Health care accounts for 7% of Australia’s carbon emissions. Of this, anaesthetic gases account for 5% of an acute hospitals carbon footprint. NSW Health is aiming to achieve Net Zero by 2035 and has selected RNSH as a site to start tackling the issue. This is exciting but also presents a range of challenges. Dr Penny Hodges and Dr Andrew Lindberg are both anaesthetists at RNSH and are the joint net zero leads for anaesthesia at RNSH. Along with Dr Daniel Moi, the environmental fellow, we are embarking on a range of projects including reducing nitrous oxide leaks from piped infrastructure and destruction of volatile anaesthetic gases. Nitrous oxide is a potent green house gas and depletes the ozone layer. In some hospitals 90% of nitrous oxide is wasted straight into the atmosphere via leaks. Reducing this will result in a significant reduction in RNSH’s carbon footprint. Achieving Net Zero by 2035 is a large undertaking – if you are interested in the environment and anaesthesia and would like to help out please get in touch.
- Desflurane / N2O reduction (2021) – Dr Max Benness