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Planetary health
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Our commitment to planetary health and environmental sustainability

As a health service with a large carbon footprint, NSLHD has a responsibility to reduce its emissions and be good stewards of our natural environment, whilst continuing to provide high-quality healthcare. The good news is that in many cases, modern, low-carbon models of care also improve patient experience and health outcomes.

In order to advocate for the highest standards of health, wellbeing and equity for our patients, staff and the community, we have identified planetary health and sustainability as a key area of focus. In 2021, NSLHD set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2035.​​​

 ​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 and inspire staff across the District and establish NSLHD as a leader in the field of environmentally sustainable healthcare. The target is based on Australian modelling and scientific evidence that rapid decarbonisation is needed to avoid climate breakdown. NSLHD will focus on ensuring that environmental sustainability is considered in everything we do.​​

What is NSLHD doing to be more sustainable?

Energy saving achievements​

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Since 2014 more than 279,876 kilowatts has been saved every hour thanks to solar, LED lighting and other measures.
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Over the last year 5000 lights were replaced at Royal North Shore Hospital, Mona Vale Hospital and Brookvale Community Health Centre with LED lights.
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The use of solar has reduced energy consumption from the grid by 1,814,356 kWh translating to a cost saving of $317,240.​

Water saving achievements​

Our hospitals have all reduced their water usage dramatically since 2015.
  • Royal North Shore Hospital: -11.5% 
  • Hornsby Hospital: -50%
  • Ryde Hospital: -2.5%
  • Macquarie Hospital: -23%
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Environmentally efficient chillers and boilers have been installed at Ryde, Macquarie and Hornsby hospitals.
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220 toilets replaced with water-saving duel flush toilets.
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60,805kg of electronic waste has been sustainably disposed of to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in landfill resulting in estimated savings of $325,000 and 2600 tonnes of carbon.​

 Our governance structure

​The NSLHD Planetary Health Committee is chaired by the Chief Executive and includes NSLHD Board Member Dr Donna Lynch. The committee provides oversight of the NSLHD Planetary Health Framework and supports achievements against our Net Zero Target.

 ​NSLHD Planetary Health Framework 2021-23

ThePDF icon​​NSLHD Planetary H​ealth Framework 2021-2023 sets out NSLHD’s commitment to continually improving and reducing our environmental footprint.

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.

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Having issues viewing the above diagram? This image can be downloaded below.​

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 is reported annually to the NSLHD Board.

These priority domains align seamlessly with our vision; ‘leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing’.​​​​​​​

 ​​What is NSLHD doing to be more sustainable?

  • Sustainability Committees at each site
  • Net Zero Clinical Group and Net Zero Leads Program
  • Calculating our carbon footprint and pathway to net zero
  • Reducing low-value care and decarbonising high-value care
  • Delivering health promotion
  • Reducing sing​le-use plastics and recycling el ectronics
  • Food composting
  • Reducing power consumption and investing in solar energy
  • Sustainable water practices

​For further information please contact​