Health Sector Carbon Reduction and Sustainability

The health sector has a large carbon (and other greenhouse gas) emissions footprint, from energy use, travel, waste, and resource use. 

Health systems around the world (e.g. the UK National Health System) have recognised that they are contributing to health-harming climate change, and have committed to delivering climate-friendly services into the future. The 2020 Healthcare Climate Challenge is a leadership pledge by Hospitals, Health Centers and Health Systems from across the globe, see here.

Beyond climate-protection, carbon reduction and sustainability in the health sector can deliver many benefits to the health sector such as cost savings, quality improvements, and health gains for staff and the wider community, more info here.

The Sustainable Health Sector National Network NZ

  • OraTaiao supports a network of health professionals around Aotearoa that are working to embed carbon reduction and sustainability into the NZ health sector. This group is called the Sustainable Health Sector National Network (NZ). Please contact us if you would like to join this network, or would like help getting started with your organisation.

Sustainable Healthcare in Aotearoa-New Zealand Forum, 24th November 2017 - Recordings and Presentations

Introduction and Mihi - Dr Rhys Jones, Dr Alex Macmillan, Dr David Galler Presentation

The Big Picture Context Around Climate Action & Sustainability in the Health Sector - Prof Sir Muir Gray Presentation

Impacts of Climate Change in NZ and the Deep South National Science Challenge - Dr Mike Williams Presentation

Implications for Health Effects of Climate Change in NZ and for Health Sector Adaptation - Dr Alex Macmillan Presentation

Co-benefits of Climate Action & Sustainability in the Health Sector - Dr Hayley Bennett Presentation

Getting Started with DHB Sustainability - Margriet Geesink - Presentation

Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Anaesthesia - Dr Rob Burrell - Presentation

Climate Smart Hospital Redevelopment - Dr Matt Jenks - Presentation

DHB Travel Planning - Valentino Luna-Hernandez - Presentation

Primary Care Climate and Sustainability Action - Dr Rebecca Randerson - Presentation

Waitakere Hospital Woodford Gardens - William Van Ausdal - Powerpoint

Preparing for the Health Impacts of Climate Change - Dr Richard Jaine - Presentation

Sustainability Impacts of Our Daily Clinical Decisions - Dr Forbes McGain - Presentation

Successes in DHB Sustainability Report - Dr Gay Keating - Presentation

Measuring the Success of Climate and Sustainability Action in DHBs - Debbie Wilson - Presentation

Tips for Getting DHB Leadership on Board - Dr David Galler - Presentation

NZ Green Building Council Green Star Performance Tool for Assessing Health Buildings - Sam Archer - Presentation

Energy Efficiency in the Health Sector - Graham Dray - Presentation

Address by Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter - Presentation

Closing/Whakamutunga - Dr Rhys Jones - Presentation


Offset Your Unavoidable Carbon Emissions

  • In 2013 OraTaiao launched Forests for Health NZ (FFH) as a way for health professionals to offset their carbon emissions. Details about FFH here. Offset carbon emissions here

Other Resources

See here for a report on sustainability and carbon reduction successes in some DHBs in Aotearoa-NZ

See here for practical tips on what health professionals can do to address climate change.

See here for resources on how to make the health sector more sustainable and climate-friendly.

Video on health sector sustainability at Barts NHS Trust, UK.

‘Healthy Climate, Healthy People’


© 2017 OraTaiao: New Zealand Climate and Health Council. Some rights reserved