“Using desflurane for one hour is the equivalent of flying from Sydney to Melbourne in terms of carbon emissions.
“Encouraging our colleagues to use alternative gases such as sevoflurane not only significantly decreases these emissions, but also has a large financial benefit – in 2021 we saved $100,000 by using cheaper and more sustainable alternatives.
“There is also great potential for reducing pharmaceutical wastage and improving waste segregation of general and clinical waste.”
NSLHD Planetary Health Manager Nicola Groskops is coordinating the program for NSLHD.
“We asked staff at NSLHD to submit an expression of interest in the program and we were thrilled with the response – a real indicator of how enthusiastic clinical staff are about embedding environmentally sustainable practices,” Nicola said.
“Healthcare contributes seven per cent to Australia’s carbon footprint, and clinicians are becoming more aware of this and want to address it.”
NSLHD has been actively working on its sustainability efforts, committing to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035, with most of the reduction – 70 to 80 per cent – to be achieved by 2030.
The Net Zero Leads and their projects of interest include:
- Reducing waste in theatres – Erin Foulsham
- Respiratory inhalers and opportunities for planetary health – Mellissa Batger, Dr Katrina Tonga and Dr Sophie Timmins
- Reducing nitrous oxide – Dr Penny Hodges and Dr Andrew Lindberg
- Study of single use insulin pens – Dr Lyndal Tacon
- Preventing general anaesthetic use for paediatric imaging – Dr Carola Wittekind
- Reducing calf compressor use in ICU – Louise Hansell
- Establishing a satellite spinal clinic – Patricia Schlotfeldt
- Reducing pharmaceutical waste – Sally Nicholson and Debbie Barry