OK, WE ARE CONVINCED, BUT HOW AND/OR WHERE DO WE START?
While many dialysis services may have already introduced some (or all) of the principles suggested in this website, many likely have not.
To try to understand how deeply the environmental sustainability ‘bug’ had bitten in the dialysis sphere, the Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria) conducted a Green Survey in late 2016, the results of which have just been published in Nephrology, the Official Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology and of the Asia Pacific Society of Nephrology (1, 2).
The survey received responses from 71/83 dialysis facilities in Victoria (86%), representing 628/660 (95%) of the states’ dialysis chairs. The abstract reported that:
“ … Low energy lighting was present in 13 facilities (18%), 18 (25%) recycled reverse osmosis water and 7 (10%) reported use of renewable energy. Fifty-six facilities (79%) performed comingled recycling but only 27 (38%) recycled polyvinyl chloride plastic. A minority educated staff in appropriate waste management (n=30; 42%) or formally audited waste generation and segregation (n=19; 27%). Forty four (62%) provided secure bicycle parking but only 33 (46%) provided shower and changing facilities. There was limited use of tele- or video-conferencing to replace staff meetings (n=19; 27%) or patient clinic visits (n=13; 18%). A minority considered ES in procurement decisions (n=28; 39%) and there was minimal preparedness to cope with climate change. Only 39 services (49%) confirmed an ES policy and few had ever formed a green group (n=14; 20%) or were currently undertaking a green project (n=8; 11%). Only 15 facilities (21%) made formal efforts to raise awareness of ES.”
The authors concluded that:
“The survey provides a baseline for practices that potentially impact the environmental sustainability of dialysis units in Victoria, Australia. It also identifies achievable targets for attention.”
For services yet to start their ‘green journey’, we hope this website may help to inspire you and show you where and how to get involved.
Do not shirk the introduction of new or novel practices.
Consider and/or adopt them, where and as you can.
If new opportunities arise that are not considered here, report them, and add them to the sparse literature available to date.
The ‘road map’ to greener, more sustainable dialysis that this site advocates concludes with some step-by-step suggestions towards better, more environmentally sensitive dialysis practices.
- Barraclough KA, Gleeson A, Holt SG, Agar JWM. The Green Dialysis Survey: Establishing a Baseline for Environmental Sustainability across Dialysis Facilities in Victoria, Australia. Nephrology(Carlton). 2017 doi: 10.1111/nep.13191
- See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29094785