Department of Health

Health service environmental requirements and environmental management planning

Key messages

  • Victorian public hospitals and health services must develop an environmental management plan and publicly report on their environmental performance.
  • Use this page to access resources for health services on environmental management planning.
  • You can access a guide on Victorian public health service environmental sustainability requirements.

Victorian public hospitals and health services are required through the Department of Health and Human Services policy and funding guidelines to develop and maintain a whole-of-organisation environmental management plan and to publicly report on their environmental performance – in accordance with the department’s Environmental reporting guidelines.

We have produced resources to assist health services meet these requirements:

  • Health service environmental sustainability requirements: guide of requirements
  • Completing your environmental management plan: instructions and checklist
  • Environmental management plan template
  • Sample environmental management actions template

Environmental requirements and environmental management planning

  • The Environmental sustainability strategy 2018–19 to 2022–23 sets out the department's commitment to further improve the environmental performance of the health system.

    This is the primary guiding document for environmental sustainability, with the department's environmental management plan template providing guidance on how health services can operationalise it.

    Include all requirements below, where applicable, in the environmental management plan, which should be reviewed annually to ensure that is up-to-date [1].

    Requirement Who it applies to Summary Policy owner/ regulator Further information
    Policy and funding guidelines – environmental management plan All public hospitals and health services All health services to have an EMP in place. A template is available. DHHS

    DHHS policy and funding guidelinesExternal Link

    Policy and funding guidelines – public reporting on environmental performance All public hospitals and health services a) All health services must report their environmental data into their annual report, and DHHS

    a) Further information will be included in the Health services annual report 2019–20: Guidelines for the report of operations prior to the 2019–20 reporting period.

    [b) See Public environmental reporting on this page.

    Statement of priorities – supporting environmental sustainability All public hospitals and health services Contribute to improving the environmental sustainability of the health system by identifying and implementing projects and/or processes to reduce carbon emissions. DHHS Statement of Priorities requirements
    Sustainability guidelines for healthcare capital works DHHS/ health services All healthcare capital works delivered by the department must meet the guidelines for sustainability in healthcare capital works. DHHS Sustainability guidelinesExternal Link
    National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) Health services meeting the threshold Health services meeting certain thresholds. Use the NPI guide to determine whether your facility should report emissions and transfers of substances to the NPI. EPA NPI websiteExternal Link
    National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme Sites required to report under the NGER Act 2007 Health services can determine if they are required to report by using the ‘assess potential obligations’ from the guides and factsheet section of the NGERs website. Clean Energy Regulator

    NGER schemeExternal Link and NGER guides and factsheetsExternal Link on the Clean Energy Regulator website.

    E-waste to landfill ban All Victorians, including hospitals All appliances powered by a battery or electric cord, can no longer be disposed of in landfill and must be recycled. EPA E-waste in VictoriaExternal Link on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.
    Clinical and related waste guidelines All Victorian hospitals, health facilities All clinical waste must be disposed of according to the Clinical and related waste – operational guidance. EPA Clinical waste guidanceExternal Link on the Environmental Protection Authority website.
    PVC recycling All metropolitan health services PVC items (oxygen masks, oxygen tubing and Baxter IV bags) generated in theatre, renal and ICU must be recycled. DHHS

    Recycling in hospitalsExternal Link

    Other environmental opportunities

    This section contains non-mandatory opportunities, that health services are encouraged to review and adopt.

    Some of these may apply to the government or sector as a whole and may become mandatory in the future.

    Topic Who it applies to Summary Agency/dept Further information
    Waste audit guidelines All public hospitals and health services All health services are encouraged to use the department’s waste audit guidelines when conducting waste audits DHHS Waste audit guidelines
    Climate change adaptation plan DHHS All departments required to develop adaptation action plans under the Climate Health Act. This commences by November 2020, but the department is part of a pilot prior to the commencement of the legislation. Further information will be provided as this part of the departments work. DELWP Climate change and healthExternal Link on the Better Health Channel
    Fleet efficiency plan Victorian public hospitals All health services are encouraged to develop a fleet efficiency plan DHHS Fleet management

    [1] While best efforts are made to keep this information up to date, health services are responsible for meeting legislative requirements. If there are any requirements that are not included, please email

  • Victorian public hospitals and health services must develop and maintain a whole-of-organisation environmental management plan, and publicly report on their environmental performance.

    This is in accordance with the department's Environmental reporting guidelines.

    We have developed an environmental management plan (EMP) template to assist health services to meet these requirements. The template includes a separate customisable multiple purpose action plan, and there is a guide to help you complete the plan.

    The EMP template has minimal formatting so you can import it into your health service's visual style templates.

    Access the files via the downloads section at the bottom of this page.

  • Public environmental reporting refers to public disclosure of an organisation's environmental performance, for example, the consumption of energy and water.

    Transparency about environmental performance encourages improvements in environmental management practices.

    Environmental reporting typically involves:

    • determining the environmental issues to be reported
    • determining the reporting boundaries and materiality relating to environmental impacts
    • determining the reporting metrics and normalising factors to assess performance over time
    • collecting the data related to impacts, reporting metrics and normalising factors
    • reporting on performance.

    The Environmental reporting guidelines (see Downloads) provide direction to Victorian public hospitals and health services on how to report environmental performance.

    The guidelines set out both mandatory and voluntary reporting requirements, as well as providing principles and standards that should be used when collecting and reporting environmental performance data.

    The Environmental data management system generates an environmental performance report in accordance with the Environmental reporting guidelines.

    To access to the environmental data management system, contact your health service EDMS contact or email EDMS.

Reviewed 10 October 2022


Contact us

For advice and support about environmental sustainability in healthcare provision.

Climate Change and Environment team, Health Infrastructure Department of Health

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