The health sector’s mandate is to prevent and cure disease. Yet the delivery of health care services – most notably in hospitals – often inadvertently contributes to the problem.
Hospitals generate significant environmental health impacts both upstream and downstream from service delivery, through the natural resources and products they consume, as well as through the waste they generate.
Yet hospitals and health systems everywhere have the potential to promote sustainability, greater health equity and environmental health through investing in healthier buildings, purchasing green, and implementing sustainable operations.
Indeed, hospitals and health care workers can be leading promoters of environmental health, by modelling environmentally sustainable, economically sound practices for the broader society and global community.