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Applying an appreciative process to explore environmentally sustainable resource use in Northern Health Authority (NHA).
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Abstract This action-oriented research appreciatively explored the perspectives of healthcare workers in the Northern Health Authority (NHA) and their approaches to creating environmental wins through initiative and creativity within their work environment. The research involved an anonymous online survey with thematic content analysis, a focus group, and interviews, which adhered to the research ethics policies for both Royal Roads University and Northern Health Authority. An extensive literature review compared and contrasted the themes that emerged in the findings of this inquiry and generally supported the research findings. A scan of the literature on sustainability actions for local health organizations identified topics such as comparing single-use versus cleaning and recycling multi-use equipment, such as PPE. A few studies supported improved ecological outcomes for multi-use items—these outcomes were preferred by NHA participants in this study. There were many studies in the literature showing that a move to single-use equipment, for items such as PPE, may not only be superior for safety reasons but also environmental sustainability. Participants want to see NHA become a leader in environmental sustainability. Staff have initiated several highly practical environmental sustainability projects on their own and with little fanfare. The individual health practitioners are proud of their initiatives and can point to savings and improved ecological outcomes. This project has the potential to be scaled up across the North West Health Services Delivery Area region and possibly even across NHA. Further research across NHA is needed to understand how different lenses may be best applied throughout the system for success in environmental sustainability.