Professor John Agar: Closing the eco-loop

Video recording of the first part of the interview with professor John Agar in The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 8 August 2018

In this live radio interview, professor John Agar is for the first time bringing his story out into the public arena about Barwon Health’s and Geelong Hospital’s two decadal journey into ‘green dialysis’.

There is little understanding of the vast potential for innovation in resource management across the spectrum of healthcare. Professor John Agar has been delivering more than 50 abstracts and papers on green dialysis topics at scientific meetings in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, South Korea, and Hong Kong, and he has been a ‘green dialysis’ advocate and innovator for two decades, but this is the first non-medical, non-scientific toe in the door he has been offered to generate a wider understanding of the potential for better healthcare.

Listen to the full interview:

Two slides from a powerpoint presentation by John Agar

Video recording of the last part of the interview

Green dialysis

Barwon Health offers to help patients with turning their dialysis green. The following is a quote from the John Agar’s website Green Dialysis:

“Dialysis is a resource-hungry medical therapy … in particular, the volumes of water, the demand for power, and the mountains of generated plastic waste that are central to its’ delivery. This applies, whether dialysis is delivered in a facility (= 65% of all ANZ dialysis), or in the home (= 35% of all ANZ dialysis).

The website Green Dialysis attempts to address these issues:

It seeks ways to save water.
It offers options for alternative power.
It considers options in waste management.
It even dreams of building re-design.

While the site originally arose from the ‘green experience’ of the renal service at Barwon Health in Geelong, Victoria, it is now accruing a national flavour with the support of key national renal and dialysis bodies: the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology, the Renal Society of Australasia, Kidney Health Australia, and Kidney Health New Zealand.”

» A list of journal publications are available on

Professor John Agar
John Agar

Learn more in John Agar’s 2015-review of the entire topic:

» John W. M. Agar: Green Dialysis: The Environmental Challenges Ahead (PDF)
Published in Seminars in Dialysis, Special Edition: ‘Views, Visions and Vistas in Dialysis’, March-April 2015. 28(2). Page 186–192. 

» Barwon Health’s Nocturnal Home Haemodialysis website:

Over 42 megawatts of alternative energy powers Victorian hospitals

45 Victorian health related facilities have ‘behind-the-meter’ solar power installed to reduce electricity costs and carbon emissions. The aggregated amount of installed solar in the Victorian health sector is around 2.6 megawatts – or 2,600 kilowatts.

A further 40 solar arrays, with an aggregate of 4.9 megawatts, have either been funded or procured but not yet installed.

Victorian public hospitals also use wind, water flows, organic matter and geothermal heat, cogeneration, trigeneration, biomass and solar thermal to reduce carbon emissions and manage utility costs.

» Health.vic – July 2018:
Renewable energy in hospitals

Researchers find new solutions for hospital waste

A landmark study is close to a breakthrough that would turn hospital waste into a product that could be used in agriculture or water treatment.

Researchers from Charles Sturt University, James Cook University and The University of Queensland are working with a Queensland hospital on a new way of treating hospital waste. The study is led by Charles Sturt University Institute of Land Water and Society’s Professor of Rural Health, Linda Shields, who is an honorary professor in UQ’s Faculty of Medicine.

Professor Shields said with hit ABC show ‘War on Waste’ highlighting the issue, hospital waste should not be ignored.

“Hospitals generate a huge amount of waste, and the focus of our research is to turn that waste into a resource. The project is working on a new way to treat waste, using a method of breaking it down to produce a safe, char-like material which could be used for agriculture or water treatment,” she said.

» University of Queensland – 6 August 2018:
Researchers declare war on hospital waste