April 14th, 2022
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A circular economy model for hospital generated PPE ad medical single use plastic waste: Demonstrating opportunities for reduction and reuse

If you haven't done so yet, check out the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care's (CCGHC) latest literature review and environmental scan of medical single use plastic (SUP) waste, including personal protective equipment (PPE) in the context of a circular economy for health care.

Our health care sector has increasingly contributed to plastic pollution through the consumption of disposable PPE and other medical SUP products. Shifting from a linear economy to a circular economy model for managing the products that currently end up as hospital-generated waste, has potential to mitigate some of the environmental harms associated with manufacturing, using, and disposing of medical SUPs. In particular, the circular economy may help to reverse the current trajectory toward single use medical products and supplies through a renewed emphasis on long-lasting design, reuse, remanufacturing and refurbishment to maintain products and materials in their highest value state for as long as possible.

This review is part of a project the CCGHC is undertaking entitled, Reducing Health Care-Related PPE and Medical Single Use Plastic Waste Through Circular Economy Principles which is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Launch of the Quebec Action Network for Sustainable Health Action Network

A new Quebec Action Network for Sustainable Health/Réseau d’action pour la santé durable du Québec (RASDQ) is being created to protect Quebecers from the greatest health threat of the 21st century: climate change. The Network's mission is to ensure the sustainable health of the Quebec population by population in a healthy environment, by mobilizing the health and social services sector around prevention and adaptation actions in the face of the climate crisis and environmental health risks.

“Health and social services personnel feel the urgency to act on the environmental risks which are causing a growing number of illnesses and deaths in Quebec. However, we are still equipped to prevent the health consequences of the ecological crisis and to adapt our practices to its inevitable effects. The RASDQ will address this need," explains Dr. Olena Zotova the founder of the Network.

The RASDQ brings together some 20 organisations, including Quebec's four faculties of medicine, professional and student associations and federations, unions, and social and/or environmental health organizations, collectively representing nearly 150,000 people working in the health and social services field. The Network is sponsored by Association pour la santé publique du Québec (ASPQ), and is an offshoot of the citizens' group La Planète s'invite
en santé.
Meet our newest Sustainability Champion - Pinchin Ltd.
Pinchin Ltd. is one of Canada’s largest environmental, engineering, building science, and health & safety consulting firms. Pinchin employs over 900 employees in 42 offices across the country. Pinchin has an established presence in Healthcare and Long-Term Care facilities nationally providing services ranging from Occupational Health and Safety, Laboratory Analysis to Climate Change Assessments. Established in 1981 by Dr. Don Pinchin to provide consulting services to the asbestos abatement industry, click HERE to see all the services that Pinchin provides to this sector.

Read their full biography HERE

For more information on Pinchin Ltd., please visit: https://www.pinchin.com/

**If your for-profit organisation has made a serious corporate commitment to making health care more sustainable, you too can become recognized as a green health 2022 Sustainability Champion by the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care.
Upcoming Opportunities
National Nursing Week 2022: #WeAnswerTheCall for Environmental
For National Nursing Week 2022 (May 9th to May 15th) CASCADES and the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment (CANE) are #AnsweringTheCall.

They are looking for nurses to share their stories about how they are engaging in environmental sustainability and environmental justice within their roles. Whether you work in a hospital, community, administration, education, research or in government; they want to hear from you!

Submission Deadline: April 22, 2022 @5PM ET

If you are interested in sharing your story, send your submissions to: cascades@utoronto.ca
Heading Here Clean Fuel Awareness - Request for Information
Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Request for Information (RFI) on clean fuels awareness and education projects is now open and will close on May 4th, 2022.

The RFI seeks to collect information to gauge the interest and readiness levels of projects that would advance the basic awareness of and confidence in clean fuels among industry/commercial users/producers and the general public in Canada.

This RFI seeks information about new innovative projects that align with Government of Canada objectives and for which funding may be pursued through applications to the planned call for proposals.
Scrappage Incentive Program
Plug’n Drive, in collaboration with Clean Air Partnership, and made possible thanks to the support of the M. H. Brigham Foundation brings you the Scrappage Incentive program.

Recycle your old gas car and replace it with a used electric car to receive $1,000 off your purchase. The Scrappage Incentive stacks with the existing Used EV Incentive program, which qualifies all Ontario drivers for $1,000 off the purchase of a used fully electric car.

