Sustainable Healthcare News October 2021

Welcome to our latest sustainable healthcare newsletter.

In this issue:

  • GGHH News
  • Sustainable healthcare news
  • Education and Events
  • Advocacy
  • Reports, resources and research


GGHH turns 10!

Global Green and Healthy Hospitals turned 10 in October! 

After an amazing decade, the GGHH network includes over 1,500 members, representing over 43,000 hospitals and health services globally.

GGHH Pacific Region now has 113 members, representing over 2,000 hospitals and health services.

All GGHH members have endorsed the GGHH Agenda, a framework of ten interconnected goals to support hospitals and health systems achieve greater sustainability and improve public and environmental health.

To join the GGHH network for free or to find out more, visit the website or email [email protected]

Register now! Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum on 30 Nov

Tickets are on sale for the annual Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum, taking place on Tuesday 30 November. People can buy a ticket to attend online or in-person in Brisbane.

This year's theme is Working towards a net zero emissions, climate resilient, equitable and environmentally sustainable healthcare sector: ensuring good health for all. The program covers:

  1. Transformation for an equitable, sustainable, resilient and low carbon health sector
  2. Net zero emissions: The big three (energy, buildings and Scope 3)
  3. Providing healthy, sustainably grown food
  4. Implementing circular healthcare and sustainable healthcare waste management
  5. Achieving a more effective health system
  6. Climate resilience

Case study: Establishing structures to enable climate resilient healthcare at Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD)

NBMLHD have established structures, plans and processes to improve sustainability, with a particular focus on resilience. Read the case study here.

Jobs at Western Health, Victoria

GGHH member, Western Health is advertising two positions:

Ambulance Victoria’s Jo Algie a 2021 finalist in the Premiers Sustainability Awards

Paramedic Jo Algie is a finalist in the Premiers Sustainability Awards for establishing a uniform recycling program at Ambulance Victoria. Last year, the program donated, recycled or re-homed more than 12,300 items.


Sustainable Healthcare News 

COP26: What does health have to do with it?

The international climate conference COP26 has kicked off in Glasgow. If you’d like to better understand what COP26 is and how the global health sector is participating, read this article by CAHA and Croakey News. and how the global health and medical community is participating, read this article by CAHA and Croakey News.

CAHA has also compiled a list of health-related COP26 online events, most of which are publicly accessible. The post includes some Australian-focused events and Australian time zones.

Baxter Sustainability Challenge: Apply for funding up to $5000

The Baxter Sustainability Challenge is accepting applications until 14 November to fund sustainability projects in Australia and New Zealand. Successful applicants will receive funding for up to 50% of the initiative costs to a maximum amount of $5000. The project can be a new initiative or support for continuation/expansion of existing initiatives. Applications can be made on behalf of a hospital, clinic, pharmacy or healthcare provider with an ABN/NZBN. Read more about the Sustainability Challenge and apply here.

Baxter has also released this brief update on their global initiatives to improve their sustainability. 

Positive action abound!

In the past three months, we’ve seen a flurry of excellent and timely activity from health institutions focused on sustainability and climate action. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of positive action in this space:


Education and Events

Coming up

TRA2SHCON2021, 13 Nov, 10am - 4pm, online, free

TRA2SH-CON will be a series of short, sustainability-themed trainee presentations including audits, critical appraisals of topics and papers, and stories of local sustainability implementation. 

Read more and register here.

HEAL (Healthy Environments And Lives) 2021, 17-18 Nov, online, free

HEAL 2021 is an “inspirational forum for knowledge transfer, scientific debate, and community-wide conversations about research and policy priority setting on human health, climate and environmental change solutions in Australia.” The conference will cover Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and knowledge translation for resilience to environmental change; health system resilience to environmental change and sustainability; and more. Read more and register here.

CleanMed Europe, 29 Nov- 3 Dec, online

CleanMed Europe, organised by Health Care Without Harm Europe, is Europe’s leading conference on sustainable healthcare. Read more and register here. 

Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum, 30 Nov 2021, Brisbane and online

CAHA/GGHH Pacific is partnering with UnitingCare to deliver this year's Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum. Read more on the Forum website here.

Green Hospitals Asian Conference, 1-2, 7 and 9 Dec, online, free

Green Hospitals Asian Conference is a biannual event to bring together and unify hospitals, health systems, climate advocates and stakeholders in achieving green, sustainable and climate-resilient Asian healthcare. Read more and register here.

Webinar: Exploring the Nexus of Climate Change, Human Health, and Healthcare System Sustainability, 2 Dec, 1-5.30pm, free

A diverse group of experts will focus on how climate change affects health and healthcare systems, and the impact of healthcare delivery on environmental sustainability. This webinar is organised by the NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability and the Australian Institute of Health Innovation. Read more and register here.

