Photo: Solar panels at Annie’s Court.

As an organisation with a strong commitment to social responsibility, the 2022-23 financial year has seen mecwacare progress significantly in limiting our environmental impact through a broad range of initiatives, installations, and innovations.

These positive changes have been enacted throughout our operations; from maintenance and building, fleet, supply chain and logistics, to purchasing and procurement, cleaning, service delivery and support functions.

We are guided by our Environmental Sustainability Management System, and we actively seek out alternative products, suppliers, and processes to further our ability to minimise the effects of our organisation on the environment. Many of these products include biodegradable toothbrushes, pillows and toilet paper used in our aged care facilities.

Solar and Hybrid Power Use

mecwacare has continued its move to hybrid-powered vehicles, with 63 of 79 passenger vehicles now hybrid powered. We aim to complete the full conversion of our passenger and SUV fleet to hybrid power in the 2023-24 financial year.

The installation of 738 solar panels across our aged care facilities, affordable housing and retirement villages has provided us with significant benefit, both in savings on energy costs and in reducing our potential impact on the environment.

During the 2022-23 financial year, we increased the number of solar systems installed at our residential facilities from seven to 11. These systems generated a combined power output of more than 500 megawatts per hour, which converts to a saving of more than $86,000 YTD in electricity costs.

In the 2023-24 year, we will further extend these systems and draw additional benefits from the systems generating solar power for a full year. As such, it is expected that the systems will produce a saving significantly larger than 500 megawatts, as well as an increased saving in electricity costs.

Reusing and Recycling

At each mecwacare site, various recycled products and materials are used in our everyday work. These include items such as paper, printer cartridges, and wastewater for gardens. We also recycle items that cannot be resold or reused, such as computers and other old electrical items.

Items that can be reused are often relocated to different sites or storage. Items stored for reuse include chairs, beds, mattresses, wheelchairs, and more. These are often stored centrally at a mecwacare site in Malvern, where they can be quickly accessed should they be needed.

This initiative has saved countless items from going to landfill, which in turn saves money and means there will be less demand for and production of different items. We have continued to utilise equipment and items from other sites across our facility network, including air conditioners, boilers, stainless steel benchtops, cabinetry, and furniture.

Our opportunity shops in Ballan, Hawthorn, Malvern East, Windsor, and Malvern also provide the chance for the organisation, as well as the public, to donate used goods and give them a second life. In the case of items that are not in a condition to be resold, we use the services of a recycling provider. There are also other creative ways that we recycle items, such as chipped or cracked mugs, ceramics, and crockery at the Ballan opportunity shop. These are donated to Ballarat Smash, where visitors pay to throw and destroy old items, and the company gifts mecwacare with vouchers in exchange to use as prizes for fundraising raffles or other competitions.

This page was adapted from our 2022-23 Annual Review.

Read our 2022-23 Annual Review

Icon Search Base