NSLHD Planetary Health Framework 2021-23
To achieve this vision, five priority domains have been identified: sustainable organisation, waste management and resource recovery, capital works and procurement, people and places and models of care. These domains will underpin decisions made in relation to the implementation and endorsement of new planetary health related initiatives.
What is NSLHD doing to be more sustainable?
Net Zero Working Group and Net Zero Leads Program
NSLHD has formed a Net Zero Working Group comprised of passionate and engaged NSLHD clinicians and Northern Clinical School medical students.
Supported by the NORTH Foundation, NSLHD is also establishing a ‘Net Zero Leads Program’ to support existing NSLHD staff to lead and coordinate net zero projects in their service or specialty. There will be up to five positions supported on a fractional basis across clinical areas including anaesthetics, respiratory, surgery, nursing and pharmacy. These senior positions lead and coordinate ‘Net Zero Teams’ that conduct action research projects to re-think and re-imagine their service or specialty with a net zero lens. The NSLHD Net Zero Leads Program will provide professional development opportunities for clinicians to support them to direct and coordinate these projects.
Across NSLHD, electronic equipment such as laptops, batteries, power cables and photocopiers are sustainably recycled. Over 12 months, 60,805 kilograms of electronic waste has been disposed of sustainably to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in landfill.
Ryde Hospital uses a ‘food muncher’ to convert approximately 6.2 tonnes of food waste each year into compost to fertilise the Hospital’s gardens. The volume of waste going to landfill has decreased by 10.2 tonnes per year, reducing the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.
Reducing power consumption
Recently, NSLHD has replaced over 10,000 lights with energy efficient LED technology. This has reduced the energy consumption of the lights replaced by up to 80 per cent. This is estimated to save $325,700 and reduce carbon emissions by 2600 tonnes every year.
Anaesthetic gases represent 5% of a hospital’s carbon footprint. One anaesthetic gas, desflurane, is environmentally damaging and also expensive. By shifting towards other clinically equivalent alternatives, our anaesthetists have reduced carbon emissions and saved nearly $100,000 in costs.
Reducing inappropriate blood tests
Royal North Shore Hospital ICU reduced inappropriate arterial bloods gas testing by over 70% with no change in patient outcomes. This resulted in an annual saving of 100L blood and $770,000.
Water sustainable practices
Across our hospitals and services, 220 toilets have been replaced with water saving duel flush toilets. Water reducing devices have been installed in over 700 basin taps and 17 energy efficient boilers have been installed.
Investing in solar energy
The Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital solar panel installation is one of the largest hospital solar panel installations in Australia, saving over 900 tonnes of carbon emissions and producing over one million kilowatthours (kWh) of power per year. The total solar power output across the district is currently 1.265 megawatts-peak (MWp) and planning is underway to double this figure by 2024.
NSLHD teams are also exploring a number of other projects, such as switching to lower carbon respiratory inhalers, reducing waste in our clinics, and increasing our use of telehealth to reduce the carbon footprint of travelling locally and to international conferences.
There is also significant consultation underway to imbed planetary health initiatives in the planning for the Ryde Hospital Redevelopment as it contributes to NSLHD’s target of Net Zero by 2035.
Click here for information on NSW Health’s sustainability initiatives
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