Environment and Sustainability
At Karolinska University Hospital, we want our services to have as low negative impact on the environment as possible. We apply a long-term approach regarding environment and sustainability issues, both within the hospital's services and in cooperation with other parties.
We view our preventive work with environmental issues as a way to tackle growing health problems. In 2005, Karolinska was awarded certification for meeting the requirements of the international environmental management standard ISO 14001. In 2015, we celebrated our 10th anniversary as an environmentally certified university hospital.
Reducing environmental impact
The hospital's environmental goals for 2012-2016 focus on reducing our environmental impact from pharmaceuticals, chemicals and goods, as well as our greenhouse gas emissions. For example, one of our environmental objectives aims to reduce the use of selected disposables.
Karolinska is participating in an EU project with several other parties to develop blood bags made of plastics other than PVC. PVC contains phthalate plasticizers that have a negative effect on both health and the environment. Currently there are no blood bags on the market that do not contain PVC or phthalates.
We continually seek collaborative initiatives for innovations that can support our efforts to achieve minimal environmental impact and a sustainable society.
Karolinska has one of the world's most environmentally friendly University Hospitals. The new hospital building is being built, and will be operated, with minimal environmental impact to become a long-term sustainable University Hospital.
The hospital building was designed to achieve the highest level in Miljöbyggnad – a Swedish system that rates the environmental performance of buildings. And in 2014, the new hospital building in Solna received environmental certification Miljöbyggnad Gold. The facility will also be certified according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.
Karolinska will provide services with minimal environmental impact and with a focus on the patient. We will be a role model, constantly improve our services and develop sustainably by promoting health while striving to achieve resource efficiency and climate protection.
Environmental issues permeate all hospital activities. For example, all employees attend the hospital's own basic environmental training course. Also, environmental considerations are integrated into the hospital's daily routines and procedures, and we set environmental requirements for procurement.
Environmental issues in collaboration
The hospital works with environmental and sustainability issues in a collaborative effort within Stockholm County Council. We also belong to the Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) network and participate in regional and national environment networks that focus on reducing climate impact and safer handling of chemicals. Together we work to achieve a safe and sustainable patient care.