European Union of Private Hospitals

EPHA Awards 2023 – Green Hospital and Social Responsibility

EPHA Finalist – CUF Hospitals and Clinics, Lisbon (Portugal) for its project “The health of the environment is also through us”

1/ What makes your project so special?

During the process of defining our Sustainability Strategy, we have understood that it was definitely necessary to keep on raising awareness on the topic but also to involve not only our employees, but also our clients. In order to do that, this campaign aimed to share our current baseline indicators and the future targets, in which everyone could have a meaningful action, for their own lives and for the planet.

2/ What does this award mean to you and your teams?

This award represents a boost to keep on developing our strategy and to keep on inspiring others to join our common sustainability journey.


As a company that has been concerned with its environment since its inception, CUF developed a sustainability strategy, orienting its actions taking into account the three pillars of sustainable development proposed by the United Nations: Social, Environmental and Economic.

This strategy includes the CUF Inspira Ambiente (CUF Inspire Environment), where 9 areas were identified for the development of actions for a more positive environmental impact:

  • Energy;
  • Water;
  • CO2 emissions;
  • Paper;
  • Treatment of Hospital and Urban Waste;
  • Recycling and Reuse of equipment and goods;
  • Mobility;
  • Food waste;
  • Training and Awareness-raising.

At a time when the concern about the environmental footprint is so present in everyone’s daily life, it was and continues to be important to make known the work already developed in this environmental area, disclosing where there are still opportunities for improvement, the goals for the future and the path that is being followed. In this sense, CUF resorted to the creativity and disruption of Manicómio The Agência, the first creative agency in the world with creatives who experience mental illness, for the development of a campaign that appeals to the importance of environmental sustainability, under the CUF Inspira Ambiente Programme.

Containing in its content highlights of the work developed and goals for the year 2022, the campaign was developed in digital format newsletters, internal emails and publications on LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as the wallpapers of the computers of all employees were changed to the images of these campaigns. In physical format, hundreds of posters were placed in the 20 CUF hospital units and also stickers appealing for a responsible water consumption, with the purpose of raising internal awareness but also for clients.

The purpose of the initiative was to make known the work developed in the environmental component of the CUF Sustainability strategy and to appeal to the participation of each and every one, as an agent of transformation and behavioral change, in a clear and transparent way for both CUF employees and clients, with the presentation of the goals achieved and to be achieved in the various areas of activity.

Allied to this, it was also sought to demonstrate the positioning of CUF to raise awareness of the issue of mental health and sustainable procurement, by having established a partnership with the Manicómio for the creation of graphics and tools for the campaign, demystifying mental illness and creating this opportunity to disseminate the disruptive work and social impact developed by the organization.

The sustainability path

The campaign reflected the results of the sustainability strategy that were achieved in 2021, but also goals and targets for 2022, that many of them are reflected in the CUF annual Integrated Report, which follows the international sustainability standard, Global Reporting Initiative.

As for the results achieved in 2021 we can highlight some of the following:

  • 60% of the shared carpool of SAGIES (CUF Company of health, safety and hygiene at work) are 100% electric vehicles;
  • reduction of 24% of natural gas;
  • decrease of direct CO2 emissions by 11% and indirect emissions by 20%;
  • more waste valorization;
  • 9% reduction of water consumption.

The sustainability path that we’re following is a journey of continuous improvement in which, in the 9 areas that we are developing, we are constantly improving and including new opportunities of adjustments. Therefore, apart from the energy objectives, which were conditioned with the energy crisis felt by all companies and organizations, due to the war in Ukraine, we’ve been able to reach those goals for 2022 and we are now planning a decarbonization strategy for CUF and the José de Mello Group, in order to have a uniform strategy to develop efforts in these matters.

For additional information, consult CUF’s Integrated report