The health sector as a leader in low carbon transformation

Greening the healthcare sector Think Tank

14 October 2014 Mater Hospital, Brisbane A discussion by the health sector about accelerating progress towards sustainable healthcare and hospital practices You can now download the full report

Background The third annual Think Tank provided the opportunity for the health care sector to discuss case studies of change, national and international opportunities for collaboration, and contribute to a discussion to accelerate progress towards sustainable healthcare and hospital practices. The Think Tank was hosted by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and Climate and Health Alliance in partnership with the international coalition of health care organisations, the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network. The meeting was held on 14 October 2014 at the Mater Health Services in Brisbane. The 30 participants were from 25 organisations including hospitals, health care services and peak bodies, state government health departments, professional associations, universities and advocacy groups. Think tank results

  • Enabled presentation and discussion of key issues including engagement of management and staff; waste and utility management; data management and reporting
  • Highlighted successful case studies and opportunities for national and international collaboration
  • Enabled knowledge sharing and networking amongst participants
  • Identified and prioritised a set of challenges for consideration by AHHA and CAHA
  • Raised awareness of greening health care issues and meeting outputs amongst broader health care stakeholders through social media.

Common factors that can support success

  1. Behavioural change will begin with a change in thinking “ move from a medical to social model of health
  2. Imperative to have executive support which is then also reflected in strategy and planning
  3. Imperative to have multiple ways to engage staff but this needs to be backed by support for them to act
  4. Network to share innovation, success, research, learning: someone, somewhere is tackling your problem
  5. ˜Waste' is an effective starting point enabling tangible gains that can leverage support
  6. Lack of a definition of ˜sustainable healthcare' for use by the sector
  7. A perceived disconnect between sustainability and healthcare resulting in low priority for sustainability
  8. Gaining support within health care organisations and across the sector
  9. Obtaining long term, external funding for sustainability activities

Top challenges identified by participants 

  1. Lack of a definition of ˜sustainable healthcare' for use by the sector
  2. A perceived disconnect between sustainability and healthcare resulting in low priority for sustainability
  3. Gaining support within health care organisations and across the sector
  4. Obtaining long term, external funding for sustainability activities

Presentations 

  1. Engaging staff to achieve institution-wide sustainability goals
  2. Sustainable futures for rural healthcare
  3. Global Green & Healthy Hospitals Connect: A platform for global collaboration to accelerate low carbon transformation in healthcare
  4. Advances in water and waste management
  5. What is the Australasian Healthcare Infrastructure Alliance doing to promote environmental sustainability?
  6. Snapshot of Victoria's environmental data management system