Sustainable Healthcare Newsletter October 2020

Welcome to our latest Sustainable Healthcare newsletter. We hope the information shared here assists you in your efforts to make our healthcare systems more environmentally sustainable and resilient. 

Quick links


Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) membership in the Pacific Region (Australia and New Zealand) continues to grow with 96 members representing over 1,700 hospitals and health services. More and more health institutions are working to improve their environmental footprint, and protect environmental and human health. They're also realising that it makes sense to do this together through the GGHH network.

You can view a list of GGHH members in the Pacific region here.

If you would like to join the GGHH network or find out more, visit the website or email [email protected] 

Welcome to our new GGHH members

We're delighted to welcome the following members who have joined the GGHH network since our last newsletter - North Metropolitan Health Service (WA), Central Australia Health Service (NT), Cirqit Health (Vic) and Women's Healthcare Australasia.

Sustainable Procurement in Health webinar recording
The recording of this webinar held in early September is available on GGHH Connect for GGHH members. This session introduces the new GGHH Sustainable Procurement in Health Care Guide, a guide available for GGHH members that provides step-by-step guidance, tools, and resources to help health organisations develop a sustainable purchasing strategy that prioritizes community and environmental health while reducing costs. It also features speakers from health organizations in Sweden, India, New Zealand, and Indonesia outlining how they are implementing sustainable procurment strategies and their results.

Food waste case study from Queanbeyan Hospital

Learn how Queanbeyan Hospital and Health Service are reducing food waste going to landfill by donating excess food to OzHarvest and sending food waste to Goterra (a food waste commercial operator that uses insects to manage food waste), in this GGHH case study here.

More case studies from GGHH members worldwide are available open-access here





Blog: Turning food waste to green energy - Epworth Richmond

Read how GGHH member Epworth Richmond have diverted 9.88 tonnes of food waste from landfill since late 2019 in this blog. Food waste is evaporated and reduced using a WasteMaster machine, and then sent to Yarra Valley Water's Anaerobic Digester in Wollert, where it has created approximately 2,610 kWh of green energy - enough electricity to power 191 homes for a day. (This video from Green Eco Technologies also showcases this information)

Sustainable Healthcare News 

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) announces a net-zero direct emissions target by 2040
The UK's NHS became the world's first national health system to commit to delivering a net-zero emissions health service. The NHS has committed to:

  • A 2040 target for net-zero direct emissions (with the goal to reduce emissions by 80% by 2028)
  • A 2045 target for their direct emissions and those they can influence in the supply chain (with the goal to reduce those emissions by 80% by 2036)
  • A new Net-Zero Hospital Standard for the construction of all new hospitals
  • A commitment to deliver the world's first zero-emission ambulance, with road-testing ready as early as 2022, and a suite of targets for the rest of the fleet
  • Ensuring a Net-Zero Board-Level lead for all NHS Organisations and Trusts
  • Within the decade, a commitment to only purchase from suppliers who meet or exceed the NHS' net-zero ambition 

Job Alert - Greener NHS are Hiring: Five new roles to deliver the world's first net zero health service 

This is an exciting time to join the Greener NHS programme following the commitment by the NHS in its multiyear plan Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system and appointment of a Chief Sustainability Officer (Dr Nick Watts). 

The roles can be based at Cambridge, London or Leeds (although staff are currently working remotely unless designated as essential office based). Read more here.

Kaiser Permanente - The first carbon-neutral health system in the U.S.

"Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated, nonprofit health system, has become the first health care system in the United States to achieve carbon-neutral status. With its longstanding commitment to improving conditions that lead to poor health, Kaiser Permanente has prioritized sustainability to contribute to and catalyze a green future free of the extreme climate conditions currently harming so many Americans". Read more and watch a short video here.




Canberra Hospital expansion to be all electric and powered by 100% renewable energy

The $500 million expansion will begin next year and is due for completion in 2024. ACT Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury said “Buildings like these will last for decades to come, and would otherwise be gas-powered – at significant health and financial cost to our community. Gas is a polluting fossil fuel, and the ACT Government has committed to transitioning away from climate-warming energy sources and instead, is fully embracing the renewable energy revolution”. Read more here.

South Australian Government announces solar PV plan for hospitals

Almost 6,000 solar panels will be installed across three of SA's largest hospitals. The installations are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,735,650 Kgs/C02e per annum (equivalent of taking almost 500 cars off the road) and save more than $600,000 of taxpayer money each year. Read more here.

Second Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET-2) Auction

The Victorian Government has announced a market sounding process to test the capacity of the renewable energy industry to  deliver at least 600MW of renewable energy – enough to power every hospital and school in Victoria, Melbourne’s train network and a range of other Government infrastructure and services.The process will also explore the potential for electricity-reliant industries and businesses to buy renewable energy along with government through this process.


