Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Addressing Climate Change in Health Care Settings (pdf)
HCWH's co-founder Gary Cohen is a recipient of the prestigious Skoll Award. This video, chronicling the evolution of HCWH's work, premiered at the 2009 Skoll World Forum. enlarge video
Many measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will have surprising health co-benefits. This is above and beyond the benefits to come from reducing climate change itself. enlarge video
Seven Elements of
The health sector can employ seven key strategies to become more climate-friendly, while at the same time saving money and generating significant health, economic and social co-benefits. Many of these strategies can be implemented by a shift in the health sector's procurement policies and practices.
- Energy efficiency — reduce hospital energy consumption and costs through efficiency and conservation measures.
- Green building design — build hospitals that are responsive to local climate conditions and optimized for reduced energy and resource demands.
- Alternative energy generation — produce and/ or consume clean, renewable energy onsite to ensure reliable and resilient operation.
- Transportation — use alternative fuels for hospital vehicle fleets; encourage walking and cycling to the facility; promote staff, patient and community use of public transport; site health-care buildings to minimize the need for staff and patient transportation.
- Food — provide sustainably grown local food for staff and patients.
- Waste — reduce, re-use, recycle, compost; employ alternatives to waste incineration.
- Water — conserve water; avoid bottled water when safe alternatives exist.
Health facilities around the world are already taking steps in these and other areas to reduce their climate footprint. Some examples that illustrate the seven key strategies can be found in the WHO-HCWH Discussion Draft report, Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Addressing Climate Change in Health Care Settings (pdf).
- Climate Change and Human Health: Present and Future Risks (pdf)
- Best Environmental Practices in the Healthcare Sector (pdf) - A Guide to improve the healthcare sector environmental performance
- Energy Star program for Health Care
website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Addressing Climate Change in Health Care Settings (pdf)
Aims at addressing the climate footprint of the health sector
- IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Saving Carbon, Improving Health: NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy for England (pdf)
- Solar clinics in Tanzania (website of Solar Electric Light Fund)
- Stop Trashing the Climate
GAIA Report on Waste and Climate
- World Health Organization website for information about Climate Change and Human Health
Pendo Maro, Senior Climate and Energy Advisor, Health Care Without Harm, and Michael Wilks, board member of HCWH Europe, talk about how investment in reducing greenhouse gases produces immediate and lasting benefits to health. enlarge video