In Australia it is estimated that, in a single year, air pollution from motor vehicles causes between 900 and 2,000 early deaths and between 900 and 4,500 cases of bronchitis, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, costing between $1.5 and $3.8 billion1.
The ecological footprint pilot (2011) estimated that 11 per cent of the Victorian hospital and public health environmental impact is linked to transport.
The department has produced a range of resources to reduce the environmental impacts associated with vehicle use and to encourage sustainable and active transport.
Sustainable transport in healthcare project
The Sustainable Transport in Healthcare project was funded by the department in collaboration with Peninsula Health and Eastern Health over 2020-21 to support health services develop their own sustainable travel plans.
Active City were engaged to deliver the project and conducted travel surveys and focus groups at the participating sites. This led to the development of four travel plans and a toolkit, which was also tested for applicability at a rural health service through Western District Health Service.
The resulting framework and toolkit are designed to help health services determine the most suitable approach (passive, active or comprehensive) and provide the resources to aid in the development of the plan. All the tools have also been combined into a single document for quick reference of the materials available.
The toolkit and framework support the Environmental sustainability strategy 2018–19 to 2022–23 goal for metropolitan and large regional hospitals to have sustainable travel plans by the end of 2023.
How to use the resources
Travel Plan approach
Guide to developing a travel plan, case studies and resources:
Travel Plan assessment, analysis & evaluation
Travel plan assessment:
Staff home location analysis:
Staff travel survey design, delivery and communications
Staff survey analysis report
Conducting focus groups
Travel Plan development & reporting
Develop travel plan actions, set priorities; track and report on progress
Actions - Information
Examples from other health services
Actions - Facilities
HIgh quality end of trip facilities
Actions - Programs & events
Offer discounted annual Myki tickets
Establish carpooling program
Actions - Policy
Comprehensive parking policy
Learnings and outcome
The Learnings and outcome report provides observations and recommendations on the pilot phase and recommendations for future implementation of the tools at health services.
Benefits of sustainable and active transport
Reducing car usage in favour of sustainable forms of transport improves the health of both humans and the environment.
Sustainable modes of transport include walking, cycling, public transport and carpooling. Teleworking also reduces the need for travel.
The benefits include:
- reducing transport emissions such as local pollution and greenhouse gases
- providing a more pleasant environment around the hospital and increasing the walkability of an area
- promoting a healthy workplace and workforce
- reducing local health impacts from vehicle emissions
- attracting staff
- reducing carparking demand and associated costs
- reducing social inequalities regarding access to health services
- better health outcomes for people using active transport (for example, walking, cycling, public transport) through increased physical activity
- greater social connectedness for participants
- improved neighbourhood liveability by reduced local traffic impacts
- reducing the health impacts related to air pollution
- reduced costs for staff, patients and visitors.
Sustainable transport in capital works
Zero emissions vehicles
The Victorian Government has released its Zero Emissions Vehicle Roadmap. By 2030, half of all light vehicle sales in Victoria will be zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs).
Health services may have large vehicle fleets to support service delivery. Effective fleet management can reduce costs, improve safety and reduce environmental impacts. Opportunities to reduce costs through investment in low-emissions technologies and operating practices can assist in delivering beneficial environmental outcomes whilst ensuring continued value for money.
The department has prepared a suite of resources to support health services in improving the efficiency of their fleet management; a template fleet efficiency plan and guidance on switching to hybrids and planning for electric vehicles.
Reviewed 12 August 2022