Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN), Australia’s largest paediatric healthcare entity, and Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) have committed to achieving net zero by 2035 and reducing their environmental impact.

The challenge was to create a clear and detailed carbon footprint for each of the over 30 health facilities, including hospitals, specialised care units and research centres.

Arup partnered with SCHN and NSLHD to measure each health district’s carbon footprint and map a pathway to net zero emissions. Our multidisciplinary team of consultants collaborated with a broad stakeholder group in each facility to understand their operations and processes. Further to a technical assessment and detailed calculations, we identified the top emissions sources and interventions towards decarbonisation.

The healthcare sector has one of the largest carbon footprints in Australia, accounting for 7% of the country’s emissions. Arup designed two decarbonisation scenarios and interventions across building energy, travel, medical gases and metered dose inhalers, water and waste.  We identified the top reduction initiatives, which will deliver more than 90% of the projected reductions by 2035. 


We designed pathways to achieve net zero by 2035 for the emissions directly controlled (scope 1 and 2), with an ambition to influence the reduction of emissions that cannot be directly controlled (scope 3). The two decarbonisation scenarios were linked to interventions organised into three time periods: now, next and future. The roadmap will help the health organisations prioritise their decarbonisation efforts.