Dialysis clinics in Australia are taking valuable steps toward reducing the impact of dialysis on the environment, according to recently published data.

The “Green Dialysis Survey” helped to establish a baseline for environmental sustainability across dialysis facilities in Victoria, Australia. According to Barraclough and colleagues, the survey aimed to establish a baseline for environmental sustainability across Victorian dialysis facilities and to guide future initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of dialysis delivery.

Nurse unit managers of all Victorian public dialysis facilities received an online link to the survey, which asked 107 questions relevant to the environmental sustainability of dialysis services. Responses were received from 71 of 83 dialysis facilities in Victoria (86%), representing 628 of 660 dialysis chairs (95%). The results showed the following:

  • Low-energy lighting was present in 13 facilities (18%);
  • Eighteen facilities (25%) recycled reverse osmosis water and seven (10%) reported use of renewable energy;
  • Fifty-six facilities (79%) performed comingled recycling, but 27 (38%) recycled polyvinyl chloride plastic;
  • A minority of respondents educated staff in appropriate waste management (n=30; 42%) or formally audited waste generation and segregation (n=19; 27%);
  • Forty-four (62%) provided secure bicycle parking, but 33 (46%) provided shower and changing facilities; and
  • There was limited use of tele-conferencing or video-conferencing to replace staff meetings (n=19; 27%) or patient clinic visits (n=13; 18%).

A minority considered environmental sustainability in procurement decisions (n=28; 39%) and there was minimal preparedness to cope with climate change. Only 39 services (49%) confirmed an environmental sustainability policy and few had ever formed a green group (n=14; 20%) or were currently undertaking a green project (n=8;11%). Only 15 facilities (21%) made formal efforts to raise awareness of environmental sustainability. – by Mark E. Neumann

Barraclough KA, et al. Nephrology (Carlton). 2017;doi:10.1111/nep.13191.