February 24th, 2022
Follow us on social media!
Take part in an important project by sharing your experiences with reusable PPE!

The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care (CCGHC) is inviting all health care workers who use reusable PPE to take part in a short 5 minute online survey as part of a project that the CCGHC is undertaking entitled, Reducing Health Care-Related PPE and Medical Single Use Plastic Waste Through Circular Economy PrinciplesThis project is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The confidential survey seeks to gather health care workers' experiences and opinions on the comfort, safety and satisfaction of reusable PPE, in particular: reusable gowns, reusable elastomeric respirators, goggles, and face shields. 
The survey will be available in English and in French until March 11th, 2022
Health Care Climate Champions Influential partners promote RETScreen Expert

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has enlisted influential partners in the private and public buildings sectors to promote the latest update of its freely available energy management software platform. RETScreen Expert — version 8.1 was released in September 2021, promising new capabilities for assessing technological and financial viability and verifying installed performance and energy savings.

To engage that broader pool of stakeholders, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada will be sponsoring 10 free webinars in March. Energy management specialists, Stephen Dixon and Michel Parent, will lead participants in a hands-on demonstration of RETScreen Expert’s benchmarking and analysis functions for individual buildings and across portfolios, and walk them through the steps for data collection, reporting and visualization.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care (That's us!!) will serve as the delivery agent for RETScreen Expert training to facilities management teams in the health care sector. To help introduce and demonstrate the software platform’s updated applications, hospitals in three provinces will draw on different components of RETScreen’s analytical tools with technical guidance from David Elfstrom, an engineer and certified energy manager who has extensive experience with the software.

Aramark launches Aramark Healthcare+ to help hospitals meet dynamic changes coming in health care

As hospitals chart their paths into the future, the non-clinical interactions patients have in the hospital can have a major impact on their perception of quality. In fact, 96 percent of patient complaints are related to the overall experience, not just medical care. To continue to drive patient and caregiver satisfaction, Aramark is excited to launch Aramark Healthcare +, a combination of values and services that act as an extension of care that are designed to help hospitals deliver better outcomes, from everyday moments to forward innovations.  

“We see ourselves as a component of the care giving team,” said Bart Kaericher, President and CEO of Aramark Healthcare+. “Our approach is to serve with compassion by blending patient-focused hospitality training and values with our customized patient and retail dining, environmental services, facilities, patient transportation and uniforms programs.”

Aramark solves challenges with every resource available and innovation is a part of the plus. For example, the strategic partnership Aramark Healthcare+ has with Patient Engagement Advisors (PEA) enables them to utilize a technology and service platform to assist health systems and patients to manage post-discharge care and reduce costly readmissions.

Upcoming Opportunities
Tools of Change Landmark Case Studies

Tools of Change is encouraging nominations for its 2022 landmark behaviour change case studies in three topic areas - (1) climate change mitigation or adaptation, (2) energy conservation and (3) sustainable transportation.

If you know of anyone working on a particularly effective, innovative or impactful approach for changing related behaviours, please consider nominating them - or yourself. All nominations must include measured impact results.

Nominations are screened by Tools of Change staff and the most promising ones are then rated by peer selection panels based on a standard scoring grid. Designated programs are highlighted in our webinars, transcripts and video recordings from the webinars, and written case studies.

The Nominations Form must be submitted by June 6, 2022. Designations will be announced by October 2022.
Last chance to submit a nomination for Canada's Volunteer Awards 2021

Did you nominate a volunteer for Canada’s Volunteer Awards?

If not, there's still time! The nomination period ends March 4, 2022.

Nominate an individual, a not-for-profit organization, a social enterprise or a socially responsible business who has made a significant contribution in improving the lives of others in their community through volunteering.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is counting on you to recognize outstanding volunteers throughout Canada!

In addition to receiving an award from the Government of Canada at a national ceremony, recipients are invited to choose a not-for-profit organisation to receive a grant of $5,000 (regional awards) or $10,000 (national award).

*When you win, please remember the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care is a non-profit that could use your support!
Start your sustainable journey on the right foot!

Have you heard? Earth Day Canada's environmental workshops on taking action are now available all across Canada, in both English and in French! They can help you bring dynamic, interactive discussion to your community or workplace.


Earth Day is offering new introductory workshops on environmental action through two different themes. Thanks to these themes you’ll discover many valuable tips and tricks and gain access to additional resources so that you can become more environmentally friendly on a daily basis.

