The “mesogeios” Dialysis Centers, recognizing the importance of environmental protection actions and the fact that natural resources are not inexhaustible, have adopted a number of measures and practices aimed at achieving the lowest environmental impact possible, in order to contribute to the protection of the environment.
The actions undertaken in regard to the operation of our units relate to the following fields:
In order to manage the generated waste, all Mesogeios Dialysis Centers have drafted and implemented an Internal Regulation on Hazardous Medical Waste Management. This regulation appoints the operators in each unit, specifies the type of waste generated, and describes how they are to be managed.
Medical waste generated by the dialysis process, such as used dialysis filters, needles, gloves, and anything that comes in contact with biological material, is not disposed of in the environment unchecked, as it can become hazardous to human health.
All materials that have come in contact with blood are separated, packaged, and delivered to licensed companies for immobilization.
Recognizing the importance of proper medical waste management, “Mesogeios” is one of the founding members and a major shareholder of Medical Waste Environmental Management SA (www.medicalwaste.gr), the exclusive focus of which is Medical Waste Management.
In units that are not connected to a central sewer system, independent systems for the treatment of liquid waste have been built and are in operation.
This saves a considerable amount of irrigation water as the treated water is available for watering the unit’s gardens. In addition, all cleaning materials and disinfectants used for the chemical cleaning of hemodialysis machines after each use are eco-friendly and biodegradable.
Solid waste management
In addition to separating medical waste, municipal waste and recyclable materials are also separated.
Recycling in blue bins
We are actively involved in the effort to recycle plastic, glass, and paper through the use of blue bins.
Recycling paper and reusing ink cartridges
We make sure to use recycled paper and refill the empty ink cartridges of printers, ensuring their rational use.
In collaboration with the company AFIS SA, special collectors of portable batteries (which are known to contain heavy metals that constitute particularly dangerous environmental pollutants) have been installed in all centers.
All waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), such as non-functioning electric and electronic devices, are not thrown away in the trash, but are collected in special bins and are delivered to licensed companies to be recycled.
The management of used lubricants - oils produced by ambulances, vehicles of the centers, and Generating Sets - Gensets (Electricity generators that ensure the continuous and uninterrupted operation of our centers in the event of a power failure), as well as the management of used car tires are exclusively assigned to licensed companies.
We strive to ensure that all company buildings are as environmentally friendly as possible. Our actions related to the energy-intensive sectors are as follows:
Particular emphasis is given to the construction of the “Mesogeios” dialysis unit buildings following the principles of bioclimatic architecture.
The architectural design and construction emphasize the southern orientation of the units and the thermal insulation of the buildings.
- The building materials used for their construction are materials of increased heat capacity.
- Newer units have been equipped with frames with thermal breaks and energy-efficient windows.
- Thermal bridges are avoided in the exterior masonry and thermal insulation is laid on all roofs, as well as on the outside of the load-bearing structure of the buildings.
- Energy upgrade of buildings using thermal facade systems.
- Large openings on the buildings to the south to achieve natural lighting.
- Thorough checks to ensure energy conservation. Lights are on only when necessary and are adjusted with timers, automation, and presence sensors in warehouses and toilets.
- Use of parabolic light fixtures with electronic dimmable transformers and fluorescent lamps.
- Exclusive use of energy saving lamps and LED lamps.
Cooling, Heating, Ventilation
- Rational use of cooling systems through a B.M.S. system. The air conditioners installed in the centers are of energy class A, and the refrigerant used is environmentally friendly.
- Introduction of pre-conditioned fresh air to maintain the required indoor air quality levels.
Energy Performance Certification of buildings
All of our facilities have received energy performance certificates.
Activities and actions
The “Green Dialysis” Project
Environment, quality, and dialysis; these are the three fields that expert scientists have sought to combine in recent years with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of dialysis.
Therefore, in “Mesogeios”, we follow successful waste monitoring and management practices (for infectious, domestic, recyclable waste), and implement the most up-to-date methods and techniques for reusing wastewater (e.g. by reverse osmosis) and energy (by using LED lamps).
The three main axes followed in all “Mesogeios” dialysis units are as follows:
Reduction - Reuse - Recycling
- Reduction of waste through awareness and education.
- Reuse of energy resources (e.g. rain water and reverse osmosis)
- Recycling of materials (e.g. glass, paper, plastic, aluminum, tinplate and wood, electrical devices, batteries)
The “Non Paper” project
The technical department, in collaboration with the information systems department, has developed technologies whereby all patient information flows, including the processes of all the departments of the “Mesogeios” dialysis units, are based on Non Paper systems (without the use of paper).
The “Video Conference” project
The “Mesogeios” centers use state-of-the-art video conferencing tools to reduce the air and road transportation of our personnel, contributing to the reduction of our environmental impact and carbon footprint.
Raising the awareness of our personnel in environmental issues
More than 270 people are currently working for our Group. Therefore, the environmental behavior of the company largely depends on the daily practices and habits of its human resources.
Since 2010, our staff training annual programs include the topic of environmental education and raising awareness.
The purpose of these training programs is to ingrain the importance of the environmental practices adopted by the company to its employees, as well as to highlight new initiatives and actions that can correct the daily “environmentally incorrect”, energy-intensive practices.
The company’s supplier evaluation system also includes environmental compliance criteria, such as:
- Environmental certification of suppliers (e.g. Medical Waste SA has the environmental compliance certification EN ISO 14001:2015, as well as ELOT 1801:2008, OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 9001:2015)
- Possibility of recycling jerricans, after they have undergone sanitation proceedings.
- Environmentally-friendly interior and surface cleaners (e.g. use of eco-friendly and chlorine-free products).
Energy resources - water conservation
Photovoltaic plant - Green entrepreneurship
The company, licensed by the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE), built a 79.80 kW Photovoltaic Power Plant on the roof of its unit’s facilities in Crete. The use of photovoltaic systems for the production of electricity constitutes a technology very friendly to the environment.
The superiority of this technology in terms of its environmental benefits is clear compared to conventional electricity generation methods. The reason is that, in contrast with them, it does not produce pollutants, uses a domestic and inexhaustible natural resource in areas with one of the longest sunshine durations in Europe, and contributes to the energy self-sufficiency of the unit.
The Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment System requires a large amount of city water to prepare the solution for the dialysis session. However, RO can use up to 2/3 of the volume of clean water that is actually needed with the rest being wasted. Oftentimes, the water from the cleaning process is released into the sewage system; our goal is to reduce this.
Our specialized Technical Department has carefully examined the design and operation of RO systems and has improved the procedure to minimize water consumption.
Best Water Conservation Practices:
1. Reuse of RO waste water
With our systems operating over 12 hours a day, the m3 we save on reusing waste water can reach impressive amounts, with clear benefits to both the environment and the quality of water produced due to the reduced membrane overload.
2. Water distribution & Disinfection of RO system
The water produced by RO is distributed to the dialysis chambers via pump storage tanks. By reducing these tanks as much as possible, we achieve the best quality of treatment in the most effective way while minimizing the risk of water contamination, which would result in an even greater need for the disinfection of the system and therefore much greater water consumption.
3. Pre-treatment of water
We employ the best existing practices using modern heads to reduce the amount of water used down to 50% during system regeneration.