District aspires to be carbon neutral by 2030
Sydney Local Health District recognises the significance of delivering sustainable healthcare, with chief executive Dr Teresa Anderson’s aspiration for the LHD to be carbon neutral by 2030.
“Our prime focus is on the health and wellbeing of our community. But, we’re also conscious of the health of our environment – where our patients and their families live and where we all come to work each day,” Dr Anderson said.
As World Environment Day is marked across the globe, the District is working towards incorporating additional sustainability measures across the organisation, facilities and services in an effort to further reduce its carbon footprint.
“Among the District’s priorities is a commitment to sustainability. I have an aspiration that the District will be carbon neutral by 2030. It’s an ambitious aim,” Dr Anderson said.
As the first step in developing the District’s new Sustainability Plan, a scoping paper has been developed which outlines the key directions, strategies and deliverables. Further work is now underway.
The District’s Sustainability Committee will play a key role in guiding the District’s future pathway towards cutting energy and water consumption and in other key areas like procurement, food and waste.
The District is making advances towards achieving its long-term goal, with energy and water efficient technologies already delivering environmental benefits as well as cost savings.
The District is progressively retrofitting buildings with energy efficient lighting with projects completed at Balmain, Canterbury, RPA, Sydney Dental and Community Health Centres.
At RPA, 26 000 fluorescent light fittings have been replaced with LEDs in 16 buildings reducing energy consumption by 6000 megawatts. It’s estimated to save more than $1 million a year on electricity costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5852 tonnes.
The ANZAC Research Institute base at Concord Hospital is next on the list.
The District is also turning to solar power with a 600kw Solar PV system at Canterbury Hospital the latest to be installed.
It’s understood to be the third largest system to be installed in a NSW LHD and is projected to save $150,000 a year on electricity costs. It’s due for completion in July.
The District is also keen to future-proof new buildings with the redevelopment of Concord Hospital incorporating ecologically sustainable design measures.
A planned high-tech Building Management System in the Clinical Services Building will automatically control and monitor heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting, resulting in energy efficiencies.
Other measures include the use of water efficient toilet cisterns and water saving sink outlets in the building’s 245 bathrooms which is estimated to save 185,000 litres of water a year.
The District’s also driving change elsewhere too, with hybrid model vehicles making up 10 per cent of the 521 fleet with another 41 set to be delivered by September this year.
In the District’s facilities, many staff are embracing innovative ways of using, conserving, recycling and up-cycling resources in their workspaces too with one team recently marking 10 years of recycling clinical waste in theatres.
“Little things can make a big difference, especially if we all pitch in,” Dr Anderson said.
“I’m keen to hear about what staff are doing in their workspaces and their ideas about how we can all work together to achieve the goal of being carbon neural by 2030,” she said.