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Sustainability on all fronts

At Changi General Hospital (CGH), much care is taken to ensure the well-being of patients and the environment.

DID YOU KNOW that a food digester system digests food waste from CGH’s centralised kitchen, producing products such as non-potable water, which is then used for other purposes such as cleaning the floors of the bin centre?

Recognising the pivotal role that the hospital plays in safeguarding not only human health, but also environmental health, CGH takes proactive measures to integrate green practices in its operations. As the impact of climate change becomes more evident, CGH has embraced eco-friendly energy alternatives, reduced the generation of pollutants and implemented ways to optimise resource usage — all while continuing to deliver the best patient care.

Converting heat from chillers

CGH utilises a heat recovery system for its hot water supply system, which has replaced gas-fired heaters since 2002. The heat recovery system recovers waste heat from the campus’ air-conditioning system and uses it to heat the hospital’s water supply.

  • The hot water supply at the hospital’s shower facilities serves over 800 patients a day. It is also used for dish-washing in the kitchen, and in the sterilisation of central sterile supplies.
  • The energy recovered from the system helps save 1,300 MWh of energy, which is equivalent to the energy required to power 270 average households for a month. This reduces the hospital’s carbon emissions by some 500 tonnes per annum.


Harnessing the power of the sun

In 2014, CGH installed solar panels on the rooftops at the Medical Centre and The Integrated Building, generating some 50 MWh per annum, equivalent to the energy required to power eight average households for a month.

  • The current solar energy generated accounts for 1% of the hospital’s electricity use annually and is employed in non-critical systems such as rooftop lightings and fans. There are plans to further optimise the rooftop spaces to install more solar panels.
  • CGH’s use of solar energy will reduce the hospital’s carbon emissions by an estimated 4,000 tonnes over 25 years.

CGH has been tapping on solar power to reduce carbon emissions.


Boosting electric vehicle (EV) support

To increase the adoption rate of environmentally-friendly EVs:

  • CGH will be installing 10 EV charging points at the CGH Campus carparks. The allocation of the EV charging points is balanced with the available space for patient care, as well as the use of carpark spaces by patients, visitors and staff. The number of charging points currently takes up 1% of the carpark spaces in CGH.

Enhancing greenery

In support of the “One Million Trees Movement”, CGH planted new trees across its campus, adding to the lush greenery.

  • Some of these trees are known as “Happiness Trees”.
  • As of June 2023, there are more than 400 trees in CGH, and together with the hospital’s green spaces, these will continue to grow.

Garcinia trees are planted throughout the CGH campus.


Recycling plastics

One of CGH’s latest environmental sustainability initiatives is the recycling of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) intravenous (IV) fluid bags that are empty and uncontaminated. In 2023, CGH partnered with a recycling company, which collects the uncontaminated PVC waste produced by CGH’s operating theatres and Emergency Department for recycling.

  • Besides IV fluid bags, other plastic waste such as syringes (excluding needles), ventilator tubings, packaging wrappers, and plastic caps are also collected and recycled. There are plans to expand this plastic-recycling initiative to other clinical areas in the hospital.
  • Since the start of the initiative, CGH has collected approximately 130kg of PVC and 520kg of other plastics. They can be upcycled into common household products such as floor mats and PVC hoses.

Rainwater harnessing

At CGH, rainwater is harvested for landscape irrigation and the general washing of the hospital premises.

  • Rainwater is collected from the stormwater drains throughout the hospital’s outdoor areas and rooftop rainwater tanks. The rainwater supplements the hospital’s use of NEWater for its irrigation system.


Award-winning sustainable environment

CGH’s Medical Centre and The Integrated Building (IB) received the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark (Platinum) for their outstanding achievements in environmental sustainability in the built environment.

  • Through its environmentally-sustainable features, IB is able to produce energy savings of 4,233 MWh per year. Recycled water is sufficient to replace the use of potable water for landscape irrigation, cooling towers and toilet-flushing. Through its layout optimisation and windcatchers, IB is also designed to provide natural ventilation.

Clearing the air

CGH cuts usage of environmentally-unfriendly anaesthetic gases.


DID YOU KNOW that anaesthetic gases used during surgeries have environmental effects? One such anaesthetic gas, desflurane, is a potent greenhouse gas with high global warming potential. When released into the atmosphere, it does not break down, exacerbating climate change. It is estimated that desflurane’s global warming potential is 2,500 times greater than carbon dioxide!  

In caring for the environment, CGH’s Department of Anaesthesia & Surgical Intensive Care has actively reduced its desflurane usage', opting for a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable alternative — sevoflurane, using lower fresh gas flows to minimise anaesthetic gas use, and using intravenous anaesthetic (propofol) or regional anaesthesia where appropriate. These are achieved through the engagement and education of both junior and senior staff, and using posters and notes to remind them about the environmental impacts of desflurane, as well as cover other sustainability topics in the field of anaesthesia.

Through extensive efforts over the past three years, CGH’s annual usage of desflurane has significantly reduced from 242L in 2019 to 76L in 2022 — a whopping 69% reduction! This translates to a reduction in the hospital’s CO2-equivalent emissions from desflurane by an estimated 1,037 tonnes in the three years, taking the equivalent of 15,000 cars travelling from Singapore to KL off the road. In terms of total anaesthetic gases used in surgeries across CGH, the proportion of desflurane used decreased by 50% between 2020 and 2022.

The usage of “desflurane (at 1L per min flow rate) over 1 hour results in the same amount of carbon emissions as driving a car for 300km. That is about the driving distance from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

In comparison, using the same amount of “sevoflurane results in carbon emissions produced from driving a car for only 6.5km!