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District joins Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network

District outlines six key environmental goals.


Membership certificate graphic

Sydney Local Health District has joined the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network as a sign of its commitment to sustainability in healthcare.

The Network is a global organisation whose members are dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of the healthcare sector. There are 1,450 members in 72 countries.

Every member has to commit to at least two of the Network’s 10 goals which are designed to deliver environmentally sustainable healthcare.

The District’s Sustainability Committee has identified six key goals.

“We have chosen to focus on energy, purchasing, waste, water, buildings and transportation,” Troy McIntyre, the District’s Energy Manager, said.

Under the Network’s sustainability agenda, action items in these areas include:

  • Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and increasing the use of renewable sources of energy
  • Buying safer and more sustainable products and materials
  • Reducing, treating and safely disposing of healthcare waste
  • Implementing water conservation strategies
  • Adopting the use of “green building” tools in building design and construction
  • Enhancing transportation strategies for patients and staff

“The Sustainability Committee is collaborating with teams in our facilities and services to pinpoint ways we’re able to meet these goals over time and reduce our environmental impact,” Mr McIntyre said.

The District has already introduced sustainability measures across its facilities and services in an effort to further reduce its carbon footprint.

“One of our latest projects has been to replace 1400 fluorescent lights with energy efficient LEDs in two buildings at Concord Hospital.

“It’s calculated to save more than 250-tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions every year. It’ll also cut our electricity bill by close to $60 000 annually,” Mr McIntyre said.

The District is also turning to solar power with a 600kw Solar PV system at Canterbury Hospital the latest to be installed.

It’s estimated to save more than 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and will also save about $130 000 in electricity costs.

The District has also begun to changeover to some biodegradable and compostable clinical consumables including medicine cups, denture cups and pill cups.

The move has resulted in the District now using 2,185,100 items that are biodegradable, compostable or recyclable each year instead - which is also delivering annual savings of about $45,000.

And, there are programs to reduce clinical waste in theatres and to recycle PVC (polyvinyl chloride) used for IV fluid bags, oxygen tubing, masks and irrigation bags.

The District’s next projects include the further rollout of LED lighting upgrades, the installation of additional rooftop solar systems and rainwater harvesting, with tanks installed to collect water for use on the District’s gardens.