Our vision is to have a holistic view of sustainability challenges. Today's work to cure should not increase the need to relieve in the future. We take responsibility for how we use our resources and constantly work to reduce our environmental impact while improving the quality of care, accessibility, and equality in healthcare. We ensure that sustainability perspectives are integrated into our routines and our daily work, and we demand environmental and social requirements during procurement. Since 2005, environmental work at Karolinska has been certified according to ISO 14001.
Karolinska has one of the world's most environmentally friendly University Hospitals. The new hospital building in Solna is operated with minimal environmental impact with the goal of becoming 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 has also been certified according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.
Reducing climate impact
Region Stockholm aims to reduce the total climate impact by 50% from 2019 to 2030, and our hospital is a vital force in that reduction. Every unit of Karolinska is responsible for implementing activities to decrease climate impact. Examples of such activities are to travel less or more climate friendly, or to carry out more digital meetings. The climate impact work is being followed up every four months. Karolinska University Hospital follow up and measure climate impact within these areas:
• the amount of digital care meetings replacing physical outpatient visits
• the amount of business trips by airplane and the climate effects they cause
• the amount of digital meetings
• medical gases
• food for patients (increase ecological and Swedish raw materials, decrease food waste)
• district heating
• the share of bio-based products
Karolinska participates 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 are always looking for collaborative initiatives for innovations that can support our efforts to achieve minimal environmental impact and a sustainable society.
Karolinska will provide services with minimal environmental impact and with a focus on the patient. We will be role models, constantly improving our services and developing 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 introductory 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 safe and sustainable patient care.
The sustainability work at Karolinska is managed by the Sustainability Unit, environmental coordinators, the staff at the hospital, and about 500 environmental informants at the hospital. Together, everyone contributes towards our goals.