Sustainability efforts were already embedded in Farrer Park Hospital’s DNA since its early phase of conceptualisation. Since FPH went operational in 2014, the Hospital has attained optimal energy savings of 30 per cent annually.
Within the Hospital, light fittings with motion sensors that are designed to switch off when not in use have been implemented to minimize wastage of energy. Energy recovery wheels are also in place to convert heat and humidity from the airstream into cool air for the building. Furthermore, the air distribution system in the Hospital is fitted with UV emitters to prevent pathogens from entering the Hospital. This provides guests, patients, and employees access to high quality indoor air; all while helping the Hospital reduce up to 52.9 per cent of energy consumption compared to average systems in the market.
In addition to energy saving, the Hospital has also implemented water efficiency management as well as environmental and recycling measures. This includes a rainwater harvesting system to irrigate landscape gardens around the property. The building’s piping infrastructure is also ready to receive and take on future water development projects with NEWater, once the option opens up.
On environmental and recycling efforts, the Hospital uses products with a high percentage of pre- and post-consumer recycled content with parts that are recyclable.
FPH is housed in Connexion, a building that has been certified Green Mark Platinum by the Building and Construction Authority since 2011 and developed with sustainability in mind. One notable green feature is the iconic triangular sunshades that shield the Hospital and Farrer Park Medical Centre (“FPMC”) from harsh sunlight; effectively mitigating the overall temperature of the building. It also allowed for natural ventilation and for landscaped gardens to thrive.
To promote green transportation, electric car charging stations have been introduced to priority parking lots in the Hospital’s car park. Bicycle parking lots are also available to encourage employees and guests to cycle and minimise their carbon footprint.
On September 17, 2020, FPH became the first healthcare facility in Singapore to receive a green loan from United Overseas Bank Limited. As of December 2021, about S$23 million out of the green loan has been used to maintain efficiency of the abovementioned green facilities. Hospital operations will continue to be monitored and refined in the coming years with the support of the green loan.
On March 16, 2021, FPH became the first hospital in Singapore to support the Garden City Fund’s Plant-A-Tree program. The sustainability event that was held in conjunction with the Hospital’s fifth anniversary saw 50 trees planted along Sungei-Serangoon Park Connector. Volunteers included FPMC specialists, pioneering employees, as well as representatives from the management and board of directors.
Reflecting on the Hospital’s efforts for sustainability thus far, Dr. Timothy Low, Chief Executive Officer of FPH, said: “Rising sea levels and increasing temperatures are living proof that global warming is real. While healthcare institutions’ priority firmly rooted in good clinical outcomes and quality patient care, sustainability is often an overlooked area. Daily disposables and medical waste produced add on to extra waste on Earth that may take months or even years to dispose of. Through our advocacy and efforts, we hope to encourage others to do more for sustainability in healthcare.”
Dr Low was one of the panelists at the ESG and Sustainability Event organised by SpeakIn on June 21, 2022 providing insights on the relevance of sustainability in a healthcare system. With a growing population of more older persons, a good quality of air and water helps keep the elderly who are physically more vulnerable from being more susceptible to diseases. Other areas that hospital can contribute is the management of waste for infection control and conscious use of earth resources like water and lighting in the clinical areas.
He will be a panelists discussing Going Green Holistically & Sustainably for Our Business, Buildings & Cities at the upcoming HASH Innovation Asia Summit on September 1, 2022.