The latest on sustainable healthcare

Wednesday 23 November 2022

GGHH News

Welcome to our new GGHH Pacific members!

We’re delighted to welcome the following health institutions as members of the Global Green & Healthy Hospital (GGHH) network:

  • Department of Health, Tasmania 
  • Te Whatu Ora - Health NZ
  • Rural Northwest Health, Victoria

The GGHH Pacific network now has 135 members! Together, we represent 2,273 hospitals and health services across Australia and New Zealand. It’s wonderful to see more health institutions committed to tackling their environmental footprint.

Not part of the network? Find out how you can join — it's free!

Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum

Thanks to everyone who attended the Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum in October! It was a great day, showcasing the ever-growing sustainable healthcare work in our region. Forum recordings are now freely available via YouTube

Our report on the Forum is out  read it here!

GGHH case studies from around the world

Reusable gowns at Western Health, Victoria

After a successful trial in the ICU, reusable gowns are now accessible across Western Health. Reusable gowns have been shown to be less expensive to launder than disposable gowns. Read the full case study.

Using compostable drug trays at Auckland District Health Board, New Zealand

The Auckland District Health Board swapped plastic drug trays to locally-produced compostable trays. These alternative trays do not require composting bins  they degrade in the natural environment, eliminating the need to install dedicated bins! The manufacturing of the trays are carbon negative, providing an excellent sustainable alternative to the 175,000 plastic trays that the Auckland District Health Board are using annually. GGHH members can read the full case study.

Green policies to reduce the carbon and environmental footprint at the National Institute of Ophthalmology Super Speciality Eye Clinic, India

This ophthalmology clinic implemented energy, water, and waste efficiency measures simultaneously. The new Green and Clean Committee made several changes, like using maximum natural light and ventilation through the clinic, using energy efficient LED lights, monitoring energy use, creating a plan to install solar water heaters, and conducting awareness programs in the hospital. These positive changes have reduced carbon emissions. GGHH members can read the full case study.

Rainwater harvesting in District Six Clinic, South Africa

During a drought in South Africa, this clinic installed eleven 5,000L tanks on its roof to supply water to the clinic. Two tanks are filled with municipal water which supply water to all wash basins. Three tanks collect rainwater to be used in sluices and toilets around the clinic. The remaining six tanks collect, clean, and store rainwater. The clinic collects roughly 175,000 litres of water per year. GGHH members can read the full case study.

Sustainable Healthcare News 

Out now! ACSQHC releases Sustainable Healthcare Module

In mid-2022, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) engaged CAHA to advise on their Sustainable Healthcare module, and to conduct a review to map out existing sustainable healthcare initiatives in Australia. We’re thrilled that our Review of Sustainable Healthcare, done in collaboration with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, is now out. It's a great read, if we do say so ourselves!

The draft Sustainable Healthcare Module is also out for consultation until 31 Jan 2023. CAHA will be analysing the module in full, and hopes to consult with many of its members. CAHA will send out a public submission guide in the coming months.

A big budget win after a decade of advocacy

We warmly welcome the initial $3.4 million investment in the October budget for Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy and first National Health and Sustainability Climate Unit. This budget line is a major milestone in our advocacy for an effective government response to climate change and health, and a testament to CAHA's collaboration and evidence-based advocacy. Here’s some of the coverage by SBSAAP and the Guardian.

Education and Events

TRA2SH Con22

Online on Thu 1 Dec, 7-8.30pm AEDT

Join TRA2SH for an evening showcase of various hospital projects within our community and help celebrate some extraordinary achievements. Speakers include: Dr Elliot Smith, Dr Daniel Brooks Reid, Cindy Bird and Dr Reet Nijjar. More info 

Green Hospitals Asian Conference

Kalapet, India on 1-3 Feb 2023

The next Green Hospitals Asian Conference will cover healthcare climate leadership, low-carbon and resilient healthcare, waste management, green procurement, among other interesting and important topics. More info

Australasian Nutrition in Health Conference

Melbourne on 17-19 Feb 2023

Doctors for Nutrition are holding their 2023 conference in Melbourne. More info

Some of the biggest names in whole food plant-based nutrition and healthcare will share their research, including:

  • Prof Boyd Swinburn, Population Nutrition & Global Health at the University of Auckland, on how the health effects of climate change will compound current nutrition challenges
  • Dr Peter Johnston, dietitian, talking about food systems and the environment.

