Sustainable Healthcare News May 2022

Here is your latest wrap of sustainable healthcare news. We hope the information below provides assistance, guidance and inspiration. Please forward this newsletter to others in your networks who are interested in climate-resilient and sustainable healthcare.

In this issue:

  • GGHH news
  • Sustainable healthcare news
  • Education and events
  • Research, resources and reports

GGHH News

Welcome to our new GGHH members

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

  • Kingaroy Hospital, QLD 
  • Christchurch Eye Surgery, NZ
  • The Eye Surgery Hastings, NZ

The GGHH Pacific network now has 120 members! Together, we represent 2,187+ hospitals and health services across Australia and New Zealand. It’s wonderful to see more health institutions committed to tackling their environmental footprint.

If you’d like to join the network, find more on our website or email [email protected]

 

Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum

Planning is currently underway for this year’s forum. We have a tentative date of Friday 7 October in Newcastle. More details to follow soon, stay tuned! 

Austin has joined the EPIC for Health pilot project

Austin Health is the second health service to take part in an innovative 12-month pilot project, ‘EPIC for Health’, to reduce single use plastics in their facilities. They join King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, who began their participation in January 2022. Read more here

Melton Hospital: 100% renewable energy

It was recently announced that the new Melton Hospital, part of Western Health (VIC) will be powered by 100% renewable energy. Read more

Sustainable Healthcare News 

The US pledge to mobilise healthcare sector to reduce emissions

The US Department of Health and Human Services has issued a call for the healthcare sector to join a pledge to commit to reduce emissions and climate resilience. Read more here.

G7 sets course for decarbonised, climate-resilient health care

The G7 (which includes Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US, and the EU), makes up 46% of health care’s global climate footprint. G7 health ministers declared their aim “to build environmentally sustainable and climate-neutral health systems at the latest by 2050 and to support other countries in this effort.”  Read more here.

Revised dates for the UN Climate Change Conference COP27

Revised dates have been announced for COP27, which will now take place 6-18 November 2022 in the Arab Republic of Egypt. Read more here.

Education and Events

Pharmacy waste webinar

Online at 11.30am, Thu 9 Jun 2022

ANMF Victoria is running a free webinar on the appropriate disposal of pharmacy waste. Read more and register here. 

Code Green Hackathon

22-24 July 2022

Code Green, the climate-health team in the Australian Medical Students' Association, is running their annual Hackathon in July. Teams will collaborate to "wage war on waste" in the healthcare sector, particularly with the backdrop of current and future pandemics. Teams will receive one-on-one mentoring before giving a final pitch to judges to decide the winners. The Hackathon will be a hybrid event this year, with universities across Australia calling in. Read more about the hackathon and sponsorship opportunities here.

CODA22 Conference

Melbourne on 11-14 Sep 2022

CODA22 will be an unparalleled healthcare event guaranteed to inspire your practice. The conference is open to all healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, allied health practitioners, paramedics, researchers, administrators and students.

The conference program has been broadly categorised into four areas – Earth, Cure, Educate and Ethics – and is carefully designed to meet all your CPD/CME requirements. It fuses three core professional development objectives: 

  • Improving clinical knowledge and skills
  • Inspiring healthcare advocacy, leadership and action
  • Igniting professional connections

Find program details and register here.

Research, Resources and Reports

Research

“The carbon footprint of hospital diagnostic imaging in Australia”

McAlister S, McGain F, Petersen M, Story D, Charlesworth K, Ison G, Barratt A. The carbon footprint of hospital diagnostic imaging in Australia. The Lancet Regional Health-Western Pacific. 2022 Jul 1;24:100459.

This research measured the carbon footprint of five common imaging modalities: chest X-ray (CXR), mobile chest X-ray (MCXR), computerised tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US). The findings call for a reduction in unnecessary imaging, scanners to be turned off, and ensuring high utilisation rates of scanners.

“Ventilation strategies and design impacts on indoor airborne transmission: A review” 

Izadyar N, Miller W. Ventilation strategies and design impacts on indoor airborne transmission: A review. Building and Environment. 2022 May 6:109158.

This literature review tracks the number of scientific papers on ventilation strategies and indoor transmission against the four most recent pandemics, and reviews the ventilation strategies and designs addressed for both clinical and non-clinical environments.

“The origins of food supplied to an Australian public hospital” 

Faulkner K, Gilbertson H, Porter J, Collins J. The origins of food supplied to an Australian public hospital. Frontiers in Nutrition. 2022;9.

