Sustainable Development in the Wellbeing Services County of Päijät-Häme

Sustainable development. Hikers walking on a hill. Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme.
Picture: Roine Piirainen

Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme is a public authority providing health, social, and rescue services in the Päijät-Häme region. The strategy of the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme defines sustainable development as socially, ecologically, and financially responsible services for citizens and employees.

The aim of the sustainable and environmentally friendly health, social, and rescue services is to reach carbon neutrality by 2035 based on the national law.

The goal is to create social, health, and rescue services that strengthen sustainable lifestyles and wellbeing of the planet and people. Sustainable and smart use of natural resources indicates better balance between nature, environment, and people.

The environmental programme of the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme

The environmental programme 2023-2025 of the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme was established to develop sustainable and environmentally friendly service production and to achieve carbon neutrality in the county by 2035.

This goal entails reduction of carbon emissions in transport, mobility, and logistics, while moving towards carbon neutral energy sources in the county. Furthermore, work needs to be done to reduce food waste, while promoting planetary based diets according to the national nutrition recommendations.

In the county, measures have been taken to decrease medical waste and upcycle furniture, equipment, packaging materials, and other materials. Measures to enhance biodiversity will be realised, for example in the green areas of supported housing services for older persons and people with disabilities.

In total, the environmental programme holds 11 sub-areas for improvement. Read more about the programme in Finnish: Päijät-Hämeen hyvinvointialueen ympäristöohjelma 2023–2025

About the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme

Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme is a public authority providing government funded health, social, and rescue services. The county provides services for about 220 000 inhabitants in the region of Päijät-Häme in Southern Finland. The highest decision-making power in the county rests with the directly elected county council.

Most of the services provided by the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme are public services financed by the national tax revenue. Supplementary services are purchased from private service providers.

The objective is to safeguard equal and high-quality health, social, and rescue services for all and reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing. The services are based on research evidence and use of the best and most efficient practices.

 

Picture: Roine Piirainen

Implementation of sustainable development principles

The realisation of sustainable development principles is promoted in the everyday work conducted in the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme. Furthermore, the sustainability goals are advanced through project work in collaboration with partners.

The focus is particularly on sustainable development goals SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals).

The goal to create social, health, and rescue services that strengthen sustainable lifestyles and wellbeing is implemented through the environmental programme and the Nature Step to Health Programme 2022–2032.

Nature Step to Health is a 10-year Lahti Regional Health and Environment Programme. The programme coordinated by the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme and realised in cooperation with the city of Lahti and Lahti University Campus. The programme combines the health and environmental goals of the region of Päijät-Häme.

Read more about the Nature Step to Health programme and the development projects related to it in English from the programme website.


Picture: Roine Piirainen

Contact information:

Riitta-Maija Hämäläinen
Head of Sustainable Development

Email: riitta-maija.hämäläinen(a)paijatha.fi
Phone: +358 44 440 3138
Postal address: Keskussairaalankatu 7, 15850 Lahti
Visiting address: Linjakatu 5, 15100 Lahti

Taru Pietilä
Project planner, Systemic Change towards
Sustainable Commuting in Lahti (Sycla)
Email: taru.pietila(a)paijatha.fi


Development projects related to sustainable development

Here you can read more about the projects of the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme related to sustainable development.

You can familiarise yourself with the development projects of the Nature Step to Health programme in the programme website.

Ongoing projects

Caring Nature project 2024-2026
Responsible person(s) and contact information

Riitta-Maija Hämäläinen, Head of Sustainable Development, riitta-maija.hamalainen(a)paijatha.fi

Description of the project

Healthcare sector is responsible for 6,5 % of the total Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in hospitals and in other healthcare entities. In Finland social and health services are responsible for 6.5% of the total GHG of which social services cover 2.3 % and health services 4.2 %. If no action is taken, the projected annual GHG emissions of the healthcare sector will dramatically increase by 2050. Therefore, health and care providers should pay more attention to the operational costs and energy saving without risking safety of the patient care.