CleanMed Europe

5-9 Jun 2023

The dates for CleanMed Europe 2023 Conference have been announced. The theme of the conference will be "Changing the Climate of Healthcare". Registrations for the online conference will open in January next year, so be sure to mark your calendars! More info

Research, Resources and Reports

Research

Food and food-related waste management strategies in hospital food services: A systematic review

Nutrition and Dietetics, Jul 2022

This research identified 85 examples of hospital foodservices around the world who use strategies to divert their food waste from landfill. This included: donating surplus food to humans (n=21), sending food waste to animal feed (n=2), using food waste for industrial uses (n=11), or converting food waste to compost (n=34). Read more

Healthcare Workers’ Resilience Toolkit for Disaster Management and Climate Change Adaptation

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Sep 2022

This paper explores the factors influencing healthcare workers disaster management capabilities with the aim of improving their resilience and adaptive capacity in the face of climate change. Read more

Health sector solutions for promoting sustainable and nutritious diets

BMJ, Sep 2022

This paper discusses why the health sector must embrace the planetary health approach and advocate for concrete solutions for fixing the food system. Solutions include adopting a planetary health diet and reducing meat consumption, incorporating sustainability into food based dietary guidelines, incorporating food sustainability in healthcare and public health, and revisiting Indigenous diets. Read more

NHS makes drastic reductions in harmful anaesthetic gas pollution

The Pharmaceutical Journal, Sep 2022

This article covers how the NHS adopted a climate strategy based on eliminating harmful anaesthetic gases which helped see over 6 tonnes worth of carbon dioxide eliminated over three years in Scotland alone. Read more

New research exploring the concept of “do no harm”

AMA Journal of Ethics, Oct 2022

This article discusses the ethical responsibility of healthcare professionals and organisations to address their own pollution. The article explores the paradox of the concept of “do no harm” within the healthcare field. Read more

Towards zero carbon healthcare: anaesthesia

BMJ, Oct 2022

This Practice Pointer includes great case study examples and solutions for care which addresses the environmental impact of anaesthesia. Read more

Assessing the carbon footprint of digital health interventions: a scoping review

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Oct 2022

This scoping literature review evaluated the carbon footprint of digital health interventions for environmentally sustainable healthcare. Read more

Resources

Magazine | The Health Advocate: Sustainability in the health sector 

The November issue of The Health Advocate focuses on sustainability in the health sector and features a great range of relevant articles. Read more

Toolkit | Healthcare Waste Trackers

It is said that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. However, many health care facilities don’t record how waste is produced and managed. This toolkit developed by Health Care Without Harm and the Health Environment and Climate Action Foundation is designed to bridge this gap. The toolkit measures six different stages of waste management to help hospitals manage and reduce their waste. Check out the toolkit

Article | The World Economic Forum discusses how to make healthcare more sustainable

The World Economic Forum released an article from their Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare series detailing how healthcare can reduce its carbon footprint. The article discusses how climate change is impacting health and details 5 ways we need to change our healthcare system. Read more

Webinar recording | Designing a net zero roadmap for healthcare launch

HCWH Europe held the launch event for their latest climate publication, Designing a net zero roadmap for healthcare: Technical methodology and guidance. This webinar provides an overview of the Operation Zero project, an overview of the methodology for designing a net zero roadmap and insights from the ground. Watch here  

Reports

The latest Lancet Countdown is out!

The Lancet released their latest report on health and climate change, known as the Lancet Countdown. The report explores how climate change is negatively impacting health around the world. On a positive note, the report found that media coverage of health and climate change has grown to an all time high. Read the report.

Thanks for reading!

Share your sustainable healthcare success story

We want to profile stories of environmental initiatives in health (no matter how big or small) to show what is possible and inspire others to improve sustainability in their own workplace. If you have a project you'd like to share with us, let us know here or email [email protected]

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