Education and Events


Climate Risk Governance for Health Sector Boards - Webinar Series
4 November and 23 November, online, free
*This series has almost booked out. Register your interest for future webinars on the topic via the waitlist available for each session 

The Climate and Health Alliance is hosting a webinar series with leading climate risk specialists Sarah Barker and Charlotte Turner from law firm Minter Ellison on Climate risk and governance as it relates to the strategy and oversight obligations of health sector boards. Read more and register here.

There are two Webinars in the series:
  1. Managingupwards – what matters to your board on climate change risk? This webinar is for anyone working within the health sector who would like to learn how to frame climate change as a risk (and opportunity) through a finance and liability lens, and be empowered to engage in a way that is most relevant to director decision-making.

  2. Fiduciary duties in a changing climate – climate change risk governance obligations for health sector. This webinar is for health board directors only.

Linking climate change to health outcomes, lunch time webinar series
September - November, online, free

This Environmental Health Webinar Series is a lunchtime web series presented by WA Primary Health Alliance, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Doctors for the Environment Australia and HealthPathways WA. Recordings of previous webinars are available from the link above. Upcoming webinars include:

10 Nov: Climate change, mental health and “eco-anxiety
24 Nov: Reducing our impact in general practice, what can we do? 

Race to Zero Climate & Health Dialogue
9 November 2020, online, free

This dialogue, organised by the World Health Organisation and partners, will bring local to global actors together to place health and equity at the centre of ambitious climate action. Through a series of virtual events, hosted throughout a 24-hour period, the dialogue will envision how a healthy, equitable recovery from COVID-19 can drive rapid decarbonization of the world economy. The event will present initiatives, case-studies and interventions for a healthy, climate-resilient and climate-just future across several priority areas of action: Adaptation & resilience; Nature; Energy transition; Zero carbon road transport; and Finance. Read more and register here.

Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority Sustainability in Healthcare Forum
19 November, online, free

VHHSBA's annual Forum will be held online this year and focus on sharing environmental sustainability best practice across the Victorian health sector. VHHSBA encourage those working across the health sector to attend, and hear from like-minded peers about what they are doing to transition to a more environmentally sustainable healthcare system. While the Forum will focus on healthcare sustainability in Victoria, people from outside Victoria are welcome to attend.  See the program and register here.

CleanMed Europe 

23 November - 4 December, online, free

Across ten days CleanMed Europe offers multiple free-to-attend online sessions covering many of the success stories and challenges we see today in sustainable healthcare. Read more, view the program and register here.

Buying Power Ep. 6
: PPA Market Update - Is now a good time to sign a PPA?
25 November, 12:30 - 14:00 AEDT, online, free

In this webinar from Business Renewable Centre Australia hear from experts and market analysts about the state of the market, trends and the factors to consider if you are interested in a renewable energy PPA. Read more here and register here.

 The webinar will also see the launch of new BRC-A member resources.

1. Economic analysis primer - allows buyers to understand the fundamentals that underpin the finances of PPAs.
2. Risk primer - details the risks assocuated with PPAs.


Buying Power Episode 7: PPAs for Better Health Outcomes: It's time to Repower Health
November 30, 13:30 - 14:45 (AEDT), online, free

The Climate and Health Alliance is pleased to be supporting this webinar organised by Healthy Futures, Business Renewables Centre Australia and Sustainability Victoria. Read more and register here.

Program and speakers:

  • Hear from Dianna McDonald (Climate/Social Research, Sustainability Victoria) on the link between health and climate change
  • Listen to Cath O’Shea (Sustainability Analyst, Ambulance Victoria) share AV's experience entering into a renewable energy PPA on the journey to 100% renewables by 2025
  • Anita Stadler (Corporate Renewable Energy Strategist, Energetics) will highlight the state of play in the PPA marketplace and discuss the opportunities for the healthcare sector.
  • Monica Richter, BRC-A Project Director will then moderate a panel discussion and question and answer session

Who should attend? Energy Procurement Managers, Finance Managers, Sustainability Managers, Contracts Managers / Legal, and anyone interested in protecting their business from volatile energy cost.



Webinar to Launch the WHO Guidance for Climate Resilient and Environmentally Sustainable Health Care Facilities

In this webinar WHO introduce the guidance and host an expert panel discussion on priorities and initiatives at country, regional and global level. Recordings of the launch are now available via this link. In this folder, you will also find the WHO Guidance for Climate Resilient and Environmentally Sustainable Health Care Facilities, as well as the summary document and slides presented during the launch.

CleanMed (US) Virtual series 
Recordings from each of the 6 online CleanMed sessions can be watched here.

