In January 2020, ANZCA released a statement on climate change.
See the full statement here. More information about ANZCA’s position on environmental sustainability can be found in its professional document PS64: Statement on Environmental Sustainability in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine Practice.
Following on from the success of the Environmental Sustainability Working Group (ESWG) the Environmental Sustainability Network (ESN) is now bening established.
The purpose of the ESN is “to advocate, collaborate and promote initiatives and projects related to environmental sustainability within anaesthesia, perioperative and pain medicine”.
The vision of the ESN is “to position ANZCA as a proactive leader and advocate in environmental sustainability”
As a member of the ESN, you will be able to:
- engage in a community of practice with others who hold similar interests and expertise in environmental sustainability
- network and engage in mentoring activities
- stay informed on the latest developments in environmental sustainability within the network
- receive invitations to attend webinars and events supported by the College
- collaborate on projects that relate to environmental sustainability
- receive consideration from the ESN Executive to promote and develop your research in environmental sustainability, including the newly created ANZCA research grant in sustainability
Details of how to become involved will be available shortly.
The Environmental Sustainability Audit Tool has been developed by the ANZCA Environmental Sustainability Working Group and was launched on World Environment Day, 5 June 2020. The tool has been created to assist departments and practitioners to develop and maintain practices that promote environmental sustainability in line with ANZCA’s professional document PS64: Statement on Environmental Sustainability in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine Practice.
While there are many actions that may be undertaken to improve sustainable practice broadly within the health sector, this audit tool is designed to help identify interventions that could reasonably be considered at an individual or departmental level.
The audit tool groups activities to improve environmental sustainability under the following headings: reduce, reuse, recycle, and leadership.
In this video, ANZCA councillor Dr Scott Ma and Wollongong-based trainee anaesthetist Dr Jess Hegedus explain how the audit tool was developed and how to use it.
Visit our Environmental Sustainability Libguide to explore an extensive range of journal articles, books, links and other resources on environmental sustainability in healthcare.
We're committed to proactive and positive action that reduces our environmental footprint and aligns with the expectations and achievements of its fellows, trainees and specialist international medical graduates.
This environmental sustainability work is ongoing and the college works with building facility companies, contractors, suppliers, venues, travel agents and the healthcare industry across Australia and New Zealand to constantly look for improvements.
Sustainability in our offices
From 2015 – 2020 the college has saved approximately seven hundred and twenty reams of paper by moving subscriptions, council elections, Research Foundation appeals and Christmas cards online. That is roughly equivalent to one acre of forest, something we are very proud of.
Our offices take part in recycling programs for e-waste, printer cartridges, paper and cardboard, comingled recycling, batteries and soft plastic. ANZCA House produces its own compost from kitchen waste to nourish its iconic cottage garden. Over the past five years almost all of the Halogen down lights and fluorescent tube lighting in ANZCA House have been replaced with more energy-efficient LED light fittings.
The college invests $A5000 annually in a government approved carbon emissions offset scheme which offsets approximately 25 per cent of emissions resulting from ANZCA-related airline travel. This supports the Australian Native Reforestation ‘Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Project’ and the New Zealand Afforestation Project.
COVID-19 has led to the advent of Zoom conferencing. Replacing travel with video conferencing has had a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions as well as substantially reducing costs.
We continue to assess ways to minimise our environmental footprint and are open to new initiatives as they become available.
Sustainability at ANZCA events
As part of the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability we have eliminated printed registration brochures, handbooks and pocket programs from Annual Scientific Meetings (ASM). The volume of paper to produce brochures and handbooks for one ASM equates to approximately eight hundred and eighty reams of paper, which is in excess of fifty trees and well in excess of an acre of forest.
The college no longer saw this as tenable and now opts for online brochures and handbooks, provides access to the ASM virtually and promotes use of the ASM app. Additionally, single use signage has been eliminated and events have moved towards digital signage.
Since 2016 some of the items eliminated from events are satchels, plastic name badges and bottled water. Delegates are encouraged to bring their own Keep Cups and use the water stations for re-filling water bottles.
The college upholds a commitment to only host events at venues that have a publicly available sustainability statement. Where possible organic waste is converted to fertiliser and green electricity. At the 2018 ASM in Sydney, unused food was sent to Australia’s leading food rescue organisation OZ Harvest, to be distributed to people in need and diverting food waste from landfill.
We continue to strive towards fostering a more sustainable future for our members and the community.
ANZCA is recognised by Carbon Neutral, Australia's largest biodiverse reforestation offset developer, for offsetting 421 tonnes of carbon emissions in 2018.
The Carbon Neutral certificate for 2018 is here and more information on Carbon Neutral can be found here.
When the Environmental Sustainability Working Group commenced in October 2019 the purpose was to raise the profile of environmental sustainability in healthcare and build strong foundations in this area, engineer and engender projects and deliver quality outcomes.
The group has well exceeded these expectations with the delivery of the Audit Tool, research projects on the Clausen hook, drug trays and low flow Sevoflurane well underway, thirteen articles printed in the ANZCA Bulletin, the advent of ANZCA House’s own closed loop recycling program and the delivery of two successful webinars with leaders in the field.
Find out more about the group's achievements in the Environmental Sustainability Working Group Final Report.
There is ongoing work to be done in this space and details of our next initiative will be available soon.