Merri Health is a not for profit community health care organisation with health sites across Merri-bek including Brunswick, Brunswick West, Coburg, Fawkner and Glenroy. Their services are open to every age and stage of life.
Sustainability improvements to buildings
Merri Health has been undertaking sustainability improvements within their organisation for many years. Back in 2013, Merri Health took advantage of funding available through the Commonwealth Government’s Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) to take action to save energy at their Bell Street, Coburg centre.
- installing a new HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system
- installing new ductwork
- replacing existing lighting with energy efficient T5 fittings and LED downlights
- installing occupancy sensors for switching lights on and off
- improving window seals and blinds to improve energy efficiency.
Energy bill savings by reducing energy use
The project resulted in a dramatic improvement in the energy efficiency to the site seeing almost a 30% reduction in energy consumption. Estimated costs savings were projected to be over $6227 per year at completion of these upgrades.
Not only is Merri Health saving energy and money and reducing their carbon emissions, but the retrofit has resulted in improved comfort for staff and patients in the building.
Compost ambassadors to reduce food waste
Merri Health have installed a compost bin in their kitchen area and have signs put up around the area to educate and remind people of the food scraps that can be composted. They also have a schedule of compost ambassadors to empty the contents into the Pentridge Community Garden which is full of individual vegetable and fruit gardens for surrounding residents.
Reducing waste in the workplace through composting not only reduce carbon emissions within the community but also gives back to local residents who benefit from the production of compost to feed their fruit and vegetable gardens.
This circular economy approach supports Moreland’s goals of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2030.
Additional benefits for staff
Staff too have benefited from these initiatives. Simone Murcutt of Merri Health says their recent waste initiatives “have increased comradeship among staff and encouraged people to be more mindful of waste. It has also encouraged staff to take breaks from their desks and go for a walk outside.” For others wanting to take on waste initiatives in their workplaces, Simone says:
“It’s simple! We had some issues with the wrong types of waste being put into the compost bin, but the signage has helped. It’s a great way to teach staff about waste control as well as encourage them to mix among other teams.”
How can I take similar actions in my workplace?
Check out our Energy Switch page for a list of current programs and take a look at our Zero Waste page for advice on how to make your workplace a low waste space.