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Addressing the environmental impact of healthcare

Addressing the environmental impact of healthcare
Connecting the dots globally for healthcare of tomorrow
Green Health
Events, Initiatives

The healthcare sector is responsible for approximately 5% of global emissions, surpassing that of over 500 coal power plants and even the aviation industry. This alarming environmental footprint highlights the urgent need to transition towards resource-efficient and resilient healthcare systems. 

 

This is the reason why the ECHAlliance – The Global Health Connector  dedicated a spotlight to this theme during its UN Science Summit event  in New York in late September 2023.

 

 

This session featured inspiring insights, knowledge sharing, and real-life case studies on digital transformation in healthcare. It delved into the relationships and interdependencies between health, the natural environment, climate, and digital technologies, all in pursuit of better health for all. Speakers coming from different sectors shared their perspectives on overcoming challenges and fostering an environment conducive to transformative change.

 

At the event we heard from:

  • Cassandra Thiel, Assistant Professor (NYU Langone Health), Sustainability Consultant 
  • Shane Dunne, Associate Director, Sustainability at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (in person) 
  • Toseef Din, CEO of M.P. Shah Hospital 
  • Chethan Sarabu, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford Medicine, Director of Clinical Informatics at Sharecare
  • Philip Webb – Respiratory Innovation Wales 
  • Prasun J Mishra, Founding President of the American Association for Precision Medicine (AAPM), Chairman of WISE Capitals 

 

The key conclusions and recommendations from the ECHAlliance’s event will be presented to The Summit of the Future 2024. Below are the recommendations from the Green Health session we wish to highlight for the global digital health community:

  • Transform Healthcare for Sustainability: Recognize and address the environmental impact of the global healthcare system by committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this, establish a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Green Health, emphasising the need for climate-resilient healthcare infrastructure and the integration of renewable energy sources within healthcare facilities.
  • Collaboration Across the Healthcare Supply Chain: Encourage collaboration across the entire healthcare supply chain, involving clinicians, healthcare providers, administrators, manufacturers, and governments. This collaboration should focus on identifying and implementing sustainable practices, reducing emissions, and adopting environmentally friendly technologies in healthcare delivery.
  • Data-Driven Sustainability: Develop data standards for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions within the healthcare sector. Utilise environmental data and predictive analytics to personalise health guidance for patients, promoting sustainable lifestyles and practices. Legislation and standards should be put in place to ensure transparency and accountability in reducing healthcare-related emissions.
  • Research Linking Health and Climate: Invest in research to establish clear connections between healthcare outcomes and climate-driven care. Understand how environmental factors, such as air quality and climate change, impact health and well-being. This knowledge will inform targeted interventions and policies to improve public health in the context of a changing climate.
  • Interconnected Sectors for Human Well-Being: Recognize the interconnectedness of sectors like healthcare, agriculture, environment, energy, and education in shaping human health and well-being. Promote policies and initiatives that foster positive interactions among these sectors, creating a ripple effect of beneficial changes. For example, sustainable agricultural practices can lead to improved nutrition and better health outcomes.

 

 

Implementing these recommendations will enable the global community to work towards a healthcare system that not only enhances health outcomes but also contributes to the broader goal of environmental sustainability. This aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, ultimately paving the way for a healthier and more sustainable future for all.

 

To delve deeper into these discussions, we invite you to watch the full recording of the session. Additionally, ECHAlliance is organising a series of online Thematic Innovation Ecosystems on Green Health starting from December 5. Stay tuned for more information and invitations.

 

NEWS​

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