The latest on sustainable healthcare

Monday 03 April 2023


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:

  • Your Community Health (VIC)
  • Alfred Health (VIC)

The GGHH Pacific network now has 142 members! Together, we represent 2,343 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!

GGHH 2021-22 Annual Report out now!

We are thrilled to share with you our latest annual report which showcases the work achieved within the GGHH Pacific network over 2021-22. Read it here.

Electric lawn mowers with solar panels

This short episode features David Walker from GGHH member Metro North Hospital Brisbane sharing their electric lawn mowers. Watch it here.

Cairns Hospital ditches desflurane 

Congratulations to GGHH member Cairns Hospital which is one of the first hospitals outside of southeast Queensland to ditch desflurane, an environmentally harmful greenhouse gas used in its operating theatres. Read more.

Christchurch Hospital slashes carbon emissions by more than 50%

A new boiler system has helped to cut GGHH member Christchurch Hospital's carbon emissions by more than 50%. The boilers run off woody biomass, such as wood chips and forestry slash, which creates steam that is converted into heating. Read more.

GGHH Case Studies

Paper towel composting | Auckland District Health Board 

ADHB partnered with Asaleo Care and Supertrash to remove paper towels from landfill and compost them instead. Over four months, 1,253kg of paper towels were diverted from landfill and composted, saving 13% emissions compared to landfill. Read more.

Nitrous Oxide Reduction | Southern Cross Healthcare 

Southern Cross Healthcare investigated the impact of nitrous oxide usage during routine anaesthetic machine checks. The flow rate experiment identified the optimal flow rate in terms of balancing the time taken to complete the check with a 43% reduction in nitrous oxide wastage. This resulted in significant financial and carbon dioxide savings. Read more.

Serving up bush tucker | Fiona Stanley Hospital

A bush tucker menu was designed for patients at Fiona Stanley Hospital, resulting in an increase in patient satisfaction and more sustainable sourcing of ingredients. Read more.

Reducing single use plastics | Southwest Healthcare

South West Healthcare replaced single use plastics with biodegradable and compostable products, resulting in avoiding 328,000 pieces of plastics medical waste to landfill over one year. Read more.

Sustainable Healthcare News 

Plastic Free July Morning Tea

Across the globe, communities are inspired by the Plastic Free Morning Tea — a popular way of making and sharing food, fun and conversations about plastic free solutions. We encourage readers to host a Plastic Free Morning tea at your workplace. More info and resources here.

NHS Scotland joins Global Green and Healthy Hospitals and bans desflurane use

NHS Scotland is the publicly funded healthcare system of Scotland and represents 900+ healthcare facilities and 180,000+ staff  making it one of the largest members of the GGHH network in Europe. Read more.

NHS Scotland also recently announced an immediate ban on desflurane. 

Partners in promoting health and equity: Stories of health care and community

Learn how hospitals and health systems are working with partners to implement innovative, community-based initiatives and helping build conditions that support community health and resilience. Watch the video and read more.

European Healthcare Climate Summit 2022 report

Building on the success of the three previous editions, HCWH Europe held its annual European Healthcare Climate Summit in October 2022. Supported by the Scottish government and NHS Scotland, the summit brought together a wide variety of stakeholders to discuss what climate-smart healthcare looks like in practice. The event report describes tangible and replicable case studies from across Europe. Read more.

Call for entries | International Hospital Federation Awards 2023

These awards recognize the excellence and outstanding achievements of hospitals and health service providers demonstrated through their projects, programmes, or services. This includes an Excellence Award for Green Hospitals. Submissions close 16 June. Read more.

Education and Events

ANMF (VIC Branch) Health and Environmental Sustainability Conference

Melbourne, 27 April 2023

Join this conference to learn new ways to reduce waste, promote sustainability and improve your community. Join together with a growing movement of health professionals who are changing the way we deliver health and striving to improve our work, home and wider environments. More info.

CleanMed US

Pittsburgh, 23-25 May 2023

Join CleanMed to connect, share, and build upon solutions for a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable health care sector. More info.

CleanMed Europe

Online, 5-9 June 2023

The theme of the conference will be “Changing the Climate of Healthcare”. Registrations are now open. More info.

NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability Research Showcase

Macquarie University and online, 16 June 2023

The event celebrates the culmination of six years of research into improving the sustainability of healthcare systems by NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability investigators and system partners. More info.