Duration: 1 hour (optional: additional 30 minutes to discuss levers of action)
Virtual Format
Rate: from $500 (taxes not included)

Fill out the form to organize a workshop for your beneficiaries (employees, members, citizens, etc.).
Call for Papers!

The Journal of Climate Change and Health is seeking research papers that showcase transdisciplinary and interorganizational collaborations.

They are interested in research articles related to the development of optimal processes and methods that have facilitated collaborations between Health and diverse sectors such as, but not limited to, Transportation, Agriculture, Government, Finance, Traditional Knowledges, and the Natural Sciences.

They are also interested in papers that have utilized and amplified inclusive and community-driven strategies to increase collaboration with those who are most affected by the health effects from climate change.

Please consider contributing to this Special Issue: Transdisciplinary Collaborations on Climate Change and Health

All papers are subject to peer review and must be submitted by August 31st, 2022.
TAF's EV Station Fund is live and accepting applications
The Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) launched the EV Station Fund to help support installation of up to 300 EV chargers in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA), and they are excited by the amount of uptake they are already getting.

If you’re a GTHA municipality, utility, retail space, public institution, non-profit organization, business association, or multi-family building, check out their EV Station Fund Introduction webinar recording or visit the website to find out how you can access up to 50% funding for EV chargers on your site.
A BIG thank you to SaveOnEnergy for their continued financial support for the Ontario Green Health Care Award and the Ontario Energy Behaviour Award.
Share your thoughts: Development of proposed regulations for minimum recycled content for certain plastic manufactured items
Environment and Climate Change Canada

How can Canada transition to a Circular Economy for plastics?

As part of Canada’s comprehensive plan to achieve Zero Plastic Waste by 2030, the Government of Canada is proposing requirements for plastic packaging to be made of at least 50% recycled content.

Minimum recycled content requirements would aim to strengthen market demand for recycled plastics, improve the design and manufacture of plastic items, reduce GHGs, prevent plastic pollution and promote a circular economy for plastics.

Environment and Climate Change Canada's technical paper presents considerations and options for key elements of the proposed regulations.

They are now seeking ideas and input from manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging, brand owners and produces, and other stakeholders, such as recyclers and non-governmental organisations.

Read the technical paper today and share your thoughts by March 14!
Tonnes of COVID-19 health care waste expose urgent need to improve waste management systems
World Health Organization

Tens of thousands of tonnes of extra medical waste from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous strain on health care waste management systems around the world, threatening human and environmental health and exposing a dire need to improve waste management practices, according to a new WHO report.

The WHO Global analysis of health care waste in the context of COVID-19 bases its estimates on the approximately 87,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment (PPE) that was procured between March 2020- November 2021 and shipped to support countries’ urgent COVID-19 response needs through a joint UN emergency initiative. Most of this equipment is expected to have ended up as waste.

The authors note that this just provides an initial indication of the scale of the COVID-19 waste problem. It does not take into account any of the COVID-19 commodities procured outside of the initiative, nor waste generated by the public like disposable medical masks.
What Indigenous people can teach us about fighting climate change

Julian Brave NoiseCat is a writer and advocate for Indigenous people. He himself is a member of the Secwepemc First Nation and a descendant of the Lílwat Nation of Mount Currie of British Columbia.

NoiseCat suggests climate change is a call for humans to re-evaluate our relationships with the world, starting on a very intimate and personal basis. He also notes that modern practices in areas like wildfire control and fishery management are returning closer to Indigenous practices.

In addition to his work as an advocate for Indigenous peoples, NoiseCat is a strategic political operator. He is credited with spearheading the campaign to get President Biden to nominate Deb Haaland to be the Secretary of the Interior, making her the first Native American to lead a cabinet-level agency.

In this edition of CNBC’s series on addressing climate anxiety, Noisecat shares how indigenous people’s framework for relating to the natural world is worth learning from and why it is important for responding to climate change in a sustained way.
The determinants of planetary health: an Indigenous consensus perspective
The Lancet

Indigenous Peoples have resiliently weathered continued assaults on their sovereignty and rights throughout colonialism and its continuing effects.

Indigenous Peoples’ sovereignty has been strained by the increasing effects of global environmental change within their territories, including climate change and pollution, and by threats and impositions against their land and water rights. This continuing strain against sovereignty has prompted a call to action to conceptualise the determinants of planetary health from a perspective that embodied Indigenous-specific methods of knowledge gathering from around the globe.