This research quantified the local food purchased by a Victorian public hospital. It identified that 3% of the budget was spent on entirely ‘local’ Victorian grown food. It calls for a sharing of food origin data, a clear definition of ‘local’ food and further understanding of Victorian food growing industries. 

“Effectiveness of strategies to decrease animal sourced protein and/or increase plant sourced protein in foodservice settings: a systematic literature review”

Stiles G, Collins J, Beck K. Effectiveness of strategies to decrease animal sourced protein and/or increase plant sourced protein in foodservice settings: a systematic literature review. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2021 Dec 23.

This systematic review evaluated the effectiveness of strategies to decrease animal protein and/or increase plant protein in foodservice settings on uptake, satisfaction, financial, environmental, and dietary intake outcomes. The most promising strategies were menu redesign, followed by menu labelling and service redesign. 

“Discrepancy between procurement and clinical use of nitrous oxide: waste not, want not”

Seglenieks R, Wong A, Pearson F, McGain F. Discrepancy between procurement and clinical use of nitrous oxide: waste not, want not. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2022 Jan, 128(1): E32-34. 

This correspondence article discusses the global warming effects of nitrous oxide in comparison to desflurane.

Resources

Sustainable Healthcare in Practice micro-credential

The Monash Sustainable Development Institute is developing a micro-credential on sustainable healthcare, due for release in mid-2022. Aimed at health professionals, health educators and graduate students, the micro-credential will provide you with the skills to create an inclusive, equitable, restorative and resilient health system. Register your interest here.

Free module on the climate crisis and population health

Health Education England has released a free module on the relationship between climate change and population health, called “All our Health: Climate Change”. It includes key evidence and resources to prevent illness, protect health and promote wellbeing. No fee or registration required – check it out here.

‘Our planet, our health’ resources from WHO

The theme of this year’s World Health Day was “Our planet, our health”. The World Health Organisation made various related resources available. Check them out here.

Global Road Map for Health Care Decarbonization

A reminder of this excellent resource, released last April by Health Care Without Harm: the first ever global roadmap for health care decarbonisation. It’s intended as a navigational tool for achieving zero emissions with climate resilience and healthy equity. Read it here.

Healthcare waste trackers 

They say “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”, yet many health care facilities don’t record how waste is produced and managed. Health Care Without Harm and HECAF360 have developed six Excel-based waste tracking tools to determine how waste is produced, managed and controlled at different stages of the waste process. Download the trackers here.

Sustainable Procurement Resources 

Health Care Without Harm has guidance documents and resources available on sustainable procurement. Take a look here.

QLD Health: New website ‘Climate change and a sustainable public health system’

Queensland Health has released a new website outlining its ‘Climate Risk Strategy 2021-2026’. The website provides resources and tools for managing climate risk for healthcare facilities and their staff, to work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Read more here

Reports

Partnering for Climate Resilience: A practical guide to community-based disaster planning for health care

Health Care Without Harm has released a new report, Partnering for Climate Resilience. This practical guide provides a new approach to disaster planning and climate preparedness built on a partnership between health systems and the communities they serve working together to plan for climate change.

New IPCC solutions report dropped in April

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new report on climate mitigation and solutions in April. Its key message was pressing: the climate crisis is advancing. The world needs to transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy that limits emissions and helps meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. Check out the IPCC report and resources here.

In response, CAHA has dropped a new summary of the IPCC solutions report (given it was over 3,000 pages long!) This summary, Climate Action for a Healthy Future, lists the IPCC findings relevant to health and wellbeing. It is a resource for health stakeholders, professionals and policy-makers working at the intersection of climate change and health. Read CAHA’s summary 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 to improve sustainability in their own workplace. If you have a project you'd like to share with us to include in this newsletter and feature on our social media, let us know about it here or email [email protected].

Join GGHH

If you are interested in signing up your organisation 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].

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About CAHA

This newsletter is brought to you by the Climate and Health Alliance. As Australia’s peak body on climate and health, CAHA’s  mission is to build a powerful health sector movement for climate action. To do this, we run a number of campaigns and programs alongside our sustainable healthcare program, like:

If you’d like to stay updated, follow CAHA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Did you know individuals, as well as organisations, can join CAHA? If you like what we do, and would like to support our work, please join and become a member. 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. To join, follow this link!