At Blue Care, we recognise that the health and wellbeing of our residents, clients and staff is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. We recognise that our mission to improve the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities must extend beyond frontline services. We must also promote and preserve a healthy environment, by reducing our carbon footprint, improving resource efficiency, enabling climate resilience, and greening our built environments.



Our sustainability goals

Blue Care is proudly committed to the UnitingCare group’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2021-2025, which outlines six focus areas that support our vision to create a healthier, fairer, and greener world.

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Transport

  • Reduce fleet fuel usage to 4.5 litres per 100 km
  • Transition to 100% hybrid and electric passenger fleet
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Waste

  • Divert from landfill 30% of the non-clinical waste we generate
  • Reduce waste generation by 5% at our aged care facilities
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Built environment

  • Reduce our carbon footprint by 70%
  • Source 100% of our electricity from renewable energy
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Leadership

  • Achieve our sustainability goals
  • Have our sustainability leadership recognised through awards
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Empowered people

  • Upskill 20% of employees through sustainability training
  • Increase our number of Green Champions by 100%
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Purchasing

  • Ensure 100% of procurement tenders include environmental sustainability criteria

Read our 2021-2025 strategy:

  • Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2021-2025
    1.52 MB
    Download pdf

Action on sustainability

As part of our sustainability program, Blue Care is working to reduce impacts across energy, emissions, waste and water.


Carbon footprint and energy

  • Blue Care’s passenger fleet has been changing to smaller and more eco-friendly vehicles. In 2020, 36% of our fleet are hybrid, avoiding close to 600,000 litres of fuel and 1,500 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) a year.
  • In 2019, an expansion of solar power more than doubled Blue Care’s solar generation capacity, adding 192kW of panels across five new sites. Blue Care now generates 152,000kWh per year; enough to power 33 Queensland households.
  • Blue Care is saving 525,000kWh a year (114 households’ yearly electricity use) thanks to LED lighting upgrades at 27 of our aged care facilities.
  • In 2018, Energy Management Plans were developed and are being progressively implemented for 30 of our aged care sites, to identify even more ways to reduce electricity, gas and water.

Waste

  • DocuSign – an electronic signature tool – is being progressively rolled out across the organisation. Thanks to this tool, Blue Care avoided over 12,000 sheets of paper in 2020.
  • In 2020 and 2021 – with support and sponsorship from Cleanaway – we have increased our recycling rate by four percentage points through the introduction of new recycling services, colour-coded waste receptacles and signage, and staff training in our aged care facilities.
  • In 2018, recycling at our Customer Service Centre increased to 30% from less than 5%, after replacing under-desk bins with personal mini desktop bins and introducing color-coded commingle, paper and general waste bins.

Staff engagement

  • Activities (e.g. competitions, workshops, calls to action) to promote participation in awareness campaigns such as Earth Hour, World Environment Day, and National Recycling Week.
  • Our Green Champions network encourages and supports staff to implement positive sustainability changes in their workplace.
  • The 2018 Greening UCQ survey asked our staff to share their experiences and ideas about sustainability in their workplaces; the results have helped us understand our current level of staff engagement in sustainability.

Leadership and advocacy

Through UnitingCare’s wider sustainability efforts, Blue Care is engaged in advocacy and policy development on issues such as energy planning, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

  • Blue Care has partnered with the University of Sunshine Coast and Griffith University on a climate change adaptation project to reduce heat stress among aged care residents through ‘green’ infrastructure.
  • We represent our client and community groups in advisory forums such as the Energy Queensland Customer Council, Queensland Health and Wellbeing Climate Adaptation Plan, and QCOSS Social Vulnerability and Climate Change workshops.
  • We are passionate about knowledge sharing – we are sharing the lessons learned from our sustainability efforts at industry conferences, collaboration forums and in the tertiary sector.
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