A group of Indigenous scholars, practitioners, land and water defenders, respected Elders, and knowledge-holders came together to define the determinants of planetary health from an Indigenous perspective. Three overarching levels of interconnected determinants, in addition to ten individual-level determinants, were identified as being integral to the health and sustainability of the planet, Mother Earth.
Collaboration brings delicious locally produced Goodly soups to patients while benefiting sustainability efforts
Fraser Health

Goodly Foods announced on February 4th, 2022 a new partnership with Fraser Health enabled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries’ “Feed BC” initiative with support from Gordon Food Service (GFS) to provide sustainably sourced local soups to patients and residents at selected Fraser Health owned and operated facilities.

Goodly is a unique social enterprise and society created through a partnership with private equity and venture capital firm Fulmer & Company. The organisation makes incredibly great-tasting, wholesome food using surplus produce that would have otherwise gone to waste, and gives people with barriers to traditional employment good jobs in the process.

The collaboration brings four delicious soup varieties into Fraser Health hospitals and care homes, enabling them to serve locally sourced and sustainably produced food.
Your veggies (and other plants) are under attack
Canadas National Observer

Canada's plants are under attack from climate change and global trade, yet our governments aren't ready to protect them, over a dozen researchers are warning.

Plants are essential to most aspects of life, from producing oxygen to sustaining biodiversity and people's livelihoods. As the climate changes and global trade accelerates, they're being exposed to more extreme weather, new diseases, and fast-moving pests that threaten entire ecosystems. But according to a new report by the Council of Canadian Academies commissioned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada's patchwork approach to protecting plants is inadequate to tackle the threat.

While trees, crops, and other economically-important plants are directly responsible for about three per cent of Canada's GDP, they directly impact about 500,000 people, many of them in rural areas. Moreover, they are essential to maintaining healthy ecosystems, sequestering carbon, public health, and are of social and cultural importance to people across the country.
New EV Chargers Coming to Ontario Hospitals
Natural Resources Canada

Reducing pollution from the transportation sector is critical to Canada achieving its climate targets. That’s why the Government of Canada is making it easier for Canadians to purchase, charge and drive electric vehicles (EV) in Ontario and across the country.

Today, Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced a $165,000 investment in Halton Healthcare to install a total of 36 EV chargers at hospitals in Oakville, Milton and Georgetown, Ontario. Parliamentary Secretary van Koeverden was joined by Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety.

Halton Healthcare is also contributing $168,500 toward this project, bringing the total program cost to $333,500.This investment, which will make EV charging more accessible, will be funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP).

Charging up the North: Yukon, Northwest Territories are doubling down on EV infrastructure
Electric Autonomy

Though electric vehicles in Canada’s northern communities are a rare sighting today, the governments of two of Canada’s three territories are preparing for the electric wave to hit by investing in charging infrastructure.

This month, Natural Resources Canada and the Yukon government announced funds to boost the territory’s EV transition by committing a total of $1.8 million towards building 200 public EV charging stations. In Northwest Territories, meanwhile, a plan is in the making to build out a charging corridor that would bring up to 21 chargers at 100-kilometre intervals along two of the territory’s major highways.

But even as progress towards greater equity and access in the electrification of transportation takes place across Canada, the Yukon and N.W.T. examples make clear that there are specific challenges to navigate when it comes to remote and rural EV charging.
NRCan puts $4.6 million into funding ZEV adoption, awareness programs across Canada
Electric Autonomy

Twenty-two organizations from coast-to-coast are getting up to $300,000 each in funding for projects designed to accelerate zero-emission vehicle adoption and awareness.

Natural Recourses Canada (NRCan) is continuing its efforts to promote zero-emission vehicle adoption and education by investing over $4.6 million in funding support of ZEV awareness projects across Canada.

The funding, which is coming from the federal Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative, will be divided between 22 organizations.

“Through [this] investment, we’re equipping Canadians with the awareness and knowledge they need to confidently make the switch to a zero-emission vehicle,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources in a press statement.

“Ensuring easy access to ZEVs across Canada is a critical part of our plan to lower emissions and achieve our international climate goals. Through these and similar investments, we are putting more Canadians in the driver’s seat on the road to a net-zero future.”
Quebec require eight-fold increase in EV charging infrastructure to meet 2030 demand, says new ICCT report
Electric Autonomy

A new International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) study released on February 11th, 2022 says that while Quebec may be an advanced jurisdiction in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and adoption — currently it hosts 45 per cent of Canada’s electric fleet — the province will still need at least an eight-fold increase in the number of EV chargers if it is to meet 2030 and 2035 targets set by the province and federally.

