Healthcare Carbon Literacy Workshop

Climate change impacts health and wellbeing, yet the Australian healthcare sector is estimated to be the source of over 7% of Australia’s total carbon emissions. As health services begin to reduce their carbon emissions, it is important that decision makers and clinicians gain an understanding of how carbon footprints are determined at the national, organisational and product levels, as well as having the ability to critique the ever-increasing quantity of carbon footprints using life-cycle assessments (LCA) being published in medical journals.

A cartoon image of various hands holding up symbols of environmental sustainability, including a water drop, a plant pot, a wind turbine, and a lightbulb. Develop an understanding of carbon footprints in healthcare settings.

This in-person workshop and masterclass will involve detailed presentations and facilitated discussion by leading Australian experts in the field.

The program includes:

  • A Healthcare Carbon Literacy Workshop (morning)
  • Life Cycle Assessment Critique Masterclass (optional, to follow lunch).

Healthcare Carbon Literacy Workshop

When: 8:00am to 12:45pm
Where: Forum 1, Melbourne Connect, 700 Swanston St, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC
Cost: $600 ($300 for students, trainees and allied health) morning tea and lunch included


Participants can expect to gain knowledge of:

  • Healthcare carbon literacy and its importance
  • The purpose and comparisons of different healthcare carbon footprint analysis methodologies
  • In-depth understanding of national, state (analysis of publications) and organisational (presentation of results) level healthcare carbon footprints
  • Life cycle thinking
  • An understanding of the critical components of a LCA
  • Practical implications of clinical LCAs.

Life-Cycle Assessment Critique Master Class

Prerequisite: Participants are required to attend the morning session
When: 12:45pm to 15:45pm
Where: Forum 1, Melbourne Connect, 700 Swanston St, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC
Cost: $200 ($100 for students, trainees and allied health) afternoon tea included


Using the framework of ISO 14040 (Life-cycle assessment – principles and framework), we will be critiquing four published LCA papers from medical journals to determine what makes a high-quality paper.

Participants can expect to gain knowledge of:

  • The importance of goals and scope, system boundaries, and functional unit selection
  • Data quality for life-cycle inventories
  • Integration of economic input-output data with process LCA data
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Uncertainty analysis

Who you will learn from

Dr Scott McAlister

Scott is a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne. Since 2005 he has worked as a consultant, undertaking environmental life-cycle assessments for a wide variety of industries. Starting in 2009, he became involved in performing assessments in healthcare, and subsequently authored and co-authored papers on the environmental impacts of a range of medical devices and interventions. 

Leading on from this, Scott recently completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne on decarbonising healthcare. His research focused on how to incorporate carbon impacts into health technology assessments, calculating the carbon footprint of pathology testing and diagnostic imaging, the environmental and economic benefits of reducing pathology testing in hospital departments, and the incidence of unnecessary preoperative pathology testing. His work is currently focused on the carbon impacts of low-value care.

Associate Professor Forbes McGain

Forbes McGain is the inaugural Associate Dean Healthcare Sustainability of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He is an anaesthetist and intensive care physician at Western Health, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney. 

He enjoys being involved in research and teaching both in hospital settings and at universities. Forbes remains passionate about making seemingly small environmental sustainability changes to how medicine is practiced that become magnified through scaling. His love of nature affects everything he does at work, home, and well, anywhere…

Professor Eugenie Kayak

Eugenie Kayak (FANZCA, MBBS, MSc, MPH) is the Enterprise Professor in Sustainable Healthcare in the  Melbourne Medical School.

Professor Kayak is a consultant anaesthetist at Austin and Alfred Health and in private practice. She is a member of the Chief Medical Officer Advisory Group for the development of the National Health and Climate Strategy and Convenor of National Sustainable Health Care for Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA).

Professor Kayak has worked with DEA, her own specialty, the AMA, and the wider medical profession for over a decade to raise awareness of and address the health impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, including health care’s own impact.

Work with the AMA has resulted in a collaboration calling for the Australian healthcare sector to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and engagement of Australia’s specialist medical colleges to advocate for action from government and the health sector.

Who is this course for?

Both the workshop and masterclass are designed for all healthcare professionals, academics, researchers, managers and policy makers seeking a comprehensive understanding of healthcare carbon hotspots and life-cycle assessment methodologies and interpretation. Participants will learn to critically analyse relevant studies and publications to assist in the evidence based impactful advances urgently needed to address healthcare’s carbon footprint.


Register for the Workshop (morning)
Register for the LCA Masterclass (afternoon) 
Note: Participants for the Masterclass are required to attend the morning session. Masterclass numbers will be capped at 32 participants, so register early to avoid disappointment.