Sustainable healthcare newsletter apr19

Welcome to the latest Sustainable Health newsletter, the last couple of months have been full of activity and 2019 is shaping up to be a year of growth and change.

Welcome to those new Global Green and Healthy Hospital members, we are excited to have the Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union, Peninsula HealthTallangatta Health Service, WA Country Health Service, South West Coast Region.

GGHH membership in Australia and New Zealand now stands at over 1,000 health services, organisations and facilities represented by 57 Institutional members. This is exciting news and represents the growing recognition that health service action to reduce our impact on the environment and or carbon emissions is critical to our focus on community health and well-being.

Don't miss the sustainability forum in September, calls for abstracts are now open. We'd love to hear about your great work. For more information, scroll down (or click the quick link below) to the "Call for submissions" section of this newsletter.


Quick links:

If you would like to join the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network visit the website or email [email protected] 

If you’d like to stay in touch and see other important stories, make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook and share our articles and updates.



GGHH: Share your work!

Heath services are making great gains. If you are working on a project or just completed a change in practice at your workplace and would like to showcase your work please contact us about developing a case study at [email protected]

Global Green and Healthy Hospital - new online platform

The online platform for Global Green and Healthy Hospitals, known as GGHH Connect is being redeveloped with a brand new platform, in-line with dramatic innovations and improvements in technology. GGHH 2.0 will be launched in late 2019.

GGHH Connect will continue to be available for members to access GGHH Guidance Documents, Hippocrates Data Center, webinar recordings and presentations and other resources. Continue to go to to access the site.


Sustainable Healthcare News

Participate in HCWH Europe’s project on disinfectants used in healthcare!

This project is inviting 10 hospitals from outside of Europe to contribute to their survey aimed at healthcare staff responsible for purchasing, selecting, and using disinfectants in hospitals or healthcare institutions. Survey respondents will be asked to:

  • Provide information about their involvement with disinfection, disinfectants, and/or biocidal active substances and their tasks and responsibilities within their organisation

  • Provide an overview of the practice of the procurement, selection, and application of disinfectants in their organisation

If you are interested in participating or finding out more, you can do so here.


Sustainability Victoria releases research on public perception of climate and health 

Despite the fact that health services and health workers are already seeing the impacts of climate change in the community, research conducted by Sustainability Victoria indicates very low public awareness of the link between climate change and the subsequent risks to health. “I have never thought there is direct influence between climate change and health – but after reading those statements (from WHO), we need to stop and think.”  (respondent from focus group)
Sustainability Victoria has presented the research findings from a series of in-depth interviews and focus groups looking into Victorians’ awareness and knowledge of the links between health and climate change. Read more here.

Our health is something we value and showing that climate change poses a threat to our health is very important in personalising what can otherwise be a distant threat. As we get better at communicating the health impacts of climate change, we will hopefully see increased community engagement and therefore government action.

We encourage Health professionals to contact their local MP to let them know how important it is to have a national strategy on climate, health and well-being.


Dire prognosis from 6th UN Global Environment Outlook

National Geographic released a report on the 6th UN Global Environment Outlook released in early March. The report concluded that the outlook for the environment is dire and the report concluded that although the news is bad, there is still time and the capability to reset a sustainable course. However, what we don’t have is the political will.

Read more here




Health Care Without Harm - Europe on procuring safe medical devices

While they play an essential role in healthcare delivery, medical devices may contain hazardous substances that pose risks to patient health and staff safety through their use and disposal. Dangerous substances associated with medical devices include carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances (CMRs) or endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), including phthalates

Health Care Without Harm Europe have developed guidelines for procurement of safer medical devices that are well worth a look. 


Air Pollution is a massive public health threat

A new report released in Europe estimates that air pollution now kills more people than smoking. In fact the study found that air pollution kills twice as many people as first thought and is particularly impactful for children and the elderly. Read more on the findings here.  


Improving the carbon footprint of hospitals across Asia

Pats Oliva from Health Care Without Harm Asia has called on hospitals across the continent to consider their energy and resource intensive practices. Pats Oliva urges Asian hospitals to reduce their carbon footprints and become more prepared in the face of increasing natural disasters. Read more here.



The Climate and Health Alliance is pleased to offer GGHH members the opportunity to join a webinar on the Our Climate Our Health campaign for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia.

Fiona Armstrong, CAHA executive director will outline the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, the campaign achievements so far and how health services can be involved in engaging health professionals to achieve effective policy for climate action.

When: 11am Tuesday 23 April 2019
Where: Webex online seminar

This webinar will provide information on important national policy that has received support from the Greens and key independents. In addition, should they be elected the ALP have committed to implementing a national strategy based on the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being.

At the time of the meeting, click on the following link to join:

Password/Meeting Number: 646 969 819

Please note, if you are unable to get to a computer, or have problems with your computers firewalls, you can call into the meeting by dialing: Australia Toll +61-28518-1928 Australia Toll Free 1-800-761-203


Education and Events

CANBERRA: May 1, Symposium on Climate Change, Society and Health at the School of Regulation and Global Governance

The Australian National University will be hosting a Symposium on Climate Change, Society and Health at the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University on May 1, 2019. Find out more and register online here.

Director of the School of Regulation and Global Governance, Professor Sharon Friel, will be a key speaker at this event. Read her recently published book, "Climate Change and the People's Health". Order online at and enter AMPROMD9 to save 30%. CAHA Executive Director Fiona Armstrong will speak at the forum on "making action happen: lessons from social movements".

MELBOURNE May 2, ANMF Health and Environmental Sustainability Conference

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.

Keynote presenters will explore the impact of the environment on the health system, our personal wellness and our future resources. Hear from your colleagues from hospitals around Victoria as they present practical and achievable ways to improve environmental sustainability at work.

