The Commonwealth Fund, an organization committed to non-partisan and independent research of health-care issues, reported that the health-care system is the seventh-largest producer of carbon dioxide. In addition to polluting the air, the health-care system is a major contributor to waste. According to the Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals, 7,000 tons of waste are produced every day by the health-care system.

Delegates from over 200 nations met in Katowice, Poland, to discuss strategies on further reducing greenhouse gases. Much of the discussion centered around reductions in industries like mining and manufacturing. Little, if any, mention was made of the health care industry — despite the fact that it’s among the planet’s more significant polluters. 

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