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Winners of the 2023 competition at the RMH, the 3West Sustainability Board.

Three of Parkville’s largest health services are collaborating with the University of Melbourne to improve the environmental sustainability of their healthcare delivery.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and the Royal Women’s Hospital will participate in the University of Melbourne 2024-2025 Health Services Environmental Sustainability Competition.

Each health service has been working hard to improve its environmental performance, to address the 7% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions that stem from healthcare.

Worldwide, healthcare is responsible for over 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 2% from aviation.

Dr Ben Dunne – Senior Fellow in Sustainable Healthcare, Melbourne Medical School, thoracic surgeon at both Royal Melbourne and Peter Mac, and co-convenor of Sustainable Healthcare for Doctors for the Environment Australia – initiated the Royal Melbourne’s first Environmental Sustainability Competition in 2022.

In 2023, Peter Mac and the Royal Women’s Hospital joined the competition. Cumulatively, there have been 30 competition entries, keeping 2.6 million kg of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions out of our atmosphere, over 3 tonnes of waste out of landfill and resulting in over $800,000 saved for our health services.

Dr Dunne said he's excited to read through this year's entries from across the Precinct.   

"Last year we received 12 entries from the RMH who collectively have saved 2.3 tonnes of waste, over 21 tonnes of CO2-e emissions, and over $150,000 at our services," Dr Dunne said.   

“The strength and depth of these entries really highlighted to us the passion that exists in our workforce to work collaboratively to make healthcare more sustainable,” he said.  

2024-2025 Competition

This year, Dr Sonia Chanchlani, Sustainability, Climate, and Health Senior Fellow at Melbourne Medical School, has refined the project support tools and documentation for entrants with input from the UK’s Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, based on their Sustainable Quality Improvement (SusQI) methodology.

The University will also provide SusQI training and support for entrants, along with the tailored support on offer from each health service’s Environmental Sustainability teams.

The competition opens today, 5 June with entries closing on 7 February 2025.

Winning entries will be announced in March 2025, with the judging panel, facilitated by the Climate CATCH Lab, made up of representatives from The University of Melbourne and the three health services.

For more information and support go to the University of Melbourne Health Service Sustainability Competition webpage and use this form to register your project idea.

For more information and support for the Royal Melbourne Hospital Sustainability efforts, please contact enquiries@mh.org.au.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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