We, at Changi General Hospital, Singapore are committed to protect the environment and safeguard the health & safety of all persons working for or on behalf of the hospital by implementing an Environmental, Health & Safety Management System. We shall:
Comply with relevant environmental, health & safety legislation and other requirements
Help promote reduction, re-use and recycling of waste, improve hazardous waste management.
Adopt a pro-active approach on environmental, health & safety matters with our stakeholders to prevent injuries, ill health and pollution.
Nurse (giving special care/attention to) the use of resources and promote safety.
Generate awareness and competence through training.
Implement programs to achieve continual improvement in our Environmental, Health & Safety Management System and Performance.
Caring for You by Caring for the Environment
Changi General Hospital, Singapore (CGH) cares for the environment because we care about you. Most patients feel uneasy and unwell when they come to a hospital. We have created a tranquil and restful environment for our patients to heal by beautifying the hospital with plants and trees.
We have employed environmentally friendly practices all around the hospital, such as recycling and management systems for energy and water. Reducing energy and water consumption and wastage saves money that can be channeled towards patient care.
CGH has won a string of international and local awards for its environmental efforts. We were the first hospital in Singapore to receive the international ISO 14001 certification in 1998. To benchmark ourselves against other environmentally friendly organisations, we participated in and won the Inaugural Singapore Environmental Achievement Award from the Singapore Environment Council in 1999.
Not resting on our (‘green’) laurels, we went on to receive first prize in the New & Existing Building category for the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Energy Efficiency Awards in 2001 and the 2002 ASEAN Energy Efficiency Building Best Practices Competition. In the same year, the National Environmental Agency presented Changi General Hospital with the Green Leaf Award. (The Green Leaf Award recognises individuals, youths, and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to the protection of our local environment.)
CGH won the Singapore Environmental Achievement in 2003. In 2007, the Public Utilities Board awarded the ‘Water Efficient Building’ and ‘Friends of Water’ certifications to CGH for its success in conserving Singapore’s water resources and raising awareness about water conservation.
In 1999, a committee within CGH was set up to promote energy and water conservation. As a result, we managed to cut average consumption of electricity by 12% and water by 25%. This has worked out to savings of $800,000 a year.
How did we achieve this? Through environmental initiatives, such as the use of sun shading devices and skylights to reduce heat and optimise indoor lighting and ventilation. We also found a way to recover waste heat from chillers and to use that to heat water. This eliminated the need for gas-operated water heaters and their carbon dioxide emissions. In 2009, CGH created a new rooftop garden, that occupied an area of about 5,700 sq metres. This garden reduces the energy consumption of the floor below by 15–20% by cooling the rooms beneath it.
Adjustments were also made to the air-conditioning system to lower energy consumption without compromising on comfort. The thermostats in the wards are clearly marked to help nurses set and maintain the room temperature at 23–24°C. To reduce the leakage of cool air, manual doors were replaced with automatic ones in areas separating the air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned areas. Other energy saving features include motion sensor lights, taps and energy saving light bulbs. The whole of CGH works together as a ‘green’ team—CGH staff save and recycle resources wherever possible and CGH management makes ‘green’ policies and keeps a close eye on our environmental performance and improvements.
Health & Safety Initiatives
CGH is continually looking for ways to protect the health and safety of our staff.
We are the first hospital to set up a Peer Support Program. This is a voluntary, peer-help, crisis counselling intervention programme to assist employee victims in dealing with the psychological aftermaths of work-related critical incidents or crises. It provides a range of crisis interventions for individuals, groups and employees’ family needs. This programme is manned by staff of different disciplines, specially selected and trained in crisis intervention and effective listening skills.
For our initiatives to protect the health and safety of our staff, CGH received two Singapore Human Resources awards in 2009: Leading HR Practices Award in Workplace Safety and Health and Special Mention in Health & Employee Wellness.