B.9 - Ecologically Sustainable Development


ACT Health is responsible for reporting against the following recommendations from the State of the Environment Report 2011:

  • Recommendation 9: To improve knowledge of our indoor air quality, the Chief Health Officer should consider the health impact of indoor air quality in the ACT in the 2014 Chief Health Officer Report.

    Progress: The Chief Health Officer decided against including the health impact of indoor air quality in the ACT in the Chief Health Officer’s Report 2014. It is not considered a health priority at present.

  • Recommendation 10(ii): Improve local air quality outdoors through installing and operating a second performance air monitoring station to ensure that the ACT is compliant with NEPM standards.

    Progress: The Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM) Performance Monitoring Station (PMS) at Florey is fully operational and the ACT is now compliant with the AAQ NEPM.

  • Recommendation 10 (iii): Improve local air quality outdoors, through determining the feasibility, including costs, of mobile monitoring of appropriate ambient air quality NEPM standards at locations in and around Canberra.

    Progress: This recommendation is not supported. ACT Health has examined the feasibility of this recommendation and determined that it would be cost-prohibitive and the quality of obtained data would be insufficient for any meaningful evaluation or policy making.

ACT Health actively supports whole-of-government and continues to work towards embedding sustainability initiatives into the delivery of service to achieve the ACT Government’s target of zero net emissions by 2020.

ACT Health has developed policies, programs and plans to promote Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD), including economic, social and environmental considerations in decision-making processes, as required by the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010 and the Environment Protection Act 1997.

ACT Health actively participates in the ACT Government Carbon Neutral Government Implementation Committee and Buildings and Infrastructure Sub Committee.

In 2014–15, ACT Health’s contribution to the Carbon Neutral Government Fund (CNGF) was calculated at $98,570. The contribution was made as part of Cabinet’s decision to reallocate out-year GreenPower purchases, to allow energy efficiency projects to be implemented across ACT Government.

ACT Health commenced work to renew its Sustainability Strategy, Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Principles and Guidelines – Building and Infrastructure Projects documents. The Sustainability Strategy Action Plan is being rolled into the RMP.

ACT Health provided a supported framework for staff to set up Green Teams.


ACT Health began using the Enterprise Sustainability Platform (ESP) database to capture data for analysis and reporting purposes and to inform operational management of trends and potential energy usage reduction strategies.

A Sustainability Committee (the Health Planning and Infrastructure Sustainability Reference Group) has been established within ACT Health to review the energy efficiency and whole-of-life costing of building elements of all new builds. This aims to assist in reducing carbon emissions.

A feasibility study was undertaken to support an application to the CNGF to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the southern multi-storey car park at Canberra Hospital, in conjunction with rolling out LED lighting to buildings on the hospital campus. The application to the CNGF was submitted in May 2015.

Initiatives incorporated into the various ACT Health new building projects, upgrades and improvements, aimed at reducing carbon emissions include:

  • installing energy efficient lighting, including emergency lighting

  • installing motion sensors for lighting in office areas

  • installing energy efficient window glazing, including double glazing in some areas

  • installing intelligent networked lighting controls

  • using paints, glues and sealants with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)

  • replacing the old boiler system for heating and old chiller units with high efficiency Variable Air Volume (VRV) units (at Tuggeranong only)

  • assessing the economy mode usage on damper air intake of air conditioning

  • implementing a new Building IQ system and building analytical software to improve the use of utilities in Property Management and Maintenance

  • analysing the ACTSmart Enterprise Sustainable Platform to help identify saving opportunities.


The clinical and domestic services delivered by ACT Health rely heavily on water usage, including:

  • patients showers

  • theatre operations

  • sterilising surgical equipment.

Efficient water initiatives incorporated into the various ACT Health new buildings, upgrades and improvements aimed at reducing water usage include:

  • re-using Reverse Osmosis (RO) water from the renal process in the toilet facilities at identified community health centres

  • installing flow restrictors on a range of plumbing fixtures, for example, showers, hand basins and toilets

  • installing motion sensors where applicable, while considering infection control issues

  • considering the water usage star rating when replacing old, broken or obsolete equipment, where practical

  • replacing heating pipe work and associated works at Canberra Hospital, in accordance with the preventative maintenance schedule

  • upgrading boilers at Canberra Hospital

  • continuing restrictions on the use of potable (drinkable) water for outside watering at all ACT Health facilities

  • deactivating all garden sprinklers and decommissioning fountains

  • conducting metering analysis of water utilisation at Canberra Hospital and reporting on any anomalies

  • continuing tank water usage for outdoor garden watering and external washing of facilities, buildings and pavements, where tanks are installed

  • analysing the ACTSmart Enterprise Sustainable Platform to help identify saving opportunities.


