Sustainable Healthcare Newsletter August '19

Welcome to the latest Sustainable Healthcare newsletter for August 2019. We have lots of events coming up and GGHH even made a cameo on War on Waste! Read on to see what else is new in sustainable healthcare.

Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) membership in Australia and New Zealand now stands at over 1,000 health services, organisations and facilities represented by 66 Institutional members. This represents the growing recognition from health services that action to reduce our impact on the environment and on carbon emissions is critical to our focus on community health and well-being.

Don't miss our Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum in September (see below for more details). Registrations for attendance are now open!

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.


Registrations open

Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum 

Monday 23 - Tuesday 24 September, Melbourne

Mark your diaries for the third Sustainability Forum! CAHA is proud to be partnering again with Western Health and the Institute for Healthcare Engineering Australia to deliver this year's 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 have many exciting speakers, ranging from health professionals and researchers, environmental and climate scientists and health innovators.

To register your attendance and view the preliminary program, click here.



Welcome to our new GGHH members

We are pleased to welcome on board five new members to Global Green and Healthy Hospitals. We are excited to have Bendigo HealthBroome Regional Health CampusPublic Health Services, Department of Health, TasmaniaRoyal North Shore Hospital and Rural Clinical School of Western Australia as part of GGHH. We now stand at 66 members across Australia and New Zealand.

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]

Congratulations Uniting Care - National Energy Globe Award winners!

Uniting Care has been awarded the National Energy Globe Aware Australia 2019 for their impressive large-scale energy conservation project. To read more about their work, take a look at the case study discussing their efforts in energy consumption and efficiency. Well done Uniting Care on your fantastic program!


GGHH in the media

It's been great to see GGHH popping up in mainstream media recently. Well done to our members for helping to get the word out about sustainable healthcare!

By now many of you will be familiar with ABC's eye-opening program War on Waste. They recently spoke to staff members from the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane who have been successful in implementing several measures to reduce their waste. Last year they diverted a huge 600,000 kgs of waste from landfill, but not only this, they have begun programs which benefit patients directly too (watch to see more about their community gardens). The Princess Alexandra Hospital are a member of GGHH Pacific region.

Watch here...

This clip was followed up with an in-depth article looking at the issue of waste in our hospitals and the fantastic work that doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are doing to reduce this.

Read more here...

Our GGHH counterparts over in the UK have also been gaining attention. The Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust are a GGHH member and were recently featured following their declaration of a climate emergency and commitment to go carbon neutral by 2040. Take a look at the work the Trust is doing across transport, waste and industry engagement.

Watch here...


Sustainable Healthcare News 

How much waste is your workplace producing?

Staff at an Australian hospital decided to take a closer look at the amount of waste being produced in their operating theatres. The staff conducted a small observational study and were shocked to see the long list and volume of items being thrown away. This study highlighted to staff that action needs to be taken. Has your workplace observed how much waste it produces? This can be a great way to quantify the issue and raise awareness.

Read more here...

Northern Hemisphere heatwaves

The Northern Hemisphere has been experiencing a particularly hot summer this year, with heatwaves across Europe and Japan and a concerning level of ice melting seen in Greenland. These heatwaves are exacerbated in city centres by a lack of green space, tightly packed buildings and dense populations. Japan has seen a three-fold increase in presentations to emergency departments, while hospitals in Milan had a 35% increase in visits due to heat-related conditions and French officials have observed a 30% increase in deaths due to drowning from people trying to escape the heat. While it is clear that more needs to be done to mitigate climate change in order to decrease the frequency of these events, adaptation strategies must also be put into place to make sure these cities and their healthcare facilities can cope.

Read more here...

Climate anxiety is rising in Australia

Hear Susie Burke, a psychologist from regional Victoria and Dr Grant Blashki from Beyond Blue discussing the rise of climate anxiety in Australia, and the "existential dread" that some experience when thinking about a future impacted by climate change. 

Listen here (3min 51s)...

Preparing the next generation of students for the climate emergency

Monash University has addressed the need to prepare those studying to become health professionals for the impacts of the climate crisis. They note that in order to achieve the goals laid out by GGHH that emerging health professionals need to be properly informed and prepared. Similar pushes are also being seen in the US with the American Medical Association now backing the movement.

Read more here...

Inspiring solar in Syria

The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations has launched Syria Solar with the aim of transitioning Syria's healthcare system to renewables. The eight-year long conflict in Syria has lead to an unreliable electrical grid and many healthcare facilities are now having to rely on diesel generators instead. It is expected that by 2020 over 45 healthcare facilities will use solar energy as their primary source of electricity.

Read more here and here...

Education and Events


Heat, Health and Urbanisation Workshop

August 21, University of Sydney

The University of Sydney Schools of Public Health and Health Sciences and the Institute of Future Cities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong are holding a free workshop presenting on high density living and the implications on health during period of extreme heat. The workshop is free, but is limited to 30 places. For more information, see the flyer here.

To register, click here.

