Warrigal Care has been providing aged care services to communities across New South Wales since 1964 and attribute our longevity and success in the sector to our willingness to embrace change and plan for the future. We are committed to reducing our emissions by implementing projects that create positive change for the environment.
Warrigal Care’s environmental sustainability journey began in 2008 and since then we have completed a number of projects, here are some examples:
• LED Lighting
Warrigal Care has installed over 750 LED down lights across four of our sites. These have replaced 50W Halogen lamps and save around 253 MWh per year.
• Ozone Technology
We have installed ozone systems in four laundries. These systems reduce hot water and save approximately 100 GJ of gas per year.
• Partnership with the University of Wollongong
We have embarked on a collaboration with the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC). A PhD student from the SBRC will work with Warrigal Care from 2013 to discover how we can retrofit our existing homes to make them more energy efficient and comfortable places to live.
• Recommission Air Conditioning systems
Air Conditioning systems operate continuously and contribute nearly 25% of an aged care homes total energy consumption. We have optimised our Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system at two of our largest sites, Bundanoon & Goulburn.
• T8 – T5 Lighting retrofit
We have also begun replacing our old T8 fluorescent lighting tubes with new efficient and smaller T5 tubes. This saves 8 Watts per light.
• Raised bed vegetable gardens
We have raised bed vegetable gardens at various villages and homes. Produce is sometimes used in our kitchen. Herbs, tomatoes, lettuce and eggplant often feature in the gardens!
• Level 2 Energy Audits
Four of our largest sites have been audited by VIM Sustainability. The audits account for every source of electricity and gas in our aged care homes and provide recommendations for energy savings which we have been implementing over the past two years.
• Sustainability Advantage Partnership
Warrigal Care is a Bronze member of the Office of Environments Sustainability Advantage Program. We meet regularly with other partners and hear the latest sustainability news. We have also conducted a number of modules through the program which help to improve our processes making them more sustainable. Some of these have covered: Supply Chain, Staff Engagement, Carbon Management & Resource Efficiency.
• Emissions Reporting
Planet Footprint is an independent emissions monitoring company who report on our energy consumption every quarter. They gather data from all our utility providers and compile the information in the reports. This allows us to track our emissions and target specific areas to improve. The staff at Warrigal Care is regularly updated on our progress.
• Commingled recycling
Commingled recycling takes place at all Warrigal Care sites. This has enabled us to divert over 330 tonnes of recyclable material from landfill per year.
• Opportunity shop clothes recycling
Over the last 4 years we have recycled surplus donated goods in partnership with One Ten Enterprises. This has resulted approximately 1720 bags or 20.64 tonnes per year being diverted from landfill.
• Green refurbishment
A number of initiatives have commenced with a view to identifying sustainable refurbishment processes and energy efficient equipment selections. These include the use of low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints, a trial of 100% recycled flooring and the conversion of single flush toilets to dual flush during the refurbishment of our retirement units and villas.
• Environmentally sustainable development
We engage environmental sustainability engineers to coordinate the design of our new developments, including components of architecture, electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and landscape to ensure our developments consider the environment.
• Staff and client awareness
Warrigal Care is focused on developing a culture of sustainability. As a result, sustainability is being integrated into the core values of Warrigal Care.
• Policy development
Warrigal Care has developed a 6 point policy that guides our operations and covers: New Buildings, Refurbishment, Resident Awareness, Staff Awareness, Waste Management & Resource Efficiency.
• Resident Sustainability Guide
A sustainability guide called “Sustainability in your Home” has been published and is given to all our Independent Living Unit residents to help them save money and enjoy sustainability.
• Our Partnerships
We have developed a number of partnerships to help drive sustainability not just at Warrigal Care but also in the community. These include, Office of Environment & Heritage, University of Wollongong, Aged Care Services NSW, and Regional Development Illawarra & TAFE Illawarra.
• Solar panel installation
22 Solar Photovoltaic systems were installed at our Warrigal Care Lake Illawarra village in 2010. The systems have proven very effective in reducing our resident’s energy bills.
• Recycling and general waste assessment
Waste stream audits were conducted in 2010 at Warrigal Care Warilla and Warrigal Care Mount Warrigal. The results will help improve our waste management systems as well as find ways to decrease the amount of waste we send to landfill.