UnitingCare releases ambitious sustainability roadmap

March 2, 2021

UnitingCare has today released its new five-year Environmental Sustainability Strategy, a document that will guide the organisation in working towards a healthier, more equitable and greener world.

Speaking at this morning’s launch event at The Wesley Hospital, CEO Craig Barke said the new strategy reflects the organisation’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

“The coronavirus pandemic and recent extreme weather events remind us of the delicate relationship between our planet and the people and communities we serve,” Mr Barke said.

“Beyond delivering frontline services, we recognise that staying true to our mission means we must promote a healthy environment by reducing our carbon footprint, improving resource efficiency, enabling climate resilience, and greening our built environments.”

Mr Barke said UnitingCare's strategy defines six operational areas for intervention - built environment, waste, transport, purchasing, and empowering people and leadership, with ambitious targets set for 2025 including but not limited to transitioning the entire passenger fleet to hybrid and electric, reducing the organisation’s carbon footprint by 70 percent, sourcing all electricity from renewable energy, and reducing waste generation in its hospitals and aged care facilities by five percent.

“Being good stewards of the planet’s resources is not a destination, but an ongoing journey—while we’ve made good progress so far, there’s more work to be done,” Mr Barke said.

In the last three years UnitingCare has invested more than $4 million in energy efficiency and solar PV, introduced recycling streams into hospitals, and been recognised for environmental leadership at the International Energy Globe Awards and Health Care Climate Challenge Awards.

“I hope you all feel proud of the milestones we’ve already achieved, and are inspired to rise to the call-to-action in this strategy so that we may all ‘live life in all its fullness’.”

Read the Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2021-2025 report.