Health Care Without Harm reports that we are learning that it is not possible to have healthy people on a sick planet. That is why, in this unfolding crisis, the healthcare sector has a unique responsibility to lead the fight:
Hospitals use twice as much energy per square foot as our schools and offices because of all the life saving equipment they operate 24/7. Hospitals are major carbon polluters. Given that healthcare is underpinned by an ethical imperative to ‘First, Do No Harm”, they have a responsibility to reduce their carbon pollution and lead our society toward renewable energy, more energy efficient products, more local and sustainable food systems, safer chemicals and other carbon mitigation efforts that support healthier people in healthier communities.
Healthcare represents 18% of our entire economy and is growing with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. If we can harness the purchasing power of this critical wedge sector, we can drive our entire economy toward a low carbon development path that will simultaneously reduce our rising disease burden and spiraling healthcare costs. Toward this end, we have built a global coalition for Healthier Hospitals that is accelerating the adoption of sustainable and climate friendly practices and saving hospitals money in the process.
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