HSE Climate Action and Sustainability Office

Climate Action Calendar 2024

This HSE calendar is to highlight key dates to consider taking climate action. There are links within each date to illustrate awareness and training materials available for green teams in Irish healthcare facilities to take climate action. These are following the 6 priority climate action areas under the HSE’s Climate Action Strategy. For more on the strategy, see hse.ie/climateandhealth

Dates can be filtered by the 6 priority areas under the Climate Action Strategy or by topic area.

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Relevant resources:

Sustainable buildings and Energy:

  • Optimising Power at Work energy awareness campaign
  • Participate in the public sector ‘Reduce your Use’ energy awareness campaign over the winter months (October to March). See the SEAI website on how to sign up, to access awareness materials, and for case studies.
  • Contact your regional Energy Bureau Officer for the SEAI Engaging People programme which has been tailored specifically for healthcare.
  • SEAI online energy academy training which has short (15 mins to 2 hours) online, self-directed training on topics like leading sustainable change for decarbonisation, office energy efficiency, energy use in labs, energy management systems, energy audits, Ireland’s renewable energy transition, introduction to PV, eco-driving, etc.
  • The HSE Infrastructure Decarbonisation Roadmap sets out planned actions in relation to Scope 1 and 2 Green House Gas Emissions like energy retrofits, as well as other decarbonisation measures like Energy Efficient Infrastructure Design (EED) and Towards Carbon Zero Design (TCZD), training, energy teams, and metering. Contact your regional Energy Bureau Officer for more details.
  • The Big Switch Off is an energy awareness campaign run by OPW coming up to the October Bank-holiday weekend. There is a competition to see which hospital can reduce its energy use the most, as well as pledges by staff, along with engagement activities. Link: https://www.opw-energy.ie/currentfeatures/big-switch-off-winners/
  • Some examples and case studies can be found here:

    • Solar energy, lighting upgrades, and behavioural change initiatives at Naas Ambulance base
    • Significant energy users metering project
    • Cappagh hospital’s road to decarbonisation – metering, lighting, TRVs, pump replacement, staff awareness
    • Stewarts Care energy improvements – fabric upgrades, lighting, metering, solar PV
    • Pump replacement project at Cloonamahon Sligo
    • Decarbonisation work at Croom Orthopaedic hospital – heat pumps, thermostatic radiator valves, and behaviour change
    • Heat pump installation in Kenmare and Tralee
    • Fabric upgrades in Kilkreene Orthopaedic hospital
    • St Brigid’s Ardee energy improvements – heat pumps, improved heating controls, and lighting upgrades
    • St Fintan’s – LED lighting, pump upgrades, window upgrades, and staff engagement
    • St Ita’s, Knockamann – solar PV, LED lighting, and behavioural change initiatives
    • University Hospital Galway – boiler decentralisation
    • Slievenamon natural ventilation strategy
    • Energy efficient design at Newtowncunningham PCC
    • Portlaoise window bar design from EED process for greater natural ventilation
    • Water saving initiatives – water efficient showers in Cork University Hospital and water efficient taps in Sligo University Hospital
    • Staff energy awareness initiatives
  • More energy resources and tips are available from the HSE’s Climate Action and Sustainability Office, including energy efficiency checklists for wards, labs, offices, meetings, and a variety of energy efficiency posters.

Green Environment:

The HSE Sustainable Infrastructure office has green space projects on 15 pilot sites to maximise health & wellbeing benefits for patients and staff, and improve biodiversity.

The National Biodiversity Data Centre has a number of campaigns:

  • Sign up as a supporter of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, which can include healthcare facilities.
  • ‘No mow May’, a campaign run across May to help pollinators.
  • A campaign for World Bee Day, 20th May.

The National Biodiversity Data Centre has practical guides and resources including the following which would be applicable to healthcare facilities:

Irish healthcare facilities are taking action to promote biodiversity, along with green spaces for physical and mental wellbeing. Some examples are as follows:

  • Mayo University Hospital is drawing up a biodiversity plan for their campus.
  • Sligo University Hospital herb garden for renal patients

Relevant resources:

Relevant resources:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency has produced mandatory guidance and training on green public procurement for 10 key product and service categories and the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) has these in searchable format.
  • Various green procurement resources compiled by the HSE’s Climate Action & Sustainability Office.

