Canon Medical Systems UK carbon zero ambassadors take ‘life-changing’ trip to Uganda to see impacts of its carbon offset scheme

Unique initiative delivers health benefits to UK, global environment & developing nations

An amazing welcome, with thanks and hope was given to a Canon Medical UK team visiting a rural village, school and hospital in Uganda to observe first-hand the positive impacts of clean, fresh water via the company’s Carbon Zero initiative.

Since 2014, every Canon Medical Systems UK imaging system installed by a hospital or clinic in England, Scotland or Wales has had its carbon dioxide (CO2) emission footprint calculated and verified by a third party, CO2balance, and a United Nations’ auditor, and offset to a high impact project in Uganda or Kenya. The carbon emissions from the manufacture, packaging, shipping and average energy usage for a products lifetime, which go towards greatly improving the lives of local people, by providing clean water boreholes and modern cooking stoves. Canon Medical UK also offsets all operational CO2 emissions, by contributing to the same incredible initiative. This also means less CO2 damaging the natural environment and less contributing to climate change.

The recent trip involved visits to the villages of Apala Ilera, Omar, Awat and Aweiwoo in the Kole District of Northern Uganda where a history of political unrest has taken its toll on infrastructure such as water provision, schools and hospitals. Development projects run by international organisations in conjunction with the Ugandan Government, and supported by companies such as Canon Medical are vital. They rebuild communities, boost gender equality and improve overall health and wellbeing.

“We received such a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the villagers in Uganda. The supply and maintenance of water bore holes goes far beyond just the provision of water for them. Although the obvious benefits are that waterborne disease such as cholera and dysentery are avoided, villagers no longer need to walk as far each day to fetch clean supplies, or look for firewood to boil and sterilise unclean water. This means children, relied on by their families to help, have time to go to school and receive an education. Furthermore, with fewer fires needed to boil water, fewer trees are cut down to reduce deforestation, and families have fewer medical conditions related to smoke inhalation. The gratitude we received was warm and truly inspiring,” comments Danielle Johnson, Service Sales Account Executive (South) at Canon Medical.

“We received a rapturous welcome to the Amunamum Primary School for 1000 pupils with singing and a play to thank us for the visit and gifts of new books, skipping ropes, hoops and footballs,” states Tim Palarm, Ultrasound Regional Manager, South at Canon Medical. “Since the water borehole projects, more children are able to go to school as they don’t need to walk miles each day to fetch clean water or firewood for their families. This is helping give them greater opportunities in life and channel their energies in a positive way. This trip has been humbling and an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The Kachung Health Centre was also visited by Canon Medical with the CO2balance project team to deliver a new steriliser. It is a basic hospital serving an area of 10km2 and treating 1600 patients a month from surrounding villages with only 3 nurses.

Mark Hitchman, Managing Director at Canon Medical Systems UK states, “In tandem with meeting NHS or independent healthcare medical equipment needs, Canon Medical also ensures, through our Carbon Zero scheme, that all of our systems are carbon neutral. The health of our planet is in crisis and we should all be playing a part to help slow down climate change and aid the environment.”

The team from Canon Medical Systems UK visiting Uganda were all winners of an internal Carbon Zero company competition championing sustainability and were selected to take part in the Ugandan trip based on their individual achievements in living an environmentally conscious life and encouraging others to do the same.

Photo caption: Canon Medical Systems UK’s Carbon Zero Ambassadors (centre) meet villagers in North Uganda to see first-hand the water bore hole projects. L to R centre: Tim Palarm, Ultrasound Regional Manager, South; Nicola Fox, Marketing Team Lead; Cassie Rose, HR Assistant; Danielle Johnson, Service Sales Account Executive (South); and Mat Aylen, Business Support Manager at Canon Medical Systems UK.