Anglican Care’s annual “Green Day” celebration to be held on 5 June World Environment Day, will have added significance in 2020, as the organisation notches up yet another significant and hard earnt environmental accolade – “Silver Partner” status with the NSW Government’s Sustainability Advantage program.
Anglican Care is one of only four aged care providers (those being large and significant in size) recognised with Silver status in New South Wales.
To celebrate the new status, Friday June 5 will see employees and residents across all Anglican Care facilities participate in the annual “Green Day,” wearing green ribbons on their arms, a green inspired morning tea for residents and sustainability inspired Lifestyle and Wellbeing activities on the day.
Anglican Care’s sustainability journey began in February 2018, when they partnered with the NSW Sustainability Advantage program to understand the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and how they could be applied, every day, to Aged Care.
In early 2019 recognition and reward came when Bronze Partner Status was achieved by the organisation.
At the time Anglican Care was well ahead of the curve; “Silver” status took them to the next level, confirming their environmental credentials are not mere words.
The Silver Partnership status appeared ambitious in 2018 when they commenced the program, but two years later, Anglican Care are true environmental warriors.
Yet, reaching Silver Partnership was no easy feat and CEO Colin Osborne has praised his team.
“To make an initiative as enormous as this work, in an organisation of our size, you need a team approach. I'm proud to say the support our employees have given to sustainability has been outstanding."
“Sustainability means doing things differently across the entire organisation – procurement, hospitality, building design and cleaning, as well as the more obvious utilities management. It has become a grass roots project for Anglican Care, with all members of our team eager to make the switch to practices that reduced the organisation's food waste, use of chemicals, fossil fuels and water,” said Mr Osborne.
“Sustainability has become embedded in all that we do. Once we joined the program, the support it provided the organisation gave way to a string of initiatives in which our team backed whole heartedly. Our very own environmental warrior, Deb Matthews, has been at the pointy end of this huge undertaking for more than two years now and she is certainly leading the greening of Anglican Care from the front,” said Mr Osborne.
To make a real and lasting difference to Anglican Care’s environmental footprint, four sustainability development goals were developed across the organisation:
Resource efficiency – Reducing electricity, gas and water usage to preserve our resource;
Waste reduction – Diverting organic green waste from landﬁll and recycling general waste where applicable;
Supply chain integrity – Increase sustainability of our suppliers’ services and promote sustainable and ethical practices within the procurement and supply chain;
People engagement – Develop awareness among our employees, residents, consumers and communities of the need to work toward positive change.
Anglican Care appointed sustainability champions across the organisation; employees with a passion for the environment and sustainability both at home and at work.
Deb Matthews, Anglican Care’s Sustainability Champion or “Environmental Warrior”, believes strongly in sharing the organisation’s passion and commitment to sustainability with the whole Anglican Care family as well as the general community.
“By hosting our annual Green Day, we are able to inspire our team to think green, celebrate with our residents and consumers, and just as importantly, promote to other aged care providers that you can care for our planet as well as our most treasured and vulnerable in the community,” said Ms Matthews.
“While our commitment to sustainability is a moral decision, it also makes sound business sense. Reducing waste and consumption of resources, introducing ethical procurement practices and encouraging our suppliers, residents, consumers and employees to be a part of our journey has had a direct and positive impact on the long-term future of our organisation,” she said.
Deb was also responsible for introducing the Grow Graze Give program, to allow both Anglican Care residents and consumers to participate by growing herbs and vegetables and sharing their favourite recipes with Executive Chef Aaron Campbell.
Each month Aaron picks a favourite and includes it on his Menu. Continuing with the environmental theme, residents from C A Brown Lodge (Anglican Care’s brand-new purpose built home in Booragul) will be the official judges of the Green Day Colouring-in Competition which was open to primary and high school aged children.
The eventual winners, of the many exquisitely coloured-in mandala trees, will take pride of place on the walls within the new facility.
Across its 1400 residents and consumers and more than 1000 staff in the Hunter, Central Coast and Mid Coast regions, Anglican Care’s waste reduction and increased recycling, food audits and sustainability planning programs have made a significant dent in the organisation's environmental footprint and are making a real and lasting difference.