Healthcare Has A Vital Role In Climate Action

By Outlook Planet Desk December 04, 2023

Healthcare facilities worldwide must adopt eco-friendly practises, from renewable energy to waste reduction, to contribute to a sustainable future and combat climate change

Healthcare Has A Vital Role In Climate Action
Waste reduction and proper management, including recycling and responsible disposal of medical waste, are essential practises within the healthcare sector. Shutterstock

It is becoming increasingly evident worldwide that the healthcare sector must adopt practises that align with broader climate goals, implement strategies for reducing its environmental impact, and contribute to overall sustainability.

Healthcare facilities can incorporate energy-efficient technologies while investing in renewable sources such as solar panels and wind turbines to generate clean energy. Harnessing renewable energy sources translates into optimisation of energy efficiency and sustainability in healthcare practises.

Green building designs also enhance sustainability by minimising energy consumption and considering factors such as natural light and ventilation during the construction process. Sustainable materials are crucial contributors as well.

Waste reduction and proper management, including recycling and responsible disposal of medical waste, are essential practises within the healthcare sector. Here, encouraging reusable materials and equipment contributes to environmental conservation. Water conservation measures, such as implementing water-saving technologies and educating people on responsible water use, are crucial to sustainable healthcare practises.

In terms of procurement, healthcare organisations can contribute to sustainability by sourcing environmentally friendly products and supplies from vendors committed to sustainability. This transition involves factoring in recyclability, biodegradability, and energy efficiency.

Addressing transportation and travel aspects involves promoting alternatives such as public transportation, cycling, and walking for staff commuting. Providing infrastructure like electric vehicle charging stations and incorporating electric or hybrid vehicles into hospital fleets further augments sustainable transportation practises.

Promoting telehealth services and utilising remote monitoring technologies effectively reduce the need for patient travel to healthcare facilities, thereby decreasing the associated carbon footprint.

Educating healthcare professionals and staff about the environmental impact of healthcare practises is essential. Advocating for sustainability in healthcare supports ecological conservation. Engaging with the local community is another impactful approach.

Healthcare organisations can raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable living practises within the community. Collaboration with community organisations and government agencies is crucial to collectively addressing broader climate goals.

Carbon offsetting initiatives, such as participation in offset programmes and investments in projects contributing to environmental conservation and climate change mitigation, provide tangible steps towards reducing the carbon footprint associated with healthcare operations.

By seamlessly integrating these practises, the health sector can actively contribute to broader climate goals, fostering a sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to healthcare.