Don’t miss this opportunity to come along and connect with other nurses, midwives and carers who can support your journey towards a more sustainable life. Book your early-bird tickets online now.

VICTORIA: May 17, Nursing for the Environment - INTENSIVE

Are you a nurse or midwife who wants to know more about how you can make your workplace more sustainable? Designed for all nurses, this intensive seminar provided by the ANMF provides a crash course in sustainable healthcare that gives nurses the knowledge and confidence to respond to important environmental and health issues positively and effectively. Find out more and register here.

Webinar: How do you talk about climate change without turning off your listener? Messaging on the climate emergency 

How can you convey the severe threats that climate change poses, without driving people into either denial or despair?

Learn from guest speaker Meighen Speiser what the communications researchers advise about what to say and how to say it. Just named ecoAmerica’s executive director, Meighen for years directed that organization’s communications and research. Her advice is evidence-based and highly practical. Learn more here


Webinar: Setting and achieving measurable sustainability goals

This recent webinar from Health Care Without Harm aims to inform viewers about the challenges and opportunities for for the healthcare sector in the face of climate change. See a number of presentations from key climate and sustainable healthcare experts, as well as a number of examples of best practice sustainable healthcare across Europe. View a video and powerpoints of the presentations here.


Webinar: Climate Change & Toxic Hazards: After the Storm

This is the third in a series of webinars exploring how to prepare to protect public health before, during, & after a storm or flood. This webinar focuses on the impact of toxic substances unleashed into soil, air and water following floods and the need to protect communities. This is particularly relevant following the devastating Queensland floods which saw an increase in melioidosis infections. Watch the webinar here and view the others in the series here


Webinar: Practice Greenhealth: Improving practices for pharmaceutical waste

Watch Practce Greenhealth's presentation discussing pharmaceutical waste and current guidelines for disposal of controlled substances in the US. Watch the presentation here


Meet-up: SOS Climate chat and support: Sustainability of self as part of a whole life organism

Join psychologist Lyn Bender and ecopsychologist Deb Punton on the last Sunday of each month from 3-5pm, to chat and support each other's feelings about our climate crisis. These free sessions at the St Kilda EcoCentre aim to build resilience and maintain well-being. For more information on the sessions, including where to meet and what to bring, see here. And to regsiter, obligation free, click here.

Research, Reports and Resources

Lancet Planetary Health research shows Climate Change impacts pollen seasons

In a retrospective study released in the Lancet Planetary Health showed increases in temperature over time were found to be associated with increases in seasonal pollen length and intensity across global locations. Read more.


EAT Lancet Planetary Health and the Lancet Commission on Obesity

The dual challenges of climate change and obesity could be fought by changing the way we eat, according to to the EAT Lancet Planetary Health report and the Lancet Commission on Obesity released in 2019. The EAT-Lancet Commission is a first-of-its-kind report provides scientific guidance for a healthy and sustainable diet - addressing the lack of scientific targets that have hindered previous efforts to transform the food system.


How Local Health Districts can prepare for the effects of climate change: an adaptation model applied to metropolitan Sydney

Lucie Rychetnik, Peter Sainsbury and Greg Stewart use existing data sources and models to assess climate-related risks and vulnerabilities for healthcare services (including ambulance, emergency and acute health care, routine health care, and population and preventative health services), using a case study in metropolitan Sydney. Read it here.


Climate Change - A Health Emergency 

Two physicians from PSR’s Greater Boston chapter have just published a must-read article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine:  “Climate Change – A Health Emergency.” It is a strong and cogent statement of the challenge the world faces from climate change and the responsibility of physicians (and, by extension, other health  professionals) to respond.


Nurses and Climate Action - American Journal of Nursing

This article published in the American Journal of Nursing has been written by a group of nurses from the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. The article details how healthcare services, and in particular hospitals, are contributing to climate change and environmental degradation through emissions from energy use, toxic chemical use, and waste. The article explores the role of nurses in mitigating and adapting to climate change in the health system and calls for further education for health professionals on the link between climate change and health. The full article can be viewed here.


Call for Submissions and Nominations

Apply for the 2019 Health Care Climate Challenge Awards

The climate work your institution is engaged in is integral to reducing its carbon footprint and protecting public and environmental health. We know this work takes tremendous effort to accomplish and we want to globally recognize your institution and its achievements with our Climate Champion Awards

The Climate Champion Awards are available in multiple categories related to the three pillars of the Climate Challenge- Mitigation, Resiliency, and Leadership.

The deadline for submission is 31 May 2019. GGHH will announce award winners in June. For more information visit the website or contact GGHH International for more information.

Applications for 2019 UN Global Climate Action Award Now Open

Are you are leading a project that addresses both human health and climate change, why not consider submitting to the UN Global Climate Action Award?

Applications are accepted from 11 February through 30 April 2019. Apply in the Global Climate Action award under the category, Planetary Health.


Health Sustainability Forum call for Abstracts

Mark your diaries, Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 September are earmarked for the third Sustainability Forum!

Each year the Forum attracts eminent speakers covering important innovations in environmental sustainability in health.

Are you leading an innovative or important sustainability project in health? Are you conducting research into the health and cost benefits of climate action in health?

We are currently calling for abstracts from health professionals and researchers, environmental and climate scientists and health innovators to present at the Forum and we would be pleased to hear from you.

Click here for the online form.


Health and Climate photo Challenge

There is an opportunity for photographers to submit photos that highlight the impact of climate change on human health.

Participants can win funding for additional photo shoots, as well as a fellowship to the 2019 UN climate conference in Chile (COP25).

Read more


This newsletter is brought to you by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA). 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 of the Climate and Health 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. To join CAHA, follow this link!