Topics include:

  • Clinical sustainability: Environmental stewardship at the bedside
  • Keeping sustainability front and center
  • How 1 hospital added 48k plants and improved community health
  • Resilience from farm to plate 
  • Rethinking supply chains in response to COVID-19 
  • Collaborating to build resilient health care

Sustainable Healthcare & Climate Health Aotearoa Webinar Series 2020

This series was held online from 16 June - 6 October. Recordings of all webinars in the series are available here.

Webinar: Delivering sustainable, healthy and resilient hospitals

This webinar presented by Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) and the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) focuses on delivering sustainable, healthy and resilient hospitals. It covers:

  • the latest sustainability standards and expectations for all  public healthcare capital works in Victoria (including an introduction to the recently releaseed Guidelines for sustaianabilty in capital works)
  • insights into the development and use of NABERS for hospitals.

Webinar: The status of clinical waste collections during COVID-19 and future planning, 

This webinar was held in response to the significant increase in the amount of clinical waste generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority partnered with Health Purchasing Victoria, the Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to deliver the webinar. It provides:

  • an update on the clinical waste collection status during COVID-19
  • the avenues of support available
  • future planning considerations

Sustainable Packagin in Healthcare Workshops - APCO

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) have run two Sustainable Packaging in Healthcare workshops this year. A summary of topics covered in the second workshop and a report from the first workshop can be found here



Video - Doctors fighting deadly climate change

This video released by Health Care Without Harm features doctors from around the world (including Australian doctor and CAHA member Dr Arnagretta Hunter) who are are on the front lines of health care delivery and working with their communities to help raise awareness on the health impacts of air pollution and the climate crisis. Together with Health Care Without Harm’s Josh Karliner, they take us on a whirlwind tour across four continents in a powerful video that addresses the impact of fossil fuel emissions on human health, and explores collective action to protect people’s health from climate change

Climate crisis and change management in nursing: A personal journey

In this blog, Guillaume Leroux MACN, a member of the Australian College of Nursing's Climate and Health Community of Interest shares how he became a nurse climate activist.


Research, Resources and Reports


Recruiting health professionals as sustainability advocates
(Hubbert, Ahmed, Kotcher, Maibach & Sarfaty, October 2020)

In this qualitative study researchers intended to evaluate how hospital staff react to the proposition that sustainability solutions are also health solutions. Read the article in the Lancet Planetary Health Journal here (including the one-page essay they gave to staff describing sustainability solutions as health solutions)


Guidelines for sustainability in capital works, VHHSBA

These guidelines provide advice and information on how to build sustainable and resilient buildings. They are relevant to all stakeholders involved in the design, construction and refurbishment of healthcare facilities. The guidelines are applicable to all healthcare capital works delivered by the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority – new builds, retrofits and refurbishments. The guidelines have been developed specifically for Victorian public healthcare capital works but may be applicable to other public and private healthcare capital works across Australia.  Access the guidelines here.




THE PATH TO CARBON NEUTRAL: A Guide to Building a Climate-Smart Health Care System

Kaiser Permanente is the first US health system to become carbon neutral. This guide, co-authored by Kaiser Permanente and Health Care Without Harm, is intended to share the lessons from Kaiser Permanente’s journey to carbon neutrality with other health care institutions. Download the guide here.

Nursing Times: The Green Issue

The Nursing Times is a British publication. Their September issue has been themed 'the green issue' and includes many articles on sustainable nursing practice, such as this opion piece 'We can all take a role in greenin up nursing' by Heather Baid. Access is available by registering for temporary guest access (free) or subscribing.


Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service

This report provides a detailed account of the NHS’ modelling and analytics underpinning the latest NHS carbon footprint, trajectories to net zero and the interventions required to achieve that ambition. It lays out the direction, scale and pace of change. It describes an iterative and adaptive approach, which will periodically review progress and aims to increase the level of ambition over time. Acces the report here.

Exploring strategies to improve the environmental sustainability of hospital foodservices

This report outlines the aims, findings (including 24 case studies), and recommendations of a Churchill Fellowship recipient (Dr Jorja Collins) who toured the USA over 8 weeks to explore strategies to improve the environmental sustainability of hospital foodservice.

WHO Guidance for Climate Resilient and Environmentally Sustainable Health Care Facilities

The WHO guidance provides health professionals and health care facility managers with key tools and interventions to build resilience and improve environmental sustainability in health care facilities. The WHO guidance thereby aims to support health care facilities to anticipate, respond to, recover from and adapt to climate-related shocks and stresses, while minimizing negative impacts on the environment and leveraging opportunities to restore and improve it. Access the guidance 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]


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]

About CAHA

This newsletter is brought to you by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA). CAHA is Australia's national peak body on climate and health, with the mission to build a powerful health sector movement for climate action. To do this, we run a number of campaigns and programs along with our sustainable healthcare program, click the links to find out more:

If you’d like to stay in touch and see other important stories, make sure you follow CAHA on Twitter and Facebook.

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!