Ochre Recruitment Position Statement on Climate Action


Climate change affects all societies, communities and cultures, and it continues to affect the industries which provide essential services, including health. All organisations have a responsibility to take action to ensure a liveable and healthy future. 

Ochre is strongly committed to reversing the impact of climate change on our environment, and we support regeneration strategies to aid in reducing its effects. We acknowledge climate change as a key public health issue that places doctors at the frontlines. 

With the increase of environmental catastrophes, our emergency medicine doctors are bearing the burden of increasing presentations. 

As farmers lose their livelihood to ongoing drought and family homes are destroyed by bushfires, we recognise the added pressure placed on mental health services.

Ochre supports and endorses specific statements and positions that Australasian, Australian, and New Zealand specialty-based colleges and medical societies have released on the issue.

“Climate change resulting from human activity is affecting our relationship with our environment and presents an urgent, significant and growing threat to health worldwide.” RACGP, Where does general practice sit in addressing climate change?

The time for change has already begun. Doctors have been advocating for action for a number of years now; as early as 2015, the RACP coordinated an international campaign Doctors for Climate Action, including a Global Consensus Statement: Act Now to Reduce the Damaging Health Impacts of Climate Change (PDF).

This position received support from 69 health and medical organisations, 1,500 doctors, and other individuals.

With Ochre’s roots firmly planted in rural regions of Australia, many doctors within our medical centres are already seeing the impact that climate change is having on the health and well being of the communities they serve; we are in agreement with the College of Rural and Remote Medicine’s statement that we are in a “rural health emergency”.

“Rural Generalists are not only committed to serving these communities but are also often impacted personally,” ACRRM President Dr Ewen McPhee, ACRRM recognises climate change as a rural health emergency.

We are very aware of the impact that climate change is having on communities; we are indeed in a “population health emergency”, as described by the college of Emergency Medicine (ACEM). 

“Climate change presents an immediate risk to the capacity and ability of EDs, health systems and the medical workforce to cope with increased demand and more frequent and intense disasters. Climate change is a medical emergency; it thus demands an emergency response. ACEM calls for urgent action to establish mechanisms to mitigate and adapt to these threats to ensure the ongoing sustainability of our health systems.”

Statement on climate change, ACEM.

OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council is a society of NZ doctors and health professionals committed to highlighting the relationship between climate change and adverse health effects. We are in agreement with OraTaiao that mitigating and reducing the effects of climate change could bring benefits to the health of New Zealanders. 

"Health gains are possible for heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, respiratory disease, and mental health, with resultant cost savings for the health system."

OraTaiao - Climate Change and Health

In 2019, the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) declared climate change to be a health emergency, pointing to illness and deaths from high temperatures, as well as mediated events such as the changing patterns of infectious disease. 

"Climate action includes prioritising health equity which has significant potential to reduce existing, and prevent future, health inequities."

NZMA Declares Climate Change A Health Emergency 

Our Actions as an organisation

As an organisation, Ochre continues to take decisive action in an effort to at the very least mitigate the effects of climate change.  

Volunteer community assistance

We rallied volunteers through our network of Ochre doctors to assist the communities devastated by the effects of the 2019-2020 bushfire disaster.

Ochre Recruitment co-ordinated Ochre doctors, nurses and practice managers, who volunteered to go to Mallacoota to care for the local community in the wake of the devastating bushfires. The response received and sense of spirit was inspirational.

Using Ecosia as our default search engine

Ecosia donates 80% of their ad profits to charities devoted to planting trees, meaning that every 45 searches raises enough funding to plant one tree. The Ecosia community has thus far planted over 30 million trees—that’s 30,000 hectares of restored forests. 

Switch your search engine and see how many trees you can plant!

Evolving our strategy to reduce our carbon footprint

  • In consolidating our two Sydney offices into one location towards the end of 2019, we have reduced our resource consumption, including electricity.
  • We promote active transport, such as walking, cycling and scootering to work for local staff.
  • We actively encourage commuting staff to use public transport.
  • We reduce air travel between our four offices by using online media to facilitate face-to-face meetings.

Minimising waste

  • We operate a partially paperless office.
  • We’ve replaced takeaway coffee cups with reusable “keep cup” Ochre mugs. These purchased reusable mugs have been made available to all doctors currently employed at Ochre medical centres, as well as internal staff at our Sydney, Hobart, Sunshine Coast and Wellington offices.
  • We use eco-friendly bamboo pens.

Our Actions as individuals

The Ochre Recruitment staff are a bunch of progressive and like-minded people who want to help build a more sustainable planet. We believe we need to help regenerate and preserve our earth for future generations. We believe strongly that each and every one of us can make a difference. Our hope is that in sharing our eco actions, you’ll implement your own too.

We eat foods that promote our health and contribute less to gas emissions

  • We drink tap over bottled water
  • We eat less meat
  • We avoid processed foods

We compost at home

Composting is the backyard revolution that has captivated neighbourhoods throughout Australia and New Zealand. Composting is a simple and easy means of keeping food scraps from landfills, where they produce harmful greenhouse gases as they break down. Composting helps to minimise landfills' carbon footprint and enriches your soil, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers or store-bought compost.

Get started on your own backyard composting.

We use reusable produce bags

While we have all ditched plastic grocery bags, the Ochre Recruitment crew have taken the extra step of ditching the plastic bags still available at the fruit and veg section in favour of an eco-friendly solution. Apart from reducing our environmental impact, our eco-friendly bags don’t tear or break. We get ours from here: Activated Eco: Eco-friendly Everyday Household Products Online.

We support clean money

We understand the importance of individuals making a difference by divesting their funds away from banks and superannuation organisations that lend money to fossil fuel companies.

We support ethical organisations who use our money to invest in clean energy and regenerative agriculture. Here are some that you may be interested in:

We have written to our local members in support of the Climate Change Act

In our letters, we have urged them to support stronger action to cut greenhouse emissions to safe levels. A national binding climate change law with targets, actions and accountability would help give businesses, professionals and communities clarity and certainty.

We have joined a range of movements advocating climate action

What’s your 2040? - Learn about, contribute to, advocate for and invest in regenerative solutions to improve our planet.

1 Million Women - Join a movement of women from around the world who are actively involved in changing their lifestyle to help fight climate change.

School Strike 4 Climate Australia - Our children can often see things a lot more clearly than what we can. Moving beyond fossil fuels and to 100% renewables is a concept our children not only understand but also support.

Farmonline National - Our farmers, farming communities, ecosystems and landscapes are all under threat from climate change. Some farmers have been adopting Regenerative Agriculture Practices for many years now - these practices must be supported and funded by governments so they can be implemented everywhere.

Helping to stop food waste in Australia - OLIO is handy app that connects those with unwanted food to those who need it the most.

New Zealand Climate Action Network - Actions and strategies for protecting New Zealand's people and unique environment from the effects of climate change. 

An Ongoing Commitment

Ochre Recruitment takes seriously the impact climate change is having on our landscapes that we have always felt connected to. Our name Ochre describes the red dirt that covers the rural and remote outback—our love of
land is genuine.

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