Sustainable hospitals

No matter how small the actions, we can all make a difference.

Our Network’s purpose is to help children live their healthiest of lives. We want to ensure that children now and in the future, grow up in a world where they can enjoy good health and wellbeing. The healthcare sector consumes vast amounts of energy and water and generates significant volumes of waste.

As a Network, we have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment and lead the way in improving the environmental sustainability of the healthcare sector.

Sustainability highlights

Highlights from our Sustainable Hospitals program include:

SCHN Redevelopments

Sustainability has been identified as one of the key overarching principles of SCHN Redevelopments. A sustainability strategy for Stage 2 of CHW Redevelopment and Stage 1 Randwick Redevelopment has been developed, with input from a Sustainability Project Working Group representing all precinct partners.

PVC Recycling 

PVC items such as IV bags, tubing and masks are diverted from landfill and recycled into useful products such as garden hoses, children’s play mats, vinyl flooring, carpet backing and gumboots. In 2020 a total of 1.5 tonnes of PVC was collected from CHW, three times more than the previous year. This year we aim to grow our collection to 2 tonnes.

Medical equipment donations

SCHN partners with charities to redistribute medical equipment, items and furniture no longer required such as beds, ventilators, incubators, resmed machines and patient trolleys to local and overseas health facilities and community groups.

The SCHN bed re-use project featured as a finalist in the 2018 NSW Premiers Awards – Keeping Our Environment Clean category.

Active transport

A hospital bike fleet is available for staff to try cycling to and from work encouraging healthy, active transport choices.

Participation in the Biketober Business Challenge where staff cycled a total of 9,500km during the month of the challenge.

Light rail pop up stalls to promote low carbon transport choices to staff and the hospital community


Telehealth services have reduced the need to travel for patients and families, resulting in a reduction in transport-related carbon emissions. In FY19/20, close to three million kilometres in travel were avoided through the SCHN Telehealth program, which is eight times more than the previous year. 

Green Champion Network

More than 100 staff have signed up as a green champion to participate in SCHN sustainability initiatives. New staff are introduced to the SCHN Sustainability program as part of their corporate orientation.

Sustainability Advantage

SCHN is a member of the NSW Government program, Sustainability Advantage to receive tailored support in their sustainability program, and a member of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network.

BYO cup/water bottle campaign

Staff, families and patients are encouraged to bring their own drink bottle/ cup to work/appointments/overnight stays to reduce the amount of disposable items that end up in landfill. Indoor and outdoor water refill stations promote healthy drink choices and encourage staff and families to refill their drink bottles, rather than using disposable plastic bottles and cups.

Fortnightly Farmers Market

The Children's Hospital at Westmead's Fortnightly Farmers Markets now in their third year, have expanded to 13 stalls offering fresh, local produce and food to the CHW community and local area. Due to COVID-19 the markets have been put on hold.

Global, Green and Healthy Hospitals membership

We became a member of the Global, Green and Healthy Hospitals Network


Paper-use has reduced by 19% over the last four years due to many of our processes and systems now completed online.

The Sustainability Plan

The SCHN Sustainability Plan 2017-2022 provides a roadmap to achieving our goal and sets out six action areas the Network has identified as priorities — waste reduction, energy and water efficiency and reductions, sustainable transport, communication, sustainable procurement and the use of open space.