Healthy People in a Healthy Environment

September 17, Queensland Museum and Science Centre, South Brisbane 

Organised by the Australian Committee for the IUCN, the 2019 Symposium, Healthy People in a Healthy Environment, will focus on the critical link between human health and social well-being, and the environment. CAHA Executive Director Fiona Armstrong is an invited speaker on the topic of: "Co-creating solution to the climate-health crisis". The event will provide an opportunity to help focus Australia’s thinking on these important issues and on how to raise awareness and conserve the many benefits a healthy environment provides for people and nature. 

Purchase tickets here and see the draft agenda here.

Australian Public Health Conference 2019 

September 17 - 19, Hilton, Adelaide 

Held by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), the 2019 Conference theme will be ‘Celebrating 50 years, poised to meet the challenges of the next 50’. The theme has been established to acknowledge and reflect on the many challenges and success that public health has faced over the last 50 years. The Conference will have high quality international and national experts presenting various aspects of public health. The conference will provide a forum for sharing a range of evidence, findings and ideas in public health, as well as for making recommendations for the way forward. CAHA's Alice Eggleston will be there to talk about the Our Climate Our Health campaign!

More information and tickets here.

School Strike 4 Climate

September 20, Nationally

CAHA will again partner with School Strike 4 Climate to support school students from across Australia and around the globe in demanding urgent action on climate change.

Add it to your calendar now, and join us on September 20. More details to follow so keep your eye out!

Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum 

Monday 23 - Tuesday 24 September, Melbourne

See above for more details on CAHA's upcoming forum with Western Health and the Institute for Healthcare Engineering Australia.

IHEA Healthcare Facilities Management Conference (HFMC) 2019

October 9-11, ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Registrations are now open for HFMC 2019. The theme for this year's conference is Game plan for the future of healthcare facilities. This offers a great opportunity to learn more about the sustainability of healthcare.

To see the full program and register, click here.



Waste in Healthcare Workshops

July to August, various locations across Victoria

The Department of Health and Human Services, with support from ANMF (Vic Branch) and Sustainability Victoria, has been hosting a series of free workshops across the last month to help clinical and non-clinical staff to introduce a new, or improve an existing, recycling collection in their health service.

While the workshops are currently booked out, take a look and register your interest for future workshops.

Sustainable Healthcare Forum 

May 8, Aotearoa, New Zealand

The second annual Sustainable Healthcare Forum in Aotearoa was a free full-day event covering leadership, green hospital building, sustainable procurement, and the "Zero Carbon Bill". If you'd like to catch up on the day's events, you can find all the sessions recorded online here...


Research, Resources and Reports


The Spectre of Superbugs: Waste and Antimicrobial Resistance in India

Here, two Australian researchers discuss the perfect storm currently occurring in India - the intersection of a considerable waste and pollution problem, widespread diarrheal and respiratory infections and misuse of antibiotics leading inevitably to a rise of multi-resistant organisms. The authors note the many factors contributing to the increasing superbugs including the impact of pharmaceutical waste.

Read more here...

Shedding light on hospital carbon emissions

It can be easy to do, walking out of the office at the end of the day and forgetting to switch off the light. This can happen to an even greater extent across hospitals in spaces that are not used overnight. One doctor set out to see the impact unnecessary lighting was having on the hospital carbon emissions - quite a large one it turns out, with an average of 183.5 lights per night being left on unnecessarily over the assessment period. 

Read more here...



Sustainability and the Healthcare sector: a guide from the New Zealand Ministry of Health

The New Zealand Ministry for health has released a guide which aims to support the healthcare sector in implementing sustainable practices. The guide covers many of the areas referred to by GGHH including transport, procurement, waste and energy and provides information on the benefits of sustainability as well as specific actions that can be taken to address these key areas. 

Take a look at the comprehensive guide here...

Plastics Toolkit for Hospitals

Health Care Without Harm SE Asia has released a new toolkit for fighting plastic pollution in the healthcare setting. It provides information on different polymers, how to set and achieve short and long-term goals, conducting audits, reducing plastic use and tools for advocacy within the hospital system and beyond.

Find the full toolkit here... 

Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) have released a toolkit for health professionals which consists of eight modules on various aspects of climate change and health. This toolkit is designed to help health professionals who want to engage more directly on the issue of climate change as educators with their patients, peers and communities. 

Find the full toolkit here...



Submissions now open: Improving WA Climate and Health 

The government of Western Australia are calling for submissions for their Climate Health WA Inquiry. Submission are currently being accepted and close Friday 30 August 2019.

CAHA urges all those concerned about climate change and health to contribute to this important inquiry. For details about lodging a submission, visit the webpage here.

Health and climate change in Australia and the Asia Pacific region

The Global Health Alliance Australia, along with the Monash University Sustainable Development Institute and School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, have put together a comprehensive report detailing the vast impacts that climate change will have on Australia and our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region. This report gives a fantastic and in-depth overview and aims to build upon CAHA's Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being in AustraliaCAHA welcomes the report and supports its recommendations.

Read the full report here...



If you are interested in signing your organisation up 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.

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!