We are committed to supporting environmental protection and limiting the potential impact of our activities on the environment, to the extent that this is reasonably possible. HYGEIA annually evaluates the impact of its activities and services on the environment. Based on this evaluation, we try to improve our environmental performance, by setting targets, specifying indicators, identifying areas that require improvement and implementing appropriate corrective actions.
Hazardous Substances and Chemicals:
New legislation regarding the environment and waste was enacted in Greece in 2012, namely Law 4042/2012. In the same year, HYGEIA organized internal training seminars, attended by all relevant Group personnel, where they were briefed on the changes introduced by the new legislation and the new requirements in place. With the aim of conforming to the new legislation, ensuring the proper management of hazardous substances and waste, and thus fostering a healthy and safe environment for patients, visitors and staff, HYGEIA has drafted and implements a Hazardous Substances & Waste Management Plan. This Plan includes the procedures that must be in place for handling, storing, transporting and disposing of the hazardous substances and waste produced during the operation of the hospital services and departments. In 2012, HYGEIA created and has since been keeping an updated Chemical Management Database, with all the chemical substances – whether in solid, liquid or gas form – handled by all HYGEIA departments, as well as the companies associated with or housed within HYGEIA. Staff must use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when handling hazardous substances or compounds. The selection and use of suitable PPE are based on the information provided on the MSDS and the labels of the various substances. Also in 2012, we developed and started implementing a Hazardous Substance Dispersion Management Plan, which aims at providing the necessary information to staff of all specialties and associated companies, as well as specifying the actions for effective management of a hazardous substance or waste dispersion event within the facilities of HYGEIA.
Urban Liquid Waste:
Each year, HYGEIA measures the liquid waste in the Hospital's main sewage tank, ensuring that it fully meets the criteria stipulated in the legislation. The results of these readings are within the acceptable limits set by the local utilities company (EYDAP).
Urban Solid Waste (USW):
USW must be disposed of in conventional pedal bins, inside black plastic bags, which must be sealed with a safety strap once full and transferred to the waste storage area. They are then stored in press containers, which are located on the Hospital grounds, away from food storage and preparation areas. They are collected by municipal cleaning crews at least once daily and are transported to an assigned sanitary landfill within Attica. As part of our commitment to protect the environment and limit the potential impact of our activities on the environment, to the extent that this is reasonably possible, we have been successfully implementing a cardboard recycling program, since October 2010.
Purely Infectious Hazardous Waste (PIHW):
PIHW is disposed of in durable yellow bags within special hospital boxes that meet certain specifications. The cardboard boxes are placed within a durable yellow bag that carries the biological hazard symbol. The cardboard boxes are then placed on special trolley bins with a pedal and lid. Sharps waste is disposed of in durable yellow perforation-resistant containers with lid and special marking regarding their content, which also carry the biological hazard symbol. PIHW is first sterilized and then disposed of in sanitary landfills.
Mixed Hazardous Waste (MHW):
MHW is be disposed of just like PIHW, but in this case, the bags and special waste collection cardboard boxes are red. MHW is first incinerated and then disposed of in sanitary landfills.
In 2012, we recycled 102 tons of paper, which correspond to 1,734 trees that will not have to be cut down due to this action. Respectively, in 2013, we recycled 115 tons of papers, which correspond to 1,955 trees. In 2012, the Group hospitals forwarded 229 tons of PHIW and 64 tons of MHW for proper processing (sterilization or incineration) and destruction by suitable licensed hazardous waste management companies. In 2013, the corresponding numbers were 218 tons of PHIW and 83 tons of MHW. In 2012, the production of Hazardous Medical Waste (HMW) for HYGEIA was 2.37 kg per patient-day, while it was 2.26 kg per patient-day in 2013.