Caring Nature (Climate Neutral Initiatives for Growing Health and Care Unmet Initiatives) is a three year project, which aims to validate a set of ten results to reduce environmental impact of building, waste, and patient travel and to increase governance capability and staff engagement to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Greener health and care systems can be obtained only if the solutions are environmentally effective, economically affordable and acceptable by patients, workers, and citizens. The objectives are to increase the governance capability of the health care providers, policy makers and investors for green transformation, to reduce the environmental impacts of construction and energy consumption of buildings with Artificial Intelligence-based software, to reduce the medical, food and water waste, to reduce the environmental impact of patient travel with telemedicine and to obtain staff engagement in the green transition.

The Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme will play the role of pilot testing, validator and end user in co-operation with five international social and health care services organizations, five in-novative companies, one standardization institute, two construction companies and five universities including LUT University (Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology). In the pilot project the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme will co-develop a Decision Support System (DSS) for evaluating the environmental, social and economic return of investments and a reporting model (Knowledge Sharing System=KSS) compliant with EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Life Cycle Cost Analysis method (LCA, LCC, S-LCA).

GoGreenNext project 2024-2026
Responsible person(s) and contact information

Riitta-Maija Hämäläinen, Head of Sustainable Development, riitta-maija.hamalainen(a)paijatha.fi

Description of the project

GoGreenNext will deliver a comprehensive evidence-based policy-oriented approach and model to com-municate how ecosystem wellbeing and human health are connected. The risks of climate change are currently predicted to escalate beyond planetary boundaries and pass critical tipping points with irreversi-ble changes to our climate with commensurate negative impacts on health, ecosystems, and land-scapes. Nature-based solutions (NBS) and actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems have emerged to reverse the degradation of nature, notably in urban areas where changes are amplified. Cities offer an opportunity to accelerate a just green transition in at-risk communities. GoGreenNext will address the biodiversity-climate-planetary health nexus, delivering posi-tive policy and city/region pilot outcomes in four biogeographic regions across Europe and with input from best practice globally.

Partners of cooperation

17 partners of cooperation. Maynooth University, Ireland leads the consortium. The Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme and the University of Helsinki are involved in the project.

Systemic change towards sustainable commuting in Lahti (Sycla)
Responsible person(s) and contact information

Katja Ojala, project manager, katja.ojala(a)lahti.fi
Taru Pietilä, project planning officer, taru.pietila(a)paijatha.fi

Description of the project

Systemic change towards sustainable commuting in Lahti (Sycla) project aims to promote sustainable commuting in the city of Lahti. Sustainable commuting refers to work trips that are made mainly by walking, cycling, or public transport. The transition from transport in private cars to more sustainable modes of transportation not only reduces the environmental impact of commuting, but also promotes the health and well-being of employees.

The sustainable commuting project maps and develops structures and practices that support the means for sustainable commuting together with partners, employers, and employees. In the project, co-creation with employees encourages sustainable commuting. In addition, the project supports the transition to more sustainable forms of transport through means of communication within organisations and in the Päijät-Häme region.

The goals of the sustainable commuting project include:

  1. reducing the environmental impact of traffic by enhancing mobility by walking, biking, and public transport,
  2. improving the physical and psychological health and well-being of employees,
  3. improved cooperation and information flow between different stakeholders, as well as
  4. promoting the accessibility of workplaces
Partners of cooperation

The City of Lahti, the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme, LUT University, LAB University of Applied Sciences, companies and organisations located in the City of Lahti

Past projects

Smart commuting for health and social care personnel 2022 (Pyörällä, potkulaudalla ja bussilla Päijät-Hämeessä)
Responsible person(s) and contact information

Minna Aho, minna.aho(a)paijatha.fi
Riitta-Maija Hämäläinen, Sustainable Development, riitta-maija.hamalainen(a)paijatha.fi

Description of the project

In the project, five different ways of promoting the mobility of Päijät-Sote’s employees were tested:

  • cycling in commuting on company bikes
  • the use of commuter tickets in public transport
  • work related commuting with shared city electric bikes (Mankeli), and
  • work related commuting with electric scooters and
  • leasing electric bikes for personnel in home care services

In addition, the project used different means of communication to influence the change of behaviour and the transition to environmentally friendly modes of transportation in Päijät-Sote. User experiences and information were collected from those who participated in the experiment to support further planning in order to strengthen work well-being, recovery, promotion of movement and sustainable commuting.

Partners of cooperation

LAB University of Applied Sciences, LUT University, the City of Lahti, the Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme, service providers


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