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Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch)

Represented by Roslyn Morgan, Environmental Health Officer and Registered Nurse


How does your organisation address climate change?

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is Australia’s largest national union and professional nursing and midwifery organisation. ANMF (Vic Branch) has a membership of over 93,000 nurses, midwives, student nurses and midwives, and personal care workers, employed in a range of health services.

ANMF (Vic Branch) is committed to providing an opportunity for its members to discuss professional issues and undertake research in the pursuit of nursing and midwifery excellence and improved patient outcomes. We take seriously the request of our members to support them in the area of climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability and are invested in understanding and responding to member concerns and opportunities. 

As an organisation we have identified opportunities to reduce our own carbon footprint and develop and improve net carbon emission mitigation in support of the state governments carbon zero targets and public health and wellbeing. We actively promote action on climate change and environmental sustainability. Nurses, midwives and carers see daily the ways in which health is inextricably linked to the environment. The negative health impacts of climate change and environmental degradation affect the key social determinants of health and damage social and community structures. These negative health impacts in turn increase pressure on already burdened health services.

A resolution was passed at the 2012 ANMF (Vic Branch) Delegates Conference, requesting ANMF (Vic Branch) be more involved in policy debate on climate change and environmental issues. In response, ANMF (Vic Branch) developed multiple mitigation and sustainability initiatives and resources to support our members. These include: 

  1. Annual Health and Environmental Sustainability Conference 
  2. Biennial Health and Wellness conference 
  3. Employed an Environmental Health Officer 
  4. Green Nurses and Midwives Facebook Page 
  5. Biannual Vocational education in climate action and sustainable practice: Nursing for the Environment Intensive 
  6. Successfully lobbied government for the inclusion of Health in Victorian Waste Education Strategy and the Victorian Waste Education Officer (VWEO) role. Work with VWEO for resource development (2018-20)
  7. Worked with the Victorian Therapeutics Advisory Group to develop pharmaceutical waste guidelines (2020)
  8. Advocacy, mediation and member support in workplaces.
  9. Sustainability page of resources at ANMF (Vic Branch) internet page

ANMF has firm policy and position statements on climate change and health and the environment which the Victorian Branch has contributed to. Union solidarity motion with Strike4Climate recognises climate change presents an existential threat, being a global emergency (IPCC 2018) that requires immediate and wide-reaching action within the next decade to avoid disaster.

We have advocated to state government for Emission Reduction Targets consistent with 1.5 degrees of warming and contributed to multiple state government submissions. We work with Australian unions, building awareness of the health impacts of climate change. 

Organisationally, ANMF (Vic Branch) are award winning CitySwitch signatories and through this mechanism, annually report emissions and energy use. Water and waste data is also captured in our Environmental Management Plan which drives the action plan of the Environment Committee.

Our Melbourne office is a purpose built 5 Green Star building and in the financial year, 2019-20, we achieved a 5.5 NABERS tenancy rating.

What is your organisation doing to create a better future?

ANMF (Vic Branch) supports:

  1. Interim emission reduction targets consistent with 1.5 degrees of warming. These are outlined in a 2019 joint submission with VTHC, Submission to the enquiry into interim emissions reduction targets for Victoria, being 40-45% reduction by 2025, 67-75% reduction by 2030.
  2. An emissions reduction target for the Australian healthcare sector of net zero emissions by 2040, with an interim target of an 80% reduction on 2014/15 levels by 2030.
  3. No new coal or gas
  4. Resourcing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions that guarantee land rights and care for country
  5. The creation of jobs that fast-track solutions to the climate crisis and help communities recover
  6. Projects that transition our economy and communities to 100% renewable energy by 2030, through expanded public ownership. 

The ANMF (Vic Branch) Environmental Management Plan is overseen by the Environment Committee. ANMF (Vic Branch) continues to refresh and reinvigorate a range of ongoing member services which resource, inform and empower.

  • Annual Health and Environmental Sustainability Conference 
  • Biennial Health and Wellness Conference 
  • Green Nurses and Midwives Facebook Page 
  • Nursing for the Environment Intensive 
  • Sustainability page of resources at ANMF (Vic Branch) internet page.

We are currently developing online CPD to support the greening of healthcare. 

As CitySwitch signatories, we committed to 100% renewable energy by 2021. We have successfully implemented this in all buildings/offices where we own the energy account. We continue to report annually on our emissions and to work toward the CitySwitch commitment of zero emissions by 2050. We continue to update and implement our annual action plan derived from the Environmental Management Plan.