Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) is the primary public health and hospital service provider for Australia's Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions. As part of their sustainability efforts, in 2020, SCHHS launched different environmental leadership initiatives, including a focused committee, signing a Climate leadership pledge, and holding different sustainability forums.

These efforts led to SCHHS joining a collaborative pilot project with Griffith University and GGHH. The partnership aimed to facilitate the transition to sustainable and climate-resilient health care and contribute to the emerging evidence base. Two studies were undertaken in 2021 - 2022 as part of this project.

The first involved a comprehensive staff survey to assess attitudes, knowledge, and procedures related to waste reduction, carbon emissions, and climate readiness. The second study developed and evaluated an Environmental Sustainability Checklist for practical improvements at the ward, unit, or work-group level.

Survey and focus group responses indicated strong support from SCHHS staff for sustainable health care practices. The results highlighted the need for increased awareness, education, organizational support, better access to recycling and waste reduction opportunities, and dedicated sustainability resources and staff.

“It was a great privilege to participate in this unique project with GGHH and Griffith University. The results will help to inform our approach as we renew our Environmental Sustainability Strategy for 2030, and a foundation to strengthen our efforts towards achieving more sustainable and climate-resilient healthcare.  We’re working to embed sustainability into business as usual through ongoing leadership and collaboration with our partners and staff across our services and facilities”, Christine Garsden from Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health said.

Read the complete case study on Connect.