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 Service) have recognised that they are contributing to health-harming climate change, and have committed to delivering sustainable healthcare 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.

Sustainable Healthcare Forums

OraTaiao and Sustainable Healthcare Aotearoa (formerly the Sustainable Health Sector National Network SHSNN) have hosted three national Forums on Sustainable Healthcare in Aotearoa NZ - in November 2017, May 2019, and June 2021 - and a webinar series in 2020. 

  • Recordings and presentations from the first Sustainable Healthcare in Aotearoa-New Zealand Forum (2017). See here.
  • Recordings and presentations from the second Sustainable Healthcare in Aotearoa-NZ Forum (2019). See here.
  • Recordings from Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Aotearoa Webinar Series (2020). See here.
  • Recordings and presentations from the third Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference (2021). See here. See posters here.

Sustainable Healthcare Aotearoa

  • OraTaiao works closely with 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 Healthcare Aotearoa (formerly the Sustainable Health Sector National Network). The relationship is formalised in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 

    To find out about joining Sustainable Healthcare Aotearoa please find contact details in the MOU. See here

Offset Your Unavoidable Carbon Emissions

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

Open letter to Ministers of Health and Climate Change asking for government targets on DHB emissions in Aotearoa NZ

  • In 2019 we delivered a letter signed by 900 health professionals asking for urgent policy on health sector sustainability in Aotearoa NZ. See here

Other Resources

  • Report on sustainability and carbon reduction successes in some DHBs in Aotearoa-NZ (2017). Download PDF here.
  • Practical tips on what health professionals can do to address climate change. See here.
  • How to make the health sector more sustainable and climate-friendly. See here.
  • Video on health sector sustainability at Barts NHS Trust, UK.


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