Combined, that’s up to $2,000 in incentives. To qualify:
1. You must be eligible for, and apply to, the Used EV Incentive program.
2. You must scrap an old internal combustion engine driven vehicle that is operable and insured in Ontario.
CHES 2022 Awards - Call for Nominations
CHES is seeking nominations for their 2022 Awards. Members are reminded to nominate a deserving member or facility for one of these prestigious awards today!

Deadline for submissions: April 30th, 2022
A BIG thank you to SaveOnEnergy for their continued financial support for the Ontario Green Health Care Award and the Ontario Energy Behaviour Award.
The pandemic and sustainability in health care
Surface Medical

Personal protective equipment has played an indispensable role in infection control and disease prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps most notably, the implementation of face mask mandates is an inexpensive strategy to prevent viral transmission, which will likely have a long-lasting impact on social behaviour in numerous countries. Interdisciplinary studies continue to prove the efficacy of facial coverings and their role in protecting public safety by mitigating the spread of SARS-CoV2. Despite these remarkable findings, face masks pose a serious environmental threat and have amplified the plastic pollution crisis.

A surgical face mask is made from plastic materials that take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. Each month, an estimated 129 billion face masks are used globally, or three million per minute. Not surprisingly, these single-use disposables are littered and found in lakes, oceans, and other ecosystems. It is estimated that over five trillion plastic pieces are afloat in the world’s oceans, killing wildlife and disrupting ecological function.

Even if plastics are disposed of properly, US landfills release an estimated 115 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents into the atmosphere each year. Unsustainable practices can consequently contribute to emerging health threats, as ingested plastics enter the human food chain and greenhouse gases enter the air we breathe.
Health care workers call on hospitals and medical institutions to divest from fossil fuels

A coalition of health care professionals and climate finance organisations are calling on hospitals to divest their pension and retirement funds from fossil fuels, citing the severe public health hazards from climate change. 

“The research on the severe, ubiquitous and accelerating consequences to public health from climate change is unequivocal,” Dr. Ashley McClure, a primary care physician and co-Executive Director of the California-based nonprofit Climate Health Now, said in a statement. “Just as many leading health organisations have divested from tobacco companies given the unacceptable health harms of their products, our institutions must now invest in alignment with public health and collective safety by urgently divesting our resources from the coal, oil, and gas corporations fuelling the climate crisis.”

“Our sector has to act on this. This is a healthcare issue. Climate policy is health policy. We can no longer ignore the voluminous research that can directly connect serious health care threats to fossil fuel air pollution, for example,” Don Lieber, a certified surgical technician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told DeSmog. 

Many hospitals do have plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in their operations, but that only addresses part of the problem.
Microplastic found in human blood for first time
The Guardian

Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested.

The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year.

Huge amounts of plastic waste are dumped in the environment and microplastics now contaminate the entire planet, from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans. People were already known to consume the tiny particles via food and water as well as breathing them in.

Scientists analysed blood samples from 22 anonymous donors, all healthy adults and found plastic particles in 17. Half the samples contained PET plastic, which is commonly used in drinks bottles, while a third contained polystyrene, used for packaging food and other products. A quarter of the blood samples contained polyethylene, from which plastic carrier bags are made.
A rights-based approach can address environmental threats to Canadians
Canadas National Observer
We face one of the biggest human rights crises in history, presented by a triple environmental threat: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. The rights of present and future generations depend on a healthy environment — indeed many of our human rights depend on this.

Canada now has the opportunity to recognize the right to a healthy environment and ensure a just transition to an environmentally healthy and socially equitable country.

In a historic move, the United Nations Human Rights Council recently voted in favour of recognizing the right to a healthy environment. This right has already been recognized by 156 countries, yet sadly, Canada is not yet one of them. Parliament has the opportunity to rectify this and honour the council’s resolution, but it must move quickly.

Last April, the Liberal government introduced a bill that would do just that, but it died on the order paper with the election call. The same bill was recently introduced as Bill S-5 in the Senate on February 9th, 2022.
IPCC Latest Report - The evidence is clear: The time for action is now
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change was approved on April 4 2022by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that started on March 21st. It is the third instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed this year.

