News & Media Opinion Pieces Please work to green your hospital

Please work to green your hospital


This is a resource article for those who wish to help green their hospitals

In England, the NHS has produced an extensive report “Saving carbon improving health” on reducing carbon emissions  in hospitals. I wonder how many hospital Boards in Australia follow such recommendations. These are

Energy and carbon management
Every organisation should review its energy and carbon management at Board level; develop more use of renewable energy where appropriate; measure and monitor on a whole life cycle cost basis; and ensure appropriate behaviours are encouraged in individuals as well as across the organisation.

Procurement and food
Every organisation should consider minimising wastage at the buying stage; work in partnership with suppliers to lower the carbon impact of all aspects of procurement; make decisions based on whole life cycle costs; and promote sustainable food throughout its business. In addition, the carbon footprint of pharmaceuticals within the NHS will need further research and action to produce significant reductions.

Travel and transport
Every organisation should routinely and systematically review the need for staff, patients and visitors to travel; consistently monitor business mileage; provide incentives for low carbon transport; and promote care closer to home, telemedicine, and home working opportunities.

Because water usage and heating has a direct impact on carbon, every organisation should ensure efficient use of water by measuring and monitoring its usage; by designing it into building developments; by quick operational responses to leaks; by using water efficient technology; and by avoiding the routine purchasing of bottled water.

Every organisation should monitor, report and set targets on its management of domestic and clinical waste, including minimising the creation of waste in medicines, food and ICT and review its approach to single use items versus decontamination options.

 Full recommendations at…   

Paul Roth, DEA member, has reviewed some recent literature on Australian health services. Please go to his web site

DEA is active in this area and hopes to recruit help from members. Note A paper “Sustainable Hospitals – Response to Victorian Climate Change Green Paper”.  This response to the Victorian Climate Change Green Paper aims to promulgate ideas and recommendations to help achieve large decreases in CO2 emissions, energy usage, water consumption and landfill amounts often with concurrent financial benefits.    
Authors DEA members  Forbes McGain and Eugenie Kayak

Please send to me any additional sources of information and they will be added to this resource, David Shearman