2022 - Year in Review

An Australian-first: NSLHD embarks on net zero program

Clinicians have put up their hand to focus on sustainability initiatives as part of an Australian- first net zero program. A group of 12 nurses, doctors, pharmacists and allied health staff from three NSLHD hospitals will dedicate half-or one-day a week to be part of the NSLHD Net Zero Leads Program. Northern Sydney is the first local health service in Australia to establish such a program as part of an Australian-first sustainability program funded by NSLHD’s charity partner, the NORTH Foundation. RNSH anaesthetist Dr Penny Hodges never considered a role like this would be possible. She shares the net zero lead position with a colleague, each dedicating one day to it every fortnight. Penny said the opportunity to focus on sustainability alongside her clinical role was going to help her engage and empower colleagues to make sustainability a priority. “Being able to become a ‘green’ champion for the anaesthetics department is something very different to my day job and I am really excited about it,” Penny said. “We know anaesthetic gases represent 5 per cent of our hospital’s carbon footprint and our department has already

NSLHD Net Zero Program leads

been working to reduce this by educating our colleagues to use alternative gases that are less harmful to the environment. “Using desflurane for one hour is the equivalent of flying from Sydney to Melbourne in terms of carbon emissions. alternative gases such as sevoflurane not only significantly decreases these emissions, but also has a large financial using cheaper and more sustainable alternatives. “There is also great potential for reducing pharmaceutical wastage and improving waste segregation of general and clinical waste.” “Encouraging our colleagues to use benefit – in 2021 we saved $100,000 by

NSLHD Planetary Health Manager Nicola Groskops coordinates 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. “It’s exciting NSLHD is the first health service in Australia to undertake a program of this nature with such enthusiastic and passionate leads from different clinical areas. “Healthcare contributes 7 per cent to Australia’s carbon footprint, and clinicians are becoming more aware of this and want to address it.” NSLHD has committed to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035, with most of the reduction – 70 to 80 per cent – to be achieved by 2030.

5000 LEDs replaced last year

220 toilets replaced with water-saving duel flush toilets

60,805 kg of electronic waste has been disposed of sustainably to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in landfill

resulting in estimated savings of $325,000 and 2600 tonnes of carbon

NSLHD 2022 Year in Review


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