The New Imperative for Climate-Smart Health Care

Establishing the first-ever estimate of health care’s global climate footprint, the new report Health care’s climate footprint finds health care’s footprint is equivalent to 4.4% of global net emissions (2 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent).

To put this in perspective, global health care emissions are equivalent to the annual greenhouse gases produced by 514 coal-fired power plants.

Hospitals, health systems and their supply chains in the United States, China, and collectively the countries of the European Union, comprise more than half of health care’s worldwide emissions. And while vastly differing in scale, every nation’s health sector directly and indirectly releases greenhouse gases as it delivers care.

Health care's climate footprint makes the case for a transformation of the health care sector that aligns it with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees celsius. Being released simultaneously at events around the world, the report outlines immediate actions that stakeholders from across the health sector can take, concluding that health promotion, disease prevention, universal health coverage, and the global climate goal of net zero emissions must become intertwined.

"Places of healing should be leading the way, not contributing to the burden of disease,” says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization.

“The health sector must become climate-smart,” says Gary Cohen, founder of Health Care Without Harm. “Both climate justice and health equity depend on it.”

National Green Hospital Standard - First Assessor Training

A monograph on “Green Healthcare Institution” was developed in 2017, to serve as a guide for hospitals on how to build and manage health institutions without causing any harm to the environment. This monograph acted as the background literature for building a National Green Hospital Standards (NGHS) that are being developed by the HELP Secretariat along with the guidance from Quality Accreditation Institute (QAI) and National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers.

Upon completion of this monograph, a complete National Green Hospital Standard Accreditation was developed with QAI assistance. The developed standard was open for stakeholder consultation from March 2019 to May 2019. Experts from various national and international bodies gave their comments and suggestion in the stakeholder consultation process. The standard was successfully registered under QAI in July 2019 and its first evaluator assessor training was announced. A total of 24 participants attended the first assessor training held on 7th and 8th of September, 2019 at the Public Health Foundation of India campus. The participants were geographically represented from all parts from India with representation from both public and private hospitals.

Upon successful first training, QAI will be evaluating the standard in hospitals in the coming months. Efforts are in place to incorporate national green hospital accreditation standard into NABH standard.

Global Climate Strike: 20-27 September

This September, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.

Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.

Global Climate Action-India from Health sector to support youth-led global movement

As you know, the health care sector plays a pivotal role in combatting and responding to the escalating climate crisis. Health care can contribute to a green transition by decarbonizing its energy consumption, operations and supply chain, reducing its climate footprint in alignment with the ambition of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Health care is also on the front lines of climate change, as hospitals, health centers and health care providers are first responders to extreme weather events, and must build resilience to stay operational and serve their communities during climate related disasters.

Our goal is to mobilize hospitals, medical professionals, schools and colleges to participate in a Global Climate Action event on Friday, 20th and 27th September 2019 and show solidarity of the healthcare sector with the global issue of Climate change. Here are some pictures from the 20th September Strike.

Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Bangalore

Following the assistance and communication package provided by HELP Secretariat, many hospitals went on to organize events in their campus and took pledge as individual and as hospitals for a better sustainable climate future.

Some of the HELP members who went on strike 20th September,

  • Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Bangalore
  • Association of Healthcare Providers-India
  • Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations
  • Centre for Chronic Disease Control
  • Association of National Board Accredited Institutions
  • Rainbow Hospitals (12 locations)
  • Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals, Delhi
  • Narayana Health (24 hospitals)
  • Public Health Foundation of India
  • M.S. Ramaiah Memorial Hospital
  • Bhagat Chandra Hospital, Delhi
  • Quality and Accreditation Institute
  • Retina Institute
  • Lal Path labs
  • Catholic Health Association of India
  • PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research

Upcoming Events & Latest News from GGHH

GGHH Asia Conference 2019- Singapore

Health Care Without Harm -Asia, GGHH and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (Singapore) are pleased to host the 2019 GGHH Asian Conference.

“Towards sustainable, climate-resilient Asian healthcare”

October 8-10, 2019 in Singapore

Please visit the conference site to register.

To join HELP or to know more about the platform, kindly write to help.ceh@phfi.org or click here

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HELP was established by Public Health Foundation of India and Centre for Chronic Disease Control with Health Care Without Harm. Photo credits: Pexels: Free Stock Photos. Copyright © Health and Environment Leadership Platform, 2019. All rights reserved.
Created By
Shriram Manogaran


Photo credits: Pexels: Free Stock Photos