Taiao. Tangata. Hauora. Advancing Planetary Health — Climate Health and Sustainable Healthcare in Aotearoa

New Zealand, 5-6 July 2023

The conference theme has a focus on mātauranga Māori, challenging delegates to become more connected and knowledgeable and shift the paradigm towards environmental sustainability and climate resilience. The programme will include a series of presentations interspersed with interactive and panel discussions. Call for abstracts close April 28. More info.

World Hospital Congress

Portugal, 25-27 October 2023

The World Hospital Congress of the International Hospital Federation is a unique global forum connecting leaders and decision-makers of hospitals, health services and healthcare organisations. The congress will be held in Portugal. Call for abstracts are open and will close on April 5. More info.

Climate and health at the International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare

Melbourne, 30 Oct - 1 Nov 2023 

This year, the International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare will address eight themes, one of which is ‘Sustainability, climate change and environmental impact on health’. More info.

Research, Resources, Reports


Digital health for climate change mitigation and response: a scoping review

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, August 2022

This scoping review explores recent work on digital health responses and mitigation approaches to climate change. 

We can’t mitigate what we don’t monitor: using informatics to measure and improve healthcare systems’ climate impact and environmental footprint

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, December 2022

This article scopes potential informatics solutions to monitor the carbon footprint of healthcare systems and to support climate change decision-making for clinicians, and healthcare policy makers.

Embedding Indigenous knowledges and voices in planetary health education

The Lancet Planetary Health, January 2023

This personal view piece provides an innovative case study that uses Indigenist health humanities (eg, narrative portraiture) and arts-based education strategies to offer a different way of seeing, knowing, and understanding planetary health.

Operation clean up: A model for eco-leadership and sustainability implementation

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, January 2023

This research article by the Trainee-led Research and Audit in Anaesthesia for Sustainable Healthcare describes the first two years of Operation Clean Up in terms of goals, achievements and data collected so far.

Impact on mortality of pathways to net zero greenhouse gas emissions in England and Wales: a multisectoral modelling study

The Lancet Planetary Health, January 2023

This modelling study assessed the impact on population health in England and Wales of six policy actions relating to electricity generation, transport, home energy, active travel, and diets relative to a baseline scenario in which climate actions, exposures, and behaviours were held constant. 

The Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health

Annals of Global Health, March 2023

This report is an analysis of plastic’s health impacts across its life cycle, with science-based recommendations that can prevent plastic-related disease. It includes plastics-climate change-health impacts findings.

The origins of hospital food: Where does it come from and what do staff, patients and suppliers think about local food?

Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2023

This research aimed to identify the origin of fresh and minimally processed foods served to hospital patients, and explore the challenges and enablers to local food procurement in hospitals.


Webinar recording | Getting started with healthcare climate resilience

This webinar by Life Resystal teaches healthcare professionals about future-proofing their healthcare facility against the impacts of climate change.

Online course | Pan American Climate Resilient Health Systems

This course equips attendees to apply best practices to assess health system vulnerabilities and adaptation options, measure and monitor the climate resilience and environmental sustainability of health systems, and undertake health system greening, all while integrating health equity and undertaking broad stakeholder engagement. Video recordings will be available following each session for asychronous view.


Future-proofing healthcare against pandemics and climate change

Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University has produced a White Paper to put forward the case for using Learning Health Systems 2.0 to better prepare for future pandemics, and the crises and pressures induced by climate change that will increasingly affect the provision of high-quality care. 

Ready for the Next Crisis? Investing in Health System Resilience

This report recommends policy areas and investments to improve the resilience of health systems into the future, drawing on analyses of three major vulnerabilities health systems faced during the pandemic. 

Procuring for greener pharma

This report presents recommendations and supporting case studies for pharmaceutical procurers on how to include sustainability criteria in medicine purchasing. 

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]


If you are interested in signing up your organisation to GGHH Pacific, find more information here or email [email protected]

If you were forwarded this newsletter and would like to receive it directly, sign up here.


This newsletter is brought to you by Australia’s peak body on climate and health, Climate and Health Alliance. CAHA’s mission is to build a powerful health sector movement for climate action.

You can follow CAHA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Both individual health professionals and health organisations can become members of CAHA. If you like what we do, and would like to support our work, please donate!