Hospital procedures are impacted by Covid-19. Find out more here.

Hospital procedures are impacted by Covid-19. Find out more here.

Protecting our environment for future generations


Southern Cross Healthcare has made a commitment to manage and reduce the impacts of our operations on the environment to better support and build our organisation, and the communities and people around us.

Never have we been more conscious that time is running out to act on climate change. Short term trade-offs are necessary to enable long-term opportunities. We are at a turning point where the decisions and actions we take today will impact generations – our decisions now will shape the future.

As we look ahead, we know we may not have all the answers today to solve these complex issues; however, we will continue to strive to make a difference and do better every day.

Reducing our impact on the environment

We are building a culture of waste avoidance, efficiency and innovation; setting carbon and waste targets; measuring, monitoring and reporting on our environmental performance; and working with our partners.

We are in the process of applying for our Toitū Envirocare carbon reduction certification in accordance with ISO 14064-1, for the fourth year-in-a-row. This includes scope three emissions.

Our clinical teams are working hard to make further reductions to the use of desflurane in our theatres. We made a 39 per cent reduction in the past year ended 30 June 2023. This takes our total desflurane reduction to 71 per cent since we first identified it as a focus area three years ago.

Our property and development teams have implemented energy efficient changes to operational systems and converted to lower carbon fuels.

We have completed the transition of our vehicle fleet to hybrid and our procurement team’s ongoing work to bring more sustainable products to our network will continue to help mitigate our environmental impacts. We’re proud of our commitment to adopt the Green Star rating for our new builds, starting with our build in Wellington.

Further waste reduction highlights

  • Many of our hospitals are now collecting single use medical instruments to be broken down, allowing for metal components to be recycled.
  • The recEYEcle project which involves the ophthalmology team recycling Johnson & Johnson Tecnis Simplicity intraocular lens loaders in a specially designed and supplied box in ophthalmic surgical suites. Previously destined for medical landfill, because they come into contact with patients’ eyes, the Tecnis loaders can now be sterilised and the different plastic components shredded and repurposed to make decking, bench seating and even watering cans.

* All data is from 1 July 2022 – 30 June 2023.