The role of healthcare facilities in battling climate change has slowly emerged over the last decade. Now, as evidence of that role becomes more apparent, the federal government is calling on stakeholders in the healthcare sector to commit to action that will minimize their impact on the environment.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently asked healthcare stakeholders, including hospitals and other healthcare facilities, to commit to addressing climate change through a new initiative aimed at reducing emissions across the healthcare sector. Federal health systems already are taking action to reduce emissions, and the new initiative challenges private health systems to meet or exceed emissions goals and to build climate considerations into the future of healthcare.
HHS is asking U.S. hospitals, health systems, suppliers, pharmaceutical companies and other sector stakeholders to submit pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase their climate resilience. The voluntary pledge asks signees to, at a minimum, commit to: reducing their organizations’ emissions -- by 50 percent by 2030 and to net zero by 2050 -- and publicly reporting their progress; completing an inventory of supply chain emissions; and developing climate resilience for their facilities and communities.