The report provides an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, and examines the sources of global emissions. It explains developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts, assessing the impact of national climate pledges in relation to long-term emissions goals.
St. Paul's Hospital working to offer Indigenous meals to patients
The Daily Scan

A project at Providence Health Care aims to take the hospital food tray and turn it into a platform for culturally appropriate care for Indigenous patients.

The objective of the project, called Exploring Indigenous Foodways at PHC, is to better understand the food experience of Indigenous patients and learn how to improve it. The eventual goal is to modify the menu at St. Paul’s Hospital – and then at facilities throughout Providence – to provide traditional foods to improve the outcomes and experiences of Indigenous patients.

Providing culturally appropriate food (something Providence Health has offered Asian patients for more than 25 years) is considered so important that the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada stated that “to deny one’s food is to deny them of their culture.”
Food as medicine review and report: How food and diet impact the treatment of disease

On March 30th, 2022 the Center for Food As Medicine and the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center released its groundbreaking, 335 page review and report of the food as medicine movement, titled "Food As Medicine: How Food and Diet Impact the Treatment of Disease and Disease Management."

There is overwhelming evidence demonstrating the impact of food and diet on health, specifically among food-related diseases. Whether or not a poor diet can cause damage to the body should no longer be debated, as evidence supports the potential causal relationships between dietary factors and diet-related diseases. While diet has the potential to cause disease, it is also capable of building, maintaining, and restoring health.

The report aims to bridge the gap between traditional medicine and the use of food as medicine in the prevention and treatment of disease.
Indigenous clean energy launches program to finance EV charger installations in Indigenous communities
Electric Autonomy

Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE), an Ottawa-based not-for-profit organisation, has launched a program to install up to 25 electric vehicle chargers in approximately 20 Indigenous communities across Canada.

The program, called Charge Up, is supported by $316,250 in funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emissions Vehicles Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP).

This initiative is a natural fit with ICE’s mandate to help Indigenous communities and groups across Canada to pursue clean energy opportunities. Many Indigenous communities are located in remote areas and the Charge Up program aims to help fast-track the deployment of EV chargers in underserved regions.
Stellanis, LG Energy Solution bringing $5-billion battery factory to Windsor
Electric Autonomy

On March 23rd, 2022 capping months of speculation, Stellantis announced it has confirmed a partnership deal with LG Energy Solution to build Canada’s first large-scale battery cell manufacturing plant, in Windsor, Ont.

The $5-billion project will create around 2,500 jobs, have an annual production capability of 45 gWh and operate as a joint venture between Netherlands-based Stellantis — created last year in a merger between PSA and Fiat Chrysler — and South Korea-based LGES. The factory will offer a battery supply to the automaker’s North American auto plants — the nearest of which being the Windsor facility where Stellantis announced in 2020 it would invest $1.5 billion to retool and begin manufacturing EVs in 2024.
ZEV sales mandate highlights $9.1-billion federal emissions reduction plan; industry reaction mixed
Electric Autonomy

The Liberal government unveiled its first emissions reduction plan at the end of March 2022, detailing a list of actions to enable Canada to meet its target of reducing carbon emissions 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

This many-months-in-the-making 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan includes a total investment of $9.1 billion. The money will be used, among other things, to boost rebates on zero-emission vehicles, build more charging infrastructure and support cleaner electricity and grid modernization projects.

The release of the 2030 emissions reduction plan was pushed back by three months in December, when Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault announced that the government was embarking on a series of consultations with 30,000 Canadians, including young people, workers, Indigenous Peoples and business owners to discuss ways to meet climate emission targets.
Canada may have hit its long-awaited electric vehicle turning point

Electric car advocates are waiting to see spending details in this week's federal budget, but for the first time, pro-EV business leaders and economists are expressing new optimism that Canada's move away from internal combustion vehicles may have reached a turning point.

After years of excuses, there are signs that a conjunction of forces is pushing the country into a technological and social revolution that has been compared to going from horse to automobile and will bring affordable electric cars and trucks to roads and parking spaces across Canada.

High gasoline prices, a gradual increase in the price of carbon and a request by European powers for the world to use less fossil fuels to break Russian leader Vladimir Putin's grip on their economies, are pushing us in that direction. A series of technological developments that have made electric vehicles not just as good as internal combustion vehicles but better and cheaper to run have helped make it possible.