ACT Health is deploying the ACTSmart Recycling Program across both acute and non-acute sites. In 2015, the ACTSmart Online Recycling Training was made available to staff. It provides education and guidance on the impacts and outcomes the program can deliver at health sites to improve resource recovery and reduce waste.

ACT Health, the Auditor’s Office and Community Services Directorate, all located at 11 Moore Street, submitted a nomination in the Corporate category of the ACTSmart Awards 2015. The three directorates applied a collaborative approach to implementing sustainable waste management within the building, including separating:

  • organic waste

  • mixed-recyclables

  • land-fill.

The application was not successful this year.


ACT Health currently has three electric vehicles in its fleet. We continue to explore opportunities to include additional electric vehicles and additional charge stations at key ACT Health facilities to support these vehicles. The total fleet is 321 vehicles.

ACT Health assesses replacement vehicles for efficiencies, both fuel and greenhouse gas emissions, when vehicle replacement occurs.

Staff are encouraged to use active travel (walk, bus or bike) for trips less than four kilometres instead of using motor vehicles.

Fuel usages decreased during the 2014–15 financial year.

More information: For more information, see Table 51 below.

ACT Health continues to encourage staff car pooling and has designated car parks spaces at Canberra Hospital for those staff who participate in this option.

Sustainable development performance

Table 51: ACT Health operational consumption of resources

Indicator as at 30 June


Previous FY (2013-14)

Current FY (2014-15)

Percentage Change

Agency staff and area





Agency staff





Agency staff





Workplace floor area

Area (m2)




Stationary energy usage





Electricity use

Kilowatt hours




Renewable electricity use

Kilowatt hours




Natural gas use




- 0.77%

Transport fuel usage





Total number of vehicles





Total kilometres travelled





Fuel use – Petrol





Fuel use – Diesel





Fuel use – Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)





Fuel use – Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)





Water usage





Water use





Resource efficiency and waste





Reams of paper purchased





Recycled content of paper purchased





Waste to landfill





Co‐mingled material recycled





Paper and Cardboard recycled (incl. secure paper)





Organic material recycled





Greenhouse gas emissions





Emissions from stationary energy use

Tonnes CO2‐e




Emissions from transport 

Tonnes CO2‐e




Total emissions

Tonnes CO2‐e





[1] Canberra Hospital meter readings in the first five months of 2013–14 reading 4,680,842kWh, or 35 per cent, less than reported in 2012–13 due to electrical meter irregularity.


[2] The increase in energy usage for 2014–15 is associated with activity and infrastructure growth across all of ACT Health, for example the Canberra Region Cancer Centre and Walk in Centres at Belconnen and Tuggeranong becoming operational.

[3] Not being reported at Directorate level, only reported at whole-of-government level.

[4] Figure for 2014–15 is inclusive of two electric vehicles.

[5] Reduction due to completion of building construction at acute and non-acute sites plus introduction of water efficient measures, such as fittings and newer plant.

[6] Figure reflects an increase of paper reams purchased associated with increased headcount/activity growth across all of Health.

[7] 2014–15 waste to landfill litres reflects an increase of 2,475,280 litres (11.63 per cent) when compared to 2013–14 due to increased activity and infrastructure growth.

[8] In 2014–15, ACT Health increased paper and cardboard recycling by 141,217 litres (or 14.50 per cent) when compared to 2013–14.

[9] Replaces incorrect 2013–14 figure of 8,012 litres (calculation error), which was to represent 11 Moore St outputs only. 4,910 litres includes eight months data for 1 Moore Street and 12 months data for 11 Moore Street.

[10] 7,262 litres for 2014–15 includes 12 months data for 1 Moore Street and 11 Moore Street.

[11] ACT Health reduced its overall emissions across all scopes in 2014–15 against a 5.77 per cent increase in workplace floor area.