Six Canadian health care institutions and organizations have been named 2019 champions of a global initiative to improve the sector’s resiliency and reduce its environmental footprint. More than 190 enrollees in the Health Care Climate Challenge collectively represent 17,500 hospitals and related facilities in 28 countries that have set targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and are tracking and reporting their progress.
“As the climate champions near their targets and objectives, they are challenging themselves to go further and setting their sights on bold new objectives,” observes Kent Waddington, communications director with the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, which achieved Gold champion status for climate leadership this year. “Goals to achieve carbon neutrality and power hospitals on 100 per cent renewable electricity are growing in every part of the world. They are raising the bar and defining what truly climate-smart health care can be.”
Participants are actually expected to tackle three interrelated challenges: mitigation; resilience; and leadership. That includes implementing energy and water efficiency and waste reduction measures, preparing to respond to extreme weather, and promoting awareness among health care and facilities’ staff and the general public. Health care organizations must commit to measuring and reporting their use of resources relative to a chosen base year, along with the cost savings realized from reductions in energy and water consumption and waste generation.
In addition to the Green Health Care Coalition’s Gold effort, Toronto-based University Health Network is a Gold champion for both climate resilience and climate leadership. Quebec-based Synergie Santé Environnement also achieved Gold for climate leadership.
Silver honours went to three health care organizations in British Columbia. Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health were all recognized for energy-related GHG reduction. Fraser Health additionally earned Silver for climate resilience.