In case you missed it

Webinar recording | ​​Climate Change and Sustainability: Leadership and Action from Australian Doctors 

The Australian Medical Association and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) presented this session on climate change and sustainability leadership and action in the health sector. The webinar saw 390 people tune in to listen to special guests Dr Nick Watts (NHS Chief Sustainability Officer), Prof Mark Howden (IPCC Vice Chair, Director at ANU ICEDS) and Dr Eugenie Kayak (DEA). Read about it here or find the recording of the session here.

Webinar recording | Driving the circular economy in healthcare through innovation procurement

This session byHealth Care Without Harm Europe and EcoQUIP+ aims to raise procurement professionals’ awareness of circularity in healthcare and the opportunities to stimulate innovation. It outlines Towards Zero Waste Operating Theatres, a statement of demand for solutions to support a transition to zero waste operating theatres. Watch the recording here.



Global health community calls for real action to address the climate crisis in the #HealthyClimate Prescription

450+ organisations representing 45+ million health workers, including many health organisations and individuals from Australia and New Zealand, have signed an open letter to all global heads of state  lead climate negotiators, calling for urgent climate action to protect people’s health. Read more and sign the letter here.

Reports, Resources and Research


Major climate-health reports released: Lancet Countdown 2021 and MJA–Lancet Countdown on health and climate change in Australia reports released

The annual Lancet Countdown report tracks the relationship between health and climate change across five key domains and over 40 indicators. The 2021 report finds that “people in every region of the world are increasingly seeing their health affected by climate change. Key trends seen in previous Lancet Countdown Reports are getting worse and exacerbating already existing health and social inequities–the 2021 report gives a code red for health”. You can read the global report, or the Australian version, the MJA-Lancet Countdown for Australia.

Plastics in Healthcare: A Circular Economy Transition Plan

NSW Circular have developed the following reports:

  • The Case for Circularity
  • A Circular Economy Transition Plan
  • A Playbook for your Hospital

They shared these, as well as sharing results from a demonstration project on recycling needle caps and ampoules at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. A big thank you to GGHH member Rodrigo Fritis-Lamora for driving this project!

Read more, download these documents and watch the briefing webinar here.

NSW Circular also has a Circular Challenge Funding Scheme open until 26 Nov.

Measuring and reducing plastics in the healthcare sector

Health Care Without Harm’s new report, Measuring and reducing plastics in the healthcare sector provides data on plastic use in the healthcare sector and successful case studies of reducing plastics. This report also lists practical steps to measure your own facility’s plastic consumption.

Real, Urgent and Now: Insights from health professionals on climate and health in Australia

CAHA released a new report, Real, Urgent and Now: Insights from health professionals on climate and health in Australia. The report outlines the findings of a survey of 875 Australian health professionals, and determines their engagement with climate change, how it affects their work and how to support them to best tackle climate change. The report finds that 80% of respondents agreed that health services and organisations should lead on climate action to keep the global temperature increase below 2°C.


Case studies added to GGHH Pacific region page

A number of case studies written by GGHH Pacific members have been added to our CAHA/GGHH Pacific region webpage.

TRA2SH Sharps Bin Audit

TRA2SH have developed a sharps bin audit, providing a how-to guide, audit protocol and ethics approval for undertaking a sharps bin audit project (whether for a scholar role or not). Read more here.

Wiser Carbon Neutral

Wiser Healthcare has compiled resources to develop an evidence base to assist clinicians and policy makers to safely decarbonise healthcare, while maintaining high quality patient care’. 


Single-use plastic and COVID-19 in the NHS: Barriers and opportunities

Hu et  al., 2021, Journal of Public Health Research,

This study undertaken across Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS collected data on how single-use plastic use before, during and following the COVID-19 pandemic has changed or impacted strategies to reduce plastic waste. Access the article here.

The Drivers of Environmentally Sustainable Hospital Food Services

Carino, et al, Frontiers in Nutrition, 15 October 2021

The aim of this study was to identify the drivers of sustainable hospital food services. Read the article here.

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. If you have a project you'd like to share with us to include in this newsletter and feature on social media, email [email protected].


If you are interested in signing up your health institution to become a member of the Global Green and Health Hospitals Network, please click here to see more details about the program and how to join, or email [email protected].

This newsletter has been developed with the help of CAHA's Sustainable Healthcare volunteer Julia Read. Julia is a Master of Environmental Health Science student at the University of Queensland, and has a strong interest in the health impacts of climate change and improving the sustainability of the health sector.

About CAHA

This newsletter is brought to you by the Climate and Health Alliance. CAHA is Australia's national peak body on climate and health, with the mission to build a powerful health sector movement for climate action. Follow CAHA on Twitter and Facebook.

Both individuals and organisations can become CAHA members! If you would like to support our work, please become a member of the Alliance. You will be joining a dynamic effort to ensure people's health and well-being is central to national and global efforts to respond to climate change.{{}}