Summary: There is a growing recognition that health is increasingly affected by climate change, while at the same time global healthcare systems, including inpatient facilities such as hospitals, have a substantial impact on the environment. By looking at factors such as emissions, renewables, logistics, care pathways, supply chains and partnerships, global healthcare has several opportunities to decrease their carbon footprint.
Why this is important: Sustainability themes are interlinked. There will often be trade-offs between them, but that still doesn't mean we can't try to do the best we can in both.
The big theme: Organisations, from individual businesses to industry groupings, are increasingly realising that they are part of broader ecosystems and risks and opportunities need to be seen as interlinked. Regulations and demands from stakeholders are demanding that mindset - double materiality. Understanding the impact of the supply chain will be both demanded but also presents opportunities to improve the sustainability impact of an organisation, regardless of the industry.
Summary of a story from the World Economic Forum
There is an increased awareness of the effects of climate change on global health – negatively affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations – and also on the significant impact healthcare around the world is having on the environment. Healthcare systems are said to account for 4-10% of national CO2 emissions, which is more than the aviation and shipping sectors. As a multi-stakeholder industry that needs high investment to operate, the healthcare sector must start to consider, and be accountable for, their contribution to climate change.