Active personnel training

The HUS Environmental Center provides and arranges environmental training for HUS employees on a regular basis. In 2019, we trained 111 new environmental managers for various units. We also organized refresher courses for updating the competence and knowledge of employees already trained. We held training sessions and briefings by occupational group on topics such as sorting and waste management, providing employees with detailed environmental information relevant for their specific job duties. Broad-based expansion of plastics collecting at HUS required additional training in the sorting of plastics.

We trained personnel in the sorting of plastic food packaging and hospital plastics in those hospital areas where plastics collecting was introduced This specifically concerned plastic grades 02 and 05 at Meilahti and plastic grade 04 in Hyvinkää.

We held general and local environmental seminars at Meilahti, Töölö and Hyvinkää. The annual seminar intended for the entire personnel featured how hospitals prepare for climate change, the decomposition and impact of pharmaceuticals in the sea, and chemicals and germs in cleaning and facilities maintenance.

The general chemical safety training sessions introduced in 2018 proved to be in high demand, and a continuation course in chemical risk management was given in 2019. Chemical training is intended for all HUS employees who have to handle chemicals in their work. A HUS chemical seminar open to all employees was held for the first time in 2019. The seminar included talks for instance on how to use material safety data sheets, on chemical risk management, on the safe storage of flammable liquids and on the use of protective equipment. The chemical seminar will be repeated in the coming years.

Environment managers from various HUS units on an excursion to the waste-to-energy plant in Vantaa. Environment managers from various HUS units on an excursion to the waste-to-energy plant in Vantaa.


Environmental training sessions and their participants 2019

Training sessions Number of participants
Environment manager training 6 111
Refresher course for environment managers 5 41
Chemical management program training 2 25
General chemical safety training 1 37
Waste management briefings addressing change 13 199
HUS environment seminar 1 94
HUS chemical seminar 1 85
Environment forums 10 112
Local environment seminars 2 70
Excursions 2 66
Total 43 840

Communications raise awareness of environmental matters

Communications are an essential tool for bringing awareness of environmental and social responsibility into everyday operations. One of the goals of the HUS Environmental Program is to make every HUS employee aware of the environmental impacts of their respective jobs and how they can influence these. In addition to training and advisory services, we have publicized our environmental efforts in many ways, through news articles, bulletins, campaign materials, social media updates and videos. Our principal channels for in-house communications are the Intranet, Yammer, campaign posters and e-mail along with a variety of events, all of which support each other.

Communications embrace a wide variety of topics. In our in-house magazine Husari, we reported for instance on how energy efficiency measures at HUS are an important means for combating climate change and on how the HUS smart mobility promotion project is going. Nearly every issue of the magazine included an environmental tip for HUS employees to adopt in their everyday work. These tips covered smart mobility, energy conservation, choosing durable products, reducing supply loss and reusing furniture, equipment and supplies.

In 2019, we published three Environmental Posts in the Intranet, including compilations of useful environmental facts for all HUS personnel. To support environmental orientation training at HUS, we updated the brochure Tehdään yhdessä ympäristötekoja [Let’s take environmental action together], in Finnish and Swedish. The brochure is available in the Intranet, and we distribute printed copies at environmental training sessions and elsewhere.

The smart mobility project for 2019 included launching a systematic effort to increase the number of bike racks allowing frame locking on hospital campuses.

The smart mobility project for 2019 included launching a systematic effort to increase the number of bike racks allowing frame locking on hospital campuses.

National energy conservation week was given visibility on the Intranet front page, at HUS Asvia lunch cafeterias, at an environmental seminar in the Hyvinkää Hospital Area and at an exhibition on recycling and waste management at Raseborg Hospital. Every year, we have an energy conservation week focusing on ways in which employees can conserve energy in their everyday work.

In the smart mobility project, focusing on Meilahti, we began to compile a new Intranet page on sustainable ways to commute. This page is intended for all HUS employees and will be published in early 2020.

The HUS Environmental Center introduced a new practice, giving 18 short environmental briefings to a meeting of nurse managers and supervisors. The purpose of this briefing is to ensure that supervisors are informed of environmental matters at least on a yearly basis. In 2019, the Environmental Center set up a group named ‘HUS and the Environment’ on Yammer, where every employee can post messages asking about environmental matters.

The ‘Ecological ATeK’ environmental responsibility group of the HUS Perioperative, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine department (ATeK) campaigned forcefully in 2019 for ecological operating practices and against disposable consumption where reusable alternatives are available. Environmental responsibility videos gained visibility beyond HUS as well, through the HUS social media channels. These videos had topics such as remote meetings, plastics recycling, durable clothing, low flow anesthetics, discretionary printing, cloth hand towel dispensers, reusable coffee mugs and ecological responsibility in procurement.

In a media bulletin released in summer 2019, we spoke out strongly in favor of recycling hospital plastics, stating our willingness to participate in the development of this practice. The HUS Environmental Center was approached for interviews on this and other environmental matters in the organization by a number of professional periodicals.

Our long-term environmental efforts have gained increasing visibility in the Nordic countries in the past few years through closer cooperation and international networking in sustainable development. In spring 2019, we received an award for Sustainable Healthcare Organizer of the Year at the international EHMA conference.

The brochure on HUS environmental policy and simple environmental tips for everyday work was completely revised.