Now, if only drivers ready to make the switch could find one on the lot to buy. 
Okanagan College Health Sciences Centre

Located on a narrow brownfield site on the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College, the Health Sciences Centre includes technology-enhanced and student-centred labs, classrooms, and offices for health and social development programs.

The chosen site allowed the building to make use of  existing campus infrastructure. The 3,300m² building is organized around a three-storey day-lit atrium, with ample interior glazing providing views into the generous program spaces and facilitating social connections.

The building utilizes waste heat generated by the nearby wastewater treatment plant, integrates photovoltaic panels for its primary heating and energy needs, requires no natural gas-fired HVAC systems and will earn the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Design certification through demonstration of zero-carbon balance, meeting a defined threshold for thermal energy demand intensity and the provision of on-site renewable energy systems.
CAGBC takes over LEED green certification
REMI Network

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification and professional credentialing in Canada has been consolidated under the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC).

The move enables project teams and professionals using LEED, Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE), and TRUE standards for certification and credentialing to work directly with CAGBC.

The change is part of CAGBC efforts to aid the Canadian building sector’s transition to zero-carbon green buildings. CAGBC will continue collaborating with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to support the success of green building projects and professionals in Canada and across North America.

Version 8.1 of the RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software platform has been released with an array of new features. It is now available for download from the RETScreen website HERE.
Discover the Earth Day 2022 Campaign!
On April 22, Earth Day Canada is inviting the population to declare themselves sick in order to recognize this mental health issue linked to climate change and to take part in collective and positive actions to take care of ourselves and the planet. Call in sick at remedytogether.org.

Once again this year, let's show the strength of our collective mobilization for the environment.

And if you are organizing an event Earth Day Canada is encouraging you to submit it to their online calendar and expand the scope of your celebration of the planet through action!

Take care of yourself, take care of the planet.
Seminar series: Research needs for a climate positive health system
The Centre for Sustainable Health Systems has been hosting a series of seminars, funded by the Connaught Global Challenge Award to develop an International Research Network for Climate Positive Care (IRNCPC).

This seminar series has aimed to provoke new thinking on critical issues relevant to climate positive health systems while engaging a wide range of disciplinary communities in considering research opportunities at the intersection of sustainability and healthcare.

Please find below a list of the confirmed dates and topics. Visit their Seminar Series page for more information.
Is it possible to have healthy people on a sick planet?

How should we work to address climate change and other planetary threats to human health and survival?

Our society is built on a global economy that is extractive and destructive, not only to the planet but to people and societies. What is needed to shift to an economic system that does not externalize harm, given the implications for human and planetary health? This year, Gary Cohen, president of Health Care Without Harm, an organisation focused on the intersection of health care, climate change, and health equity, will discuss these questions and more with Mildred Z. Solomon, president of the Hastings Center, at the Daniel Callahan Annual Lecture.

Date: April 19th, 2022
Time: 12:00 PM ET
CleanMed 2022

The Countdown is on: Less than two months until CleanMed

Join CleanMed 2022 on May 10th-12th as they envision the future of health care: A future where hospitals serve as cornerstones of sustainability, addressing inequities to build community health, wealth, and resilience.

With 24 engaging sessions – from topic-specific guidance to CleanMed’s popular flash talks – and captivating keynote and plenary talks, CleanMed draws leading national and international experts on sustainable health care as keynote speakers and session leads.
Booking for booths at IFHE 2022 now open!
The online booking form for booths at the IFHE 2022 Congress | CHES 2022 National Conference taking place September 17-21, 2022 in Toronto ON is now open.
We encourage you to submit your contract to exhibit as soon as possible if you are interested in exhibiting in 2022 as booth space is limited!

A block of rooms is being held at The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto. To receive the conference rate, mention "Congress of the IFHE 2022" when making your reservation.

RETScreen® is a Clean Energy Management Software system for energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration project feasibility analysis as well as ongoing energy performance analysis.

Have you registered as an organ donor?

Contact your local organ donation agency and speak to your family about your wishes. You have the power to save and transform lives.
The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care is Canada’s premier green health care resource network, leading the evolution of green in Canada’s health sector as a national voice and catalyst for environmental change. www.greenhealthcare.ca 
Some articles referred to in the Digest make reference to services and/or product offerings from specific suppliers. The CCGHC recommends that readers research the service and product offerings available through a wider range of suppliers for comparison purposes and in keeping with public sector purchasing guidelines. These articles should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any product or service.