records. All units used paper towels and food sourcing was unknown. All units supported green initiatives, but no unit had an environmental sustainability policy nor had performed an audit of their environmental sustainability.
Conclusions : This survey provides a baseline for practices that impact the environmental sustainability of dialysis units in Tasmania.
Miss Natasha Abeysekera is a medical student at the University of Tasmania at the Hobart Clinical School. She is a current fourth year medical student working with the renal department at the Royal Hobart Hospital on several projects. Natasha has an interest in kidney transplantation, clinical genetics and paediatric nephrology.