Commitment to Decarbonize Health
Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospitals and Clinical Institutes Sign Joint Commitment to Decarbonize
Healthcare, accounting for nearly 10% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, is a big part of that challenge. But there are many ways that health systems can change the statistic and effectively cut their emissions. In supporting the call for action, the Harvard Global Health Institute and its partner hospitals, are launching a new initiative called Decarbonizing Healthcare.
As healthcare leaders, we recognize our responsibility to our patients’ health and the communities we serve. Through this initiative we can each play our part in addressing the growing threat of climate change and its effects on the health of our patients and our ability to care for them.
Addressing Climate Change through Decarbonizing Healthcare
The first phase of the initiative includes reaching out to every healthcare system in the United States and asking them to create and publicize a plan to reduce their carbon footprint. In doing so, they join a coalition of healthcare organizations who have already taken steps toward decarbonization and together can stand to make a substantial dent in combatting climate change.
In early 2020, the Harvard Global Health Institute will feature a series of events and publications to celebrate the organizations that have made a commitment to decarbonize and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of the series is to signal to that the health sector understands the importance of tackling climate change as part of its mission of providing high quality care to its patients.
Resources to Reducing Your Climate Impact
- Healthcare Without Harm – Health Care Climate Challenge (healthcareclimatechallenge.org)
- Practice Greenhealth (practicegreenhealth.org/)
- Better Buildings Alliance & the U.S. Department of Energy (https://betterbuildingsinitiative.energy.gov/alliance/sector/healthcare)
- Harvard Medical School and Affiliated Hospitals Commit to Decarbonize – December 18. 2018
- Doctors Are Frightened by Climate Change. Their Industry is a Big Part of the Problem – January 19, 2019
- Prioritizing Healthcare in a Changing Climate – NEJM Editorial – August 22, 2019
Let Us Know About Your Efforts!
If your organization is interested in participating in the Decarbonizing Healthcare initiative, or if you’d like share your successes, please let us know by completing a short survey or email us at Global_Health@harvard.edu