Austin Health is committed to embedding sustainable practices and projects into every aspect of our practice.
Austin has a Sustainability Unit and a Waste Unit, who look after all waste, find ways to reduce water and energy use, and create policy and plans to help us adapt for the impacts of climate change - for example, increasingly frequent asthma storm events and heat wave days.
This helps us reduce the environmental impact of health care, and enhance patient health and wellbeing.
Many of our efforts are simple and replicable in any household;
- With climate change, heatwaves are set to increase in frequency and severity. Bare concrete and brick infrastructure creates more intensive heat effects and impacts on people's mood and sense of wellbeing. Having low-maintenance, gardens with shady trees and shrubs throughout the grounds improves our microclimate and wellbeing. Our preference for indigenous and other drought-resistant plants reduces the need for watering, but also supports native birds and insects.
- Inside our buildings, we try to improve our insulation wherever possible, to make it easier to maintain comfortable temperatures year round, and reduce our expenditure on energy for heating and cooling, especially in our increasingly hot summers.
- Recycling and reducing waste is really important to us at Austin Health - we produce a lot of different types of waste, so we have a responsibility to ensure we are disposing of it as effectively and sustainably as possible.Austin Health runs initiatives year-round to increase recycling signage and education, work with suppliers to recycle their products, and increase the types of waste we can recycle, such as soft plastic.
You can read more detail about our initiatives in our Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2017-20