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In the future, health care systems will also have to pay greater attention to sustainability. In project business, VAMED already integrates national environmental standards and regulations into the planning and construction of a hospital or other health care facility as an active contribution toward environmental protection. VAMED’s extensive expertise in environmental management is an important success factor especially in growth markets in Africa and Asia. For a hospital project in Gabon, Africa, for instance, we have put into operation a modern sewage treatment plant and a high-temperature incinerator designed to European standards.

VAMED has also achieved successes in the service business. For more than two decades, VAMED has been responsible for the technical management of the Vienna General Hospital and University Hospital (AKH), one of the largest hospitals in Austria with over 10,000 employees. In 2010, AKH’s greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by about 13% compared to 1996, the reference year for the reduction targets. The international target set by the Kyoto Protocol, to reduce emissions by 5.2%, has therefore been exceeded more than twofold. The success is due to improvements in the areas of air-conditioning and heat recovery. In addition to CO2 , achievement of the Kyoto targets also takes account of other greenhouse gases. The AKH, together with VAMED, has set itself the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 by three times the amount required by the Kyoto Protocol.

Over the past 15 years, VAMED has also realized major improvements in waste management at the AKH. Besides continuous optimizations, we carried out a number of specialfocus projects, for instance in the area of waste sorting. For example, we reduced the volume of medical waste classified as hazardous by 60%. In 2010, the focus was on reorganizing the collection of medical waste that can be a source of injury, e. g. scalpels, needles, and other sharp items used in medical care. VAMED, together with the AKH, developed a separate waste management logistics system and organized cheaper disposal.

VAMED is also an active member of working groups and committees that formulate ÖNORMEN for hospitals. ÖNORMEN are Austrian standards issued by the Austrian Standards Institute. There is also an international working group for hospital waste, the International Waste Working Group (IWWG). Set up in 2009, IWWG is a working group of international scientists and companies focusing on sustainable waste management. The working group’s constitutive meeting was held in 2010.

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