Environmental sustainability in general practice

Key actions for practice owners to create an environmentally sustainable general practice

Last revised: 12 Jul 2022

Your practice team can support existing sustainability measures and actively contribute to minimising the environmental footprint of your practice. Sustainability and personal agency must be embedded within relevant aspects of the practice and clearly communicated to promote the workplace culture. Practice change occurs when the whole practice buys in and changes are understood and easily implemented.

Many options, tools and resources are available for you to start your journey towards more sustainable clinical practice. The important thing is to pick an area that resonates and make a start. (17)

As general energy use makes up the largest component of the non‑clinical carbon footprint of general practice, we have some suggestions for how your practice might avoid unnecessary energy use and increase efficiency. These actions can save both carbon and money. The key areas of focus are heating/cooling, appliances and lighting. You can also find general energy management advice for Australian businesses on the Energy management for business webpage.

Other areas the offer potential to boost environmental sustainability in your practice include:

  • travel (including use of hybrid/electric vehicles)
  • professional services
  • reduced paper usage
  • recycling practices
  • water
  • food waste
  • business management • disaster management
  • workplace culture.