The ICCT study, entitled Assessing charging infrastructure needs in Québec, was commissioned and funded independently last year. It analyzes the provincial electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with a more in-depth look at Montreal itself, detailing expected charging needs as the province moves to its goal of having 1.5 million EVs on the road by 2030 and recommending policy measures to help achieve it.

The report is particularly significant in showing that even though Montreal is a leader in public light-duty charging infrastructure, much more still needs to be done. By comparison, other less-advanced Canadian provinces and jurisdictions will likely face an even steeper climb to meet their targets.
25 Hospitals setting the standard for sustainability in health care
Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth announced the 2020 recipients of the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards, the most prestigious environmental achievement for health care.

Including the Top 25, Practice Greenhealth recognized 421 health care organizations across 10 areas of sustainability through its annual Environmental Excellence Awards.

While the Top 25 winners range in size from large, urban academic medical centres to rural critical access hospitals, they are all leading the country in addressing the links between the environment and human health. From serving less meat to reducing toxic chemicals to installing life-saving renewable energy sources, these facilities demonstrate the kind of leadership, innovation, and performance that can drive the entire health sector to a healthier future for all.
Designing for the future
Canadian Healthcare Facilities

Catastrophic weather events like wildfires are prompting more awareness of how climate change could affect operations in health care facilities and the staff and patients who inhabit these buildings. The pace of rising temperatures and heavy rain events, however, has been slowly manifesting for some time, and newly released guidelines in British Columbia offer a standard for approaching the planning and designing of capital projects from a resiliency perspective.

The Climate Resilience Guidelines for B.C. Health Facility Planning and Design culminates more than a year of multi-sector collaboration to develop practice-based guidance for B.C.’s health authorities. It arises from a series of reports and a provincial climate risk assessment, all with roots in the CleanBC plan, which was tabled in 2018 to meet legislated climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

*This article was originally published in the Winter 2021/2022 issue of the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society's journal, Canadian Healthcare Facilities.
How to balance energy efficiency, sustainability and patient care
Healthcare Facilities Today
Hospitals are among the largest commercial consumers of energy. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve patients seeking care and clinicians who perform care services.

From environmental systems that maintain humidity levels and proper pressurization to equipment that generates steam to sterilize devices for procedures, every hospital process requires energy to operate within its strict health and environmental parameters.

In health care facilities, energy efficiency and sustainability are high on the priority list, but patients come first. That is why minor changes, such as dimming the lights and turning down the thermostat, are not enough to move the dial on energy use.

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.
Canada's COP26 Health Programme Commitment - Adaptation and Resilience
Canada signed onto the WHO’s #COP26 Health Programme, thus formally committing to climate resilient and low carbon sustainable health systems.

But what does low carbon, sustainable care look like in practice?

Through real-world examples of climate positive care, anesthesiologist Timur Ozelsel and radiation oncologist Philip Wong will share the encouraging effects that sustainable models are having on patient experience, on environment impact, and overall care. As the Vice-President Transformation for Vancouver Coastal Health, discussant Darcia Pope has the policy and administration perspective on how to capture and realize these benefits—and how to catalyze systemic transformation. Join us as we explore the real impact of turning Canada’s commitment to low carbon sustainable health systems into concrete improvements to care.

Date: March 2nd, 2022
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST

This event is the third in our series exploring the implications of the federal government’s recent commitment to the COP26 Health Programme.

Seminar Series: Research Needs for a Climate Positive Health System
The Centre for Sustainable Health Systems is 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 aims 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.

CleanMed 2022 Kansas City

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. 

At CleanMed, you’ll learn about the latest trends from thought-provoking speakers, make new connections with peers, and leave feeling inspired with actionable tips and strategies you can implement right away to achieve real impact. From the practical to the aspirational, CleanMed sessions bring diverse voices and perspectives to the conversation about health care’s future. 

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.

Register by February 25th, 2022 to take advantage of their early bird rates!

2022 Greening Health Care Webinar: From COVID to Climate Crisis

Last year saw an understandable downturn in energy savings as everyone was challenged to respond to the ever-changing pandemic. We are getting back to basics, building on the many success stories from the past five years to tackle the simple things that every hospital can do tomorrow to deliver big savings at the meter.

Be sure to attend Green Health Care's first webinar of the year to kick start your own savings with:

• Where the big savings are
• Fully updated checklists with all the operational, controls and maintenance measures that have worked so well for other hospitals
• Getting the best out of your building automation system
• A panel discussion among hospital and industry leaders addressing practical approaches to effective action with limited resources
• Finding help when you need it with ready access to external resources

Date: March 9th, 2022
Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM EST

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.