DISINFACTS | Special edition 2023

INTERVIEW The “Climate Savers – Life Savers” project "Climate protection must reach the management level of hospitals!" Mr Loh, the "Klimaretter – Lebensretter" (Climate Savers – Life Savers) project aims to motivate healthcare workers together with their employers to do more to protect the climate. How well has that worked so far? How much CO2 has been saved thanks to the measures initiated by the project? It has worked out well. So far, more than 150 companies with around 8,000 employees have taken part in our project. Overall, the participants were able to avoid around two million kilograms of CO2 just by changing their personal behaviour. We developed an online tool especially for the project. It teaches in a playful way how everyone can do something for the climate – at work and at home. Basically, we want to motivate people to use energy and resources carefully without pointing fingers. Our climate saver tool encourages the implementation of low-threshold climate protection and energy saving measures in the areas of mobility, consumption, resources, and energy. The accumulated CO2 savings of a team or company are then made visible in a ranking. Participation in the project offers institutions and companies numerous advantages: They receive an innovative and comprehensively elaborated climate protection project for individual implementation. We support the implementation step by step. In addition, participation can be included in a sustainability report or an environmental certification. The best climate saviours in the project are awarded annually by us – internally in the company and nationwide on National Climate Saviour Day with the Climate Saviour Awards. Protecting the climate in everyday hospital life? "Yes, please!", says Markus Loh from the viamedica foundation in Freiburg. The "Climate Savers – Life Savers" project launched by the foundation in 2017 shows how this can be done. However, a study by the foundation also shows that climate protection and hospitals are not yet a good match in Germany. What measures do you recommend to the participants? Often it is simple tricks that can reduce energy consumption in the workplace without much effort. For example, when heating and ventilating: If you keep the radiators free and turn them down in unused rooms, close the windows in the evening, turn off the heating when ventilating and ventilate instead of tilting the windows, you will avoid almost 10 kilogrammes of CO2 or 20 kilowatt hours of electricity in a six-month heating period. That adds up to quite a lot if everyone participates. You can also simply cycle to work or skip meat at dinner more often! This also pays into the team's joint CO2 savings account. Changing user behaviour alone could save around 10% energy in clinics, institutions, and companies – without construction works or expensive investments. In total, the participants can select their individual measures from 26 actions in the Climate Saver Tool and then implement them within a freely selectable period of time. The effect of the actions is then converted into the amount of CO2 saved. But in order to save even more CO2 and resources, you would have to make significant changes across various aspects of the respective companies, wouldn't you? What do you see as the major challenges for hospitals in terms of sustainability? We prepared the ReKlimaMed report for the Federal Ministry of Health and presented the results in May. It is an inventory that shows which sustainability measures have already been implemented in the healthcare sector, and what the benefits and barriers are. We have discovered some lighthouses that exemplify how environmental sustainability can work in this sector. Typically, however, too little has been done in the area of sustainability in the German healthcare sector so far. A major obstacle is the lack of anchoring of the topic in management. If something is to change, then the topic of climate protection must reach the management level of hospitals! „Changing user behaviour alone could save around 10% energy in clinics, institutions, and companies – without construction works or expensive investments“ Want to take part in the “Climate Savers – Life Savers” project? Visit the online tool: https://klimaretter-lebensretter.co2-app.de/en 19