Relevant resources:

  • Irish Doctors for the Environment – Sustainable healthcare introductory guide which covers healthcare waste, anaesthetic gases, pharmaceutical waste & antimicrobial resistance, inhaler prescribing and recycling, sustainable diets, and active transport.
  • Irish Doctors for the Environment – the green inhaler toolkit which includes a brief pocket guide to being a green prescriber: inhalers; a device choice and technique table; and an evidence-based guide to being a green prescriber: inhalers.
  • Irish Doctors for the Environment – Climate conversations – a series of podcasts with various health professionals, covering topics related to healthcare and sustainability.

Relevant resources:


  • Water efficiency online training on technical actions for a hospital-specific Water Conservation Action Plan.
  • Uisce Éireann’s Water Stewardship Programme for training on water quality and conservation.
  • HSE’s Water Efficiency Guide for Healthcare facilities. The Water Efficiency Guide sets out how to systematically examine water use in your healthcare facility and how to make efficiency changes to save energy and water without impacting services.
  • Efficient water fixtures and fittings are saving hospitals both energy and water costs. See examples of more efficient taps in Sligo University Hospital and showers in Cork University Hospital.
  • See how tracking and benchmarking your hospital’s water use can lead to identifying and fixing leaks, like at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown.

Hospitals use reverse osmosis to prepare ultra-pure water for applications like sterile services and for dialysis. Find out how to harvest unused water from such systems for reuse elsewhere in your hospital, with an example from Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore.

Waste Management:

Reduce and reuse:

  • Bio-systems reusable risk waste containers for Acute vvHospitals.
  • Case Study – reusable coffee cups in acute hospitals.
  • Posters and a short video clip to promote the use of reusables in healthcare facilities
  • Guide for reducing single use plastics

Food waste:

  • Training is available on reducing food waste in healthcare, both online and in-person for catering staff.
  • The HSE is required to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030 as a public sector obligation. See a guide to reducing food waste in healthcare.
  • The EPA national food waste prevention roadmap includes actions on food waste prevention.
  • For the EPA’s Food Waste Charter, organisations that sign up commit to tracking and reporting on food waste and taking action on reduction.
  • Bin stickers for bins to help food waste segregation.
  • Posters to help segregate waste correctly, including for food waste into brown bins, are available.
  • Various resources for work and home on www.stopfoodwaste.ie including:
      Eating in season is a great way to reduce the overall environmental impact of what we eat – see the Stop Food Waste Seasonal calendar.
      The A – Z of food which sets out how to store, freeze and prepare all types of foods to help reduce food waste.

Healthcare risk waste:

  • Bio-systems reusable risk waste containers for Acute Hospitals.
  • Free healthcare risk waste segregation training from Stericycle: – on-line & in-person training – classroom or ward-based
  • Training available on reducing healthcare risk waste and costs, contact climate.action@hse.ie
  • Guide on good practice in bin placement – how to optimise the types, locations and size of bins in terms of yellow risk waste bins, general waste bins, and recycling bins.
  • A list of best practices in Irish hospitals in terms of measures to reduce healthcare risk waste amounts and increase recycling.


  • Monthly Training outlining healthcare specific good practices on waste reduction and increasing recycling from observations in healthcare facilities. The overall aim of the training is to provide a non-technical overview of healthcare waste reduction.
  • Available to all HSE staff or budget holders in a hospital or community health setting responsible for waste and HSE Green Team members.
  • Bin stickers and Posters for recycling bins, general waste bins, and food bins to help show staff how to segregate waste correctly.
  • Guide on good practice in bin placement – how to optimise the types, locations and size of bins in terms of yellow risk waste bins, general waste bins and recycling bins.

Relevant resources:

  • HSE Infrastructure Decarbonisation Roadmap.