56 In any hospital where medical ethics matter, the health and safety of patients take priority over all other interests. These same ethical considerations also mean showing respect to nature and resources on which we depend. It is with this in mind that RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG time and again has also proven itself a pioneer in energy and environ- mental technology in a hospital setting. For our Company efforts to preserve the environment as much as possible form an integral part of our business activity. For that reason we maintain a separate Group division, Construction and Technology, which is responsi- ble for Group-wide energy and emissions controlling as well as the safety of our installations and systems. A fundamental task of this department is to observe and monitor developments in technologies of interest to us when and as they arise: whether in the areas of energy, environmental, safety or disposal technology, it is impor- tant for the RHÖN-KLINIKUM Group to develop concepts for our highly demanding world of application at an early stage. For this reason we conduct early testing of new technologies in pilot projects with a view to using these Group-wide once they have reached the required matu- rity. This, too, is part of the synergies that a hospital group can and must unlock. It is also self-evident that safety and continuity of care in the hospital setting are of primary importance. ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY It is something no serious healthcare provider can afford to ignore: it is our duty to be concerned about a healthy environment and to make sustainable use of all resources. That is because health does not stop being important as an issue as soon as you step outside the hospital ­ where our patients normally live. Responsible use of energy, water, air or hospital materials has therefore long been an obvious concern for RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG. And as we know from our experience: economic and ecological objectives can often be achieved by the same means.
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