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Planetary health
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Our commitment to planetary health and sustainability

As a health service with a large carbon footprint, Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) has a responsibility to mitigate the effects of climate change whilst continuing to provide high-quality healthcare.

In order to advocate for the highest standards of health, wellbeing and equity for our patients, staff and the community, NSLHD has identified planetary health and sustainability as a key area of focus.


What is planetary health?

Planetary health is a relatively new field and recognises the inextricable link between the health of our planet and the health of human civilisation.

Planetary health is defined as the “highest attainable standard of health, wellbeing and equity through judicious attention to the human systems – political, economic, and social – that shape the future of humanity and the earth's natural systems" (The Lancet, 2015).

NSLHD recognises the importance of planetary health and realise that as stewards of the natural ecosystem, it is critical that we balance advocating for the highest standards of health and wellbeing for our community whilst contributing to a healthier environment.


We have committed to net zero by 2035

NSLHD has committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2035, with most of the reduction – 70-80 per cent – to be achieved by 2030. The bold target has been set to engage, unite and inspire staff in all areas across the district to focus on a unified ambition and establish NSLHD as a leader in the space. The target is based on Australian modelling and scientific evidence that rapid decarbonisation is needed to avoid climate breakdown. NSLHD will now focus on ensuring that sustainability is considered in everything we do. ​

We have joined Global Green and Healthy Hospitals

In 2021, NSLHD joined Health Care Without Harm's Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) Networkto further promote our commitment to planetary health and sustainability

The network brings together over 43,000 hospitals across the world to foster and promote a healthy, sustainable future. We have committed to two of the GGHH agenda goals: leadership and waste.


What is NSLHD doing to be more sustainable?

There are a number of planetary health initiatives underway across our district. Some of our achievements include:

Reducing power consumption 

​Over the last five years, NSLHD has replaced over 5000 lights with LED panels. This has reduced power consumption for lighting by 65 per cent.

Introducing 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 

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.

Mona Vale Hospital's newest inpatient building has also been equipped with a rooftop solar energy system.


NSLHD Planetary Health Framework 2021-23

The PDF icon NSLHD Planetary Health Framework 2021-2023 sets out the district's commitment to continually improving and reducing our environmental footprint and subsequent impact on the environment and climate change.

To achieve this vision, five priority domains have been identified: sustainable organisation, capital works and procurement, people and places, models of care and waste management and resource recovery.

The priority domains shown in a pie graph image 


Each priority domain is underpinned by the economic, social and governance systems that shape the actions affecting our natural systems and planetary health.

Oversight of the framework is the responsibility of the NSLHD Planetary Health Committee and progress against the framework will be reported annually to the NSLHD Board.


What is the NSLHD Planetary Health Committee?

The NSLHD Planetary Health Committee is NSLHD's peak planetary health and sustainability governance body.

The committee holds responsibility for maintaining oversight of the priority domains outlined in the framework and for driving NSLHD's planetary health agenda.

Every hospital in NSLHD has a Sustainability Committee with local representation that reports into the NSLHD Planetary Health Committee